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Tower Hamlets candidates for mayor pledge to recognise Isle of Dogs forum

PUBLISHED: 18:41 10 June 2015 | UPDATED: 18:41 10 June 2015

Richard Horwood, Isle of Dogs Forum chairman

Richard Horwood, Isle of Dogs Forum chairman

Archant

All candidates in tomorrow’s Tower Hamlets election for mayor have promised to recognise the Isle of Dogs new neighbourhood planning forum, a packed hustings meeting heard.

The ‘island’ community in East London has been waiting six months for Tower Hamlets Council to recognise it, the packed meeting at Millwall’s Glengall Grove centre was told.

The forum will only be allowed to submit its own Neighbourhood Plan after official Town Hall recognition, which would give it influence on planning applications in the area.

Local authorities has to take account of forum opinions under the government’s ‘Localism’ legislation when assessing proposed developments.

Whitehall instructed town halls in February to recognise forums within 13 weeks of their applications.

But campaigners claim they have been told their application for the Isle of Dogs forum was made “too early”—so the new regulation doesn’t apply.

“All candidates promised to recognise our forum quickly if elected,” its chairman Richard Horwood told the East London Advertiser after last night’s hustings.

“We’ve been waiting far too long to be able to have a say in how the Isle of Dogs is developed.

“This ‘Catch 22’ clause of being ‘too early’ for the 13-week timetable will now surely be resolved.”

The candidates also promised to renegotiate with the GLA the 40,000 ‘new homes’ target for Tower Hamlets in the next 10 years.

Most of the new dwellings would be high rise flats around Canary Wharf, which Horwood fears would “overwhelm services and infrastructure” if packed into such a condensed area.


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