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New Covid-19 restrictions put Isle of Dogs’ open air concert in jeopardy ahead of Millharbour housing launch

PUBLISHED: 18:56 09 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:15 10 September 2020

One of several Isle of Dogs huge developments by Ballymore similar to their Millharbour scheme begining in 2021. Picture: Ballymore

One of several Isle of Dogs huge developments by Ballymore similar to their Millharbour scheme begining in 2021. Picture: Ballymore

Ballymore

Open air gatherings restricted by the government’s tough new Covid-19 isolation measures to just to six people has hit the publicity for the launch of a new housing complex for 1,600 families on the Isle of Dogs.

Aerial shot... massive Isle of Dogs housing projects by developers like Ballymore. Picture: Jason HawkesAerial shot... massive Isle of Dogs housing projects by developers like Ballymore. Picture: Jason Hawkes

Developers of the Millharbour waterfront complex that starts construction in the New Year next to Canary Wharf, with Tower Hamlets Council’s green light, had scheduled a five-hour Saturday live open-air concert on September 26.

But restrictions announced today by the prime minister means that no gatherings of more than six people in the open air are being allowed from September 14.

Police will slap on-the-spot £100 fines for a first offence for anyone caught in groups of seven or more—rising to a colossal £3,200 for persistent offenders cocking-a-snoop at the emergency measures.

The Millharbour developers, Ballymore, were planning to give away free tickets online that would have drawn the crowds.

Up-and-coming artists were already booked when the concert was announced yesterday to be performed at Millharbour Village in two-and-a-half weeks’ time.

Performers included jazz and neo-soul singer Ashaine White, multi-instrumentalist Akin Soul’s jazz-soul and Kadeem Tyrell musician-songwriter-singer whose records include April 25th and Talk to Me.

That is now in doubt, with Ballymore locked in meetings this-afternoon with their Newgate publicity consultants in the City to decide on where to go next.

The tough government regime is effectively a “second lockdown” following a spike in new Covid-19 cases reported in the last three days reaching a shock 3,000 each and every day across the country. This is in spite of the NHS test-and-trace now rolled out across the UK.

The Millharbour development is set to house 1,600 families in a mix of tower blocks at various heights which have all been approved by Tower Hamlets Council. It includes a new theatre and shops all on a waterfront location, with construction likely to start by 2021.

But Ballymore still has a family fun day on the cards to “bring the waterfront to life” this Saturday, September 12, just two days before the new restrictions kick in which reduce gatherings from 30 down to six.

A pop-up “forest school” for children taking over the new Millharbour urban forest for the day has activities to “go wild and learn new skills”. The activities would include socially-distanced “soft archery”, shelter-building, survival bracelet-making and how to purify water.

But the new measures announced by Boris Johnson might put many families off going to Saturday’s fun day—with not much fun looming on the horizon 48 hours later.


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