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Planners give green-light to new town project at Canary Wharf

PUBLISHED: 14:12 10 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:41 05 October 2010

Canary Wharf development gets go-ahead

Canary Wharf development gets go-ahead

By Ted Jeory THE GO-AHEAD was given last night for one of Britain s biggest ever planning applications that will see a new town created next to Canary Wharf. Fourteen buildings will be erected including tower blocks accommodating hundreds of busine

By Ted Jeory

THE GO-AHEAD was given last night for one of Britain's biggest ever planning applications that will see a "new town" created next to Canary Wharf.

Fourteen buildings will be erected including tower blocks accommodating hundreds of businesses, homes for 4,000 people, a new park, a high street and a specially-built canal.

Developers have pledged to hand over a massive £153million in planning gain money, £100million of which will be invested in Crossrail.

The skyscrapers, the tallest of which will be 203metres-just 40metres smaller than Canary Wharf Tower-will be seen from the City and Tower Bridge and add a huge new cluster to the skyline from Greenwich Park.

But the development in Prestons Road on the Isle of Dogs will take at least 10 years to build.

Many fear that in the current financial crisis last night's outline planning permission granted by Tower Hamlets council will remain on the drawing board for some time to come.

Just 18 residents' letters of objection were received by the council after a consultation exercise that swept the Isle of Dogs and parts of Greenwich.

Only the Greenwich Society of the statutory consultees raised major concerns, saying the increasing number of developments in the Canary Wharf area are ruining the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site.

"Such a skyline is not acceptable," the society wrote. "Observations on planning applications to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets have consistently expressed the concern that the quality of the panorama is being threatened."

The Wood Wharf developers, a consortium of Canary Wharf Group, British Waterways and Irish property giant Ballymore, will build what Tower Hamlets council planners described last night as a "new town".

The 20-acre development to the east of Canary Wharf will involve the demolition of an industrial area known as Lovegrove Walk and, controversially, part of the wall on the Grade I listed South Dock.

In its place will go six tower blocks that will include a new hotel, office space and more than 1,600 homes, of which 315 have been earmarked for affordable housing-something the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment warned last night could create a "ghetto" if not well designed.

The new masterplan also contains a high street, which will run up the middle of the site hosting host bars, shops, cafes and restaurants.

Council planning chief Mike Kiely sid at last night's meeting: "This will be like a new town. This will have a very different feel to the Canary Wharf because Canary Wharf is somewhat divorced from the water. This is very much a modern development that will create an extensive business and residential district."

Of the £153,000,000 pledge in section 106 planning gain money, £9m will be ploughed into DLR improvements, £5m into bus upgrades, and more than £15million into education, health and community facilities.

It is biggest windfall ever received by deprived Tower Hamlets.

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