‘Island city’ on loop of East London’s River Lea gets red light

An ambitious ‘island city’ for 1,700 families in East London on the loop of the River Lea has been given the thumbs down by Town Hall planners.

The Leamouth development would only have two access points—one of which would be a footbridge over the river to Canning Town Underground station which would be shut at night.

The footbridge would impede the river flow at the deepest point which Town Hall planners fear would increase flood risk and have “an adverse effect on river navigation” which the Port of London Authority is worried about.

The lack of access to the Ballymore Group scheme as well as lack of social housing led Tower Hamlets council’s Strategic Development committee to vote last night against recommending it to Thames Gateway planning authority, which is deciding whether the 10-tower complex stretching for a quarter-of-a-mile along Bow Creek goes ahead.

There is doubt the footbridge would get the go-ahead—which leaves just one access to the Leamouth ‘river loop city’ from the A1261 Lower Lea Crossing at the other end, between Canary Wharf and Silvertown.

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The scheme would also do little to ease the chronic social housing shortage, despite its scale. Only one-in-five homes would be at ‘affordable’ rents—which reduces to just 11 per cent without Government grants.

This, planners say, fails to add to East London’s social housing needs.

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