Whitechapel Masterplan pipped at the post by Midlands high-speed trains
- Credit: TH Council
Plans to regenerate Whitechapel have been ‘highly commended’ at the 2014 national Planning Awards in the face of stiff competition from some of the country’s biggest planning projects.
But east London’s Whitechapel was just pipped to the post for the top slot by Birmingham’s HS2 high-speed rail masterplan which steamed ahead.
The East End scheme, nevertheless, was recognised for strategic planning by a panel of 21 expert judges for its aim to rejuvenate the area around the traditional Whitechapel Waste market with a new ‘town centre’ including a civic hub, public open spaces and thousands of new homes and jobs—all by 2025.
It has been inspired, ironically, by another rail priority scheme, the £16 billion Crossrail ‘super tube’ with its major Whitechapel interchange with the London Underground opening in 2018.
“It’s fantastic that our vision is recognised as one of the leading projects in the country,” Tower Hamlets council’s Cabinet member for development, Rabina Khan, said. “We want to make sure Whitechapel is more of a thriving and vibrant community by 2025.”
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The awards ceremony celebrated outstanding achievements in planning work by local authorities, consultants, developers, lawyers, voluntary and neighbourhood groups.
The Whitechapel Masterplan launched earlier this year has so far triggered £100 million of private land acquisitions, while planning negotiations have started on five major development sites.
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It includes 3,500 new homes, 5,000 jobs, a new civic hub, seven public open spaces and a total make-over of the A11 Whitechapel Road and market with trees lining down the middle of the busy thoroughfare.