Community news and investigative journalism for Wapping E1W and Tower Hamlets London

London Dock development – St. George explain CLG meeting delay

By on January 11, 2013 in London Dock

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

Website: www.londondockconsultation.co.uk

Freephone: 0800 319 6958

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There Are 3 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Christine Trumper says:

    Press Release: `Community and St George plc’
    Independent Planning Inspector supports local Community Wish for a Secondary School.

    It is great news that the Independent Inspector’s Report on the Development Management Plan for London Borough of Tower Hamlets acknowledges the demand for school places in the borough. The report supports the designation and build of a new secondary school facility on the St George Site in Wapping.

    We are one of the fastest growing populous boroughs in the country and we are thrilled to see that excellence in education is something we are keen to aspire to.

    We understand the key role education has to play in everyone’s lives. We believe education encourages the development of skills and talents resulting in enthusiastic levels of engagement in all areas of life.

    Community Solutions and Network Wapping are a couple of the community groups that campaigned with dedication in support of the Council’s wish to locate a secondary school on the site. The examination in public, which was attended by representatives of these groups, was an ideal platform to voice the concerns of the people in and around Wapping. Consultation highlighted the importance of providing community facilities when building more private and social housing.

    It is increasingly recognized and hoped for by many that developers do ensure provision is made for necessary community facilities. This is the best way to ensure that growing communities are healthy, thriving and sustainable environments.

  2. GrenB says:

    Not being a planner, I don’t know if this is feasible, but why can’t the school be the lower floors of another building, but with its own entrance separate, say around the corner or on the opposite side, from the other floors in the building? This keeps the St George options more flexible, and should reduce resistance.

  3. Dan Coonan says:

    I’m all for a school, but do not want to lessen the potential public space. I’m very happy for the height to increase so that neither is compromised. It is only fair to both sides. Feel free to say this was the St George ‘master plan’ to begin with but what’s wrong with that. They’re looking to make some money on this and it will (in my opinion) improve our neighbourhood at the same time. I’m all for that. They’ve been very open about all aspects to date. On a closing note, well done to Love Wapping for picking up the baton from WiW.

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