St. George are keen for people to understand the reasons for the delay of the Community Liaison Group (CLG) meeting originally scheduled for January.
Key points are that St. George and Tower Hamlets Council (LBTH) needed more time to the Inspector’s Report, that St. George remain committed to provision a school but that the category of school recommended would use up to 25% of the old News International site. This has obvious implications as to density and or height to which St. George would build.
Information from St. George is provided below.
Who made the decision to postpone the CLG meeting?
The decision to postpone this meeting was discussed and agreed with the planning officer (Richard Murrell) who was scheduled to attend the January meeting. It was felt to be important by both St George and LBTH to give more time to consider the implications of the Inspector’s report.
St George have affirmed that they remain committed to public engagement on their proposals, including the provision of a school. However, there is no clarity at the moment on how the council intend to take forward the Inspector’s recommendations, and until there is, there will be no clear planning framework to inform and guide the design and decision making process, and therefore nothing new to discuss.
What are the details of the fundamental implications on development proposals?
The inspector’s report supports the designation of part of the London Dock site for a secondary school. It remains unclear as to where this would be and whether this is the 1.5Ha school we spoke about at the last CLG, or some other model such as a free school. It is unlikely to be the latter, but this is not fully established as yet.
A 1.5Ha school would take roughly one quarter of the London Dock site. If this were to be the size of school sought, then the current masterplan would not be able to accommodate this size of plot without significant reworking. The revisions are likely to include changing the locations of routes through the site, the size and location of open spaces, and the layout of development plots. The Inspector also recognised in his report that accommodating a school would likely necessitate higher density and height to ensure viability.
The implications for the masterplan will not be known until the council’s intentions are clear. There is currently no indication of when this will be, but we do hope it is sooner rather than later.
Why does the need for a school mean an increase in density or height?
The Inspector’s report states that development density and height might have to be higher than envisaged because of the impact of providing a school on the viability of development.
As already mentioned, St George need to understand are the council’s intentions before they can assess the school’s impact on the masterplan, viability and height/density.
What would the dialogue between LBTH and St George cover and is this something that the CLG would like to contribute to and be given the opportunity to do so?
St George is currently engaged in the standard process of pre-application consultation with the planning authority about this project. This pre-application consultation does not include discussion on the requirements of a school, as we have all been awaiting the inspector’s report and the council’s response.
Once the council’s requirements for the site are clear, St George will begin a process of dialogue around the detailed technical needs for a school – access, land take, and so on.
For more information
Freephone: 0800 319 6958