'Limehouse Triangle' plans resurface for flats on Tower Hamlets green space
PUBLISHED: 18:00 10 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:40 11 October 2017
Controversial plans to build a tower block in east London on the 'Limehouse Triangle' nature preserve next to the Regent's Canal are back before Tower Hamlets Council tomorrow for a third time.
They have already been thrown out by councillors twice after the authority’s own housing organisation had broken its protocol and levelled the biodiversity nature preserve months before even putting in a planning application for a block of flats.
Furious residents plan to lobby tomorrow’s 7pm town hall planning meeting, with the latest of their petitions to keep the space they want declared parkland.
The triangle in Salmon Lane is part of a ‘green corridor’ between Mile End and Limehouse used as a ‘feeding station’ for birds and wildlife which was designated part of the council’s own ‘Biodiversity 2000’ plan 17 years ago. The council even paid for community hedges and tree planting in 2000.
The campaigners are not against social housing to help the East End’s shortage, but point out that there is more suited ‘brownfield’ land available that would “not be at the cost of our quality of life or at the cost of biodiversity”.
The Locksley Green action group proposes an orchard and a wildflower meadow to replace the native trees and biodiversity hedgerow torn up by bulldozers last year.
The original hedgerow was planted by volunteers 16 years before it was uprooted—first revealed in the East London Advertiser last October and January.
The Locksley Green volunteers had been given grants in 2000 by Tower Hamlets council for hedgerows and trees which had matured into a wildlife sanctuary and were declared a “community asset”.
Campaigner Alicia Joseph led the first delegation to the Town Hall last October, calling for the land to be returned as a biodiversity haven.
Councillors agreed with her argument to nurture a sanctuary that the council should use as a ‘blueprint’ to improve biodiversity and open spaces in built up residential areas.
The land designated a “green initiative” by the council in its borough biodiversity plan for 2000 was supported by mayors Joe Ramanoop and Denise Jones and funded by the town hall, Met Police and local businesses, a statement from one resident in Carr Street nearby will tell tomorrow’s planning meeting.
The scheme was supported by the local housing office, council Regeneration team, Tower Hamlets Environment Trust and Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, but maintenance plans “were either ignored or not adhered to”, her submission reveals.
“Residents did not have access to the Triangle and worryingly the assigned maintenance contractors also had difficulty gaining access,” it adds.
Neighbours claim the neglect has allowed the land to go into disrepair, “giving the false impression that the land is an unwanted green space, which is not the case”.
It was meant to be a public garden with native-species hedges to increase the East End’s chronic lack of biodiversity, but seems to have been overlooked 16 years later by the council’s own housing department when it sent in the bulldozers.