Public meeting tonight to preserve Limehouse Cut—London’s oldest canal

A public meeting is being held tonight in the continuing battle to preserve London’s oldest canal from further encroachment by developers.

Consultations end on Sunday (May 29) over a proposal for a conservation area along the Limehouse Cut in East London, first opened in 1770.

Tonight is the last open forum where campaigners led by local historian Tom Ridge get their say at the Town Hall.

Tower Hamlets Council lost a High Court battle earlier this year to stop the original 1920s Poplar Labour Exchange on the canal bank being demolished and a conservation area attempt being declared unlawful.

Developers got the conservation overturned because there had been no previous public consultation and went ahead bulldozing the site, to make way for an 11-storey block of flats.

The 7.30pm meeting at the Town Hall in Clove Crescent, Blackwall, aims to get public backing for a conservation zone along the rest of the two-mile waterway that links the Regent’s Canal with the Lea River.

“This won’t include the one building associated with George Lansbury which has now been pulled down,” said campaigner Tom Ridge, a retired teacher.

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“But there are still several along The Cut to remind future generations that this was part of a busy waterside industrial district when the Thames was the greatest port in the world. The Limehouse Cut is part of London’s heritage.”

Meanwhile, the six-week public consultation ends Sunday for written comments to Tower Hamlets’ conservation office or emails to