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Protest to stop new housing estate on 'overcrowded' Isle of Dogs

PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 July 2012 | UPDATED: 08:57 18 July 2012

A campaign to stop a huge housing estate being built on the densely-populated Isle of Dogs in east London has begun in the week National Census statistics show London's East End being one of Britain's most overcrowded areas.

The Isle of Dogs population itself has nearly doubled in the decade since the Millennium, now at almost 47,000, while the GLA predicts another 20,000 in the next 15 years.

Campaigners distributed letters at the weekend to 2,000 households rallying support against proposals for five-storey blocks of flats being built at Island Point which they said will stretch public services too far.

They’re also concerned that the new estate would overshadow the 100-year-old Chapel House conservation area of Millwall.

Tory Opposition councillors called for a halt to Tower Hamlets council allowing more housing without increasing public services.

“We need a breathing space before the strain on health, education and public transport becomes intolerable,” said Conservative deputy leader David Snowdon.

“More housing schemes were announced this week for the Isle of Dogs—but no additional school places or doctors surgeries.

“Some parents are already having to send their children to primary schools in the City.”

The council’s 15-year Strategic Development plan could see the Isle of Dogs population reach 67,000, a rise of more than 150 per cent on 2001—which protesters fear would mean “a density higher than Hong Kong.”

Cllr Snowdon predicted: “This would be a disaster unless the Mayor quickly gets a grip on the implications.”

The East End’s overall population is up more than a-quarter in 10 years to 254,000, according to the National Census, with Tower Hamlets now the fourth most-densely populated area in the country.

But Mayor Lutfur Rahman rejected the protest. He said: “The Council is well placed to manage this growth. Cllr Snowden’s proposal seems narrow minded and more fitting of the mind-set of a parish councillor than a capital city.

“I’m concerned about demands for supporting a growing population at times of government cuts. The council has effective plans for growth, using population projections for pupil places.”

But he was also “committed to support this growth with 4,000 new homes.” The growth, he added, reflected the impact of the Olympics being staged in east London.

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ISLE OF DOGS OVER THE NEXT 15 YEARS

Here’s how the GLA predicts the Isle of Dogs population reaches 67,000 by 2027:

2013—49,500

2015—52,400

2017—55,200

2019—57,900

2021—60,600

2023—63,250

2025—65,800

2027—67,000

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