Tower Hamlets’ 15-year Core Strategy plan unsound’ say protesters

RESIDENTS and small businesses are challenging Tower Hamlets council’s Core Strategy on the future of London’s East End at this-morning’s opening of a Government inspector’s hearing. The hearing outlines the proposed Town Hall policy to guide planning decisions over the next 15 years

By Mike Brooke

RESIDENTS and small businesses are challenging Tower Hamlets council’s Core Strategy on the future of London’s East End at this-morning’s opening of a Government inspector’s hearing.

The public hearing outlines the proposed Town Hall policy which is to guide planning decisions over the next 15 years.

But residents’ groups and businesses, which fear over development’ and encroachment by the City and Canary Wharf, say London’s eastward growth won’t address poverty and equality in its path.

The proposed Core Strategy shows 43,000 new homes to be built in Tower Hamlets alone, with its population rising by 80,000 to almost a-quarter-of-a-million. Major office building will spread in Aldgate, Whitechapel, Spitalfields and the Isle of Dogs for 100,000 workers.

The Residents’ group, an alliance of organisations across the East End, argue this will encourage “too much development” in what is already one of London’s most densely-populated quarters.

“At one end we have the City expanding eastward, at the other Canary Wharf mushrooming,” campaigner Lucy Rogers told the East London Advertiser.


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“Now with the 2012 Olympics, they’re talking about Stratford’s expansion. It’s like a Bermuda triangle with families trapped in the middle.”

She added: “The council isn’t saying how an area full of tower blocks and Tescos can improve the overall quality of life for all its current and new residents.”

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The group is putting forward its own ideas, such as stopping further loss of green spaces including open areas on housing estates, children guaranteed a primary school place near their home, action to end poverty and inequality, regulations to protect the environment and biodiversity, encouraging smaller-scale development while refurbishing existing properties and more robust policies to protect local shops, businesses, workspaces and jobs.

The Council voted in December to submit its Core Strategy to the Secretary of State and is now required to justify it at the six-day hearing starting at 10am at the Town Hall in Blackwall this-morning.

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