Wildlife would disappear in the 'Limehouse Triangle' with plans for new tower block
PUBLISHED: 16:17 12 December 2016 | UPDATED: 09:18 14 December 2016
A triangle of wildlife next to the Regent's Canal in east London could soon be lost if plans go ahead for a nine-storey tower block of flats.
Neighbours on the East End’s Locksley housing estate next to the ‘Limehouse Triangle’ have sent a petition to Tower Hamlets council to try and stop the land being concreted over.
Trees and a 50ft hedgerow have been uprooted—even before councillors were due to decide on the scheme at a strategic planning meeting at the Town Hall which was due to be heard on Thursday night.
“They’ve already taken down 50ft of hedges and got rid of nine trees,” petition organiser Christine Phillips told the East London Advertiser.
“We were told they were taking soil samples. But you don’t need to get rid of a whole hedgerow just to test the soil.
“This triangle was made part of a ‘green corridor’ in 2000 for wildlife between Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and the Limehouse Basin—it’s a natural ‘feeding station’ for butterflies, birds and bees which is badly needed with so many tower blocks in the East End.”
Funds were handed out by the council to community groups 16 years ago for planting native-species hedges to increase the East End’s chronic lack of biodiversity.
But now that same local authority has been clearing the land in Salmon Lane, William Burrough Primary School, even before councillors were due to vote, to build a tower block which would overlook the canal.
The council’s planning officials are recommending the go-ahead in their report which says it would be “acceptable in height, scale, design and appearance”.
The tower would be nine storeys next to the canal and six facing the Locksley Estate, consisting of 20 flats between one and four bedrooms each, all “affordable rent” with their own private balconies. Seven flats would be big enough for larger families and two would have wheelchair access.
“But it’s not in keeping with the neighbourhood,” grandmum Christine added. “We want the triangle to remain part of a green corridor.”
But some councillors have got wind of the plans. The proposal is now understood to have been put back for debate to January 11—giving objectors and wildlife a “breathing space” till the New Year.