King Henry’s & Phoenix Wharfs development work to chop Wapping in half

Planning Application for King Henry’s Wharf, Phoenix Wharf to chop Wapping in half

One day I will get to write about things other than planning. However this is very important so have a read. Please? If you drive or use the bus in Wapping or own a business or pretty much anything else this will matter to you.

All three readers of this blog will know that I occasionally make reference to the sterling analytical work of Mr Paul Pootle. The other day I read this post Comment on planning application for King Henry’s Wharf, Phoenix Wharf and ‘Landside’ and was amazed by what I read. Go have a look (then come back, obviously).

In principle I think the plan to re-develop King Henry’s Wharf and Phoenix Wharf and the patch of land opposite are good. Wonderful buildings like that need to be used.

Problem is first they have to be built. Which means lorries. Lots of them. In fact for two years between three and 16 lorry movements a day. Plus smaller vans etc.

But that is not the worst bit.

The worst bit, and frankly completely absolutely and certifiably insane bit, is the way that the developers intend to chop Wapping in half for two years. Wapping High Street from the junction with Wapping Lane to past Brewhouse Lane will be full of lorries (see Paul’s post for analysis of this). And so traffic will be diverted.

At paragraph 3.31 there is this gem which has almost no relation to reality whatsoever.

“3.31 In the event of temporary restrictions being put in place, movement for local traffic would be maintained from either direction along Wapping High Street up to the junction with Brewhouse Lane. Banksmen would be located at the junctions with Wapping Lane (to the east) and Reardon Path (to the west) as appropriate, such that during periods when a delivery is taking place, local traffic is directed along Green Bank/Wapping Lane/Brewhouse Lane (dependant on destination) to avoid blockages. When there is no delivery taking place, the banksmen will be retained to direct traffic along Wapping High Street.”

Divert traffic along Brewhouse Lane. To where? Brewhouse Lane? I actually measure the width of the roadway at Brewhouse Lane this evening and it is exactly 2.5 metres wide. Just about wide enough for a car. Unless there is a pedestrian on the footpath in which case it isn’t.

And paragraph 3.32 is even more more divorced from where the rest of us live.

“3.32 Through-traffic displaced from Wapping High Street (approaching from the east) during the period of temporary restriction would be directed north along Wapping Lane and then west along Green Banks [sic] before rejoining Wapping High Street via Reardon Path. Through-traffic approaching from the west would be diverted north along Reardon Path and east along Green Banks, before heading south along Wapping Lane, rejoining Wapping High Street at its southern terminus.”

You can download a copy of this document from my site in case you can’t find it on the Tower Hamlets site [wpdm_file id=4]

Jaw returned to normal position yet? If you find this difficult to comprehend here it is in graphic form.

Travel chaos guaranteed
Travel chaos guaranteed

Reardon Super Highway

Divert traffic along Reardon Path? Have they ever seen Reardon Path? Do they understand why it is called ‘Reardon Path’ and not ‘Reardon Super Highway”?

OK Green Bank is wider. Well, anything is wider than Reardon Path or Brewhouse Lane. But it isn’t that wide, single lane traffic. And I have never seen a bus down there.  Probably because I don’t think even our small buses would make the turn at Scandrett Street without demolishing most of the Turks Head.

Go park in Croydon

No doubt whichever idiot wrote this document will say ‘Oh that’s ok, we can just ban all the cars from parking there.’ So where would those residents park their cars? Croydon?

No understanding of Wapping at all. None.

Reading some of the other documents which are part of the Planning Application it is plain the developers want to show they are at one with Wapping. My arse they are.

These people do not realise a simple basic fact about Wapping. There is only one way across it. Wapping High Street. And if these people are allowed to proceed with this daft proposal Wapping would be chopped in half for two years. And I don’t think it would recover. Blitz? No probs. Smart arse developers? Possibly not.

Sorry to barge in but have you thought of this?

So looks like we have some more complaining to do people! Pop over to Paul’s blog to read more, but in the meantime here is my simple answer to this problem. Barges. Why not? Cos you ain’t chopping Wapping in half.

Barges. On the river. Simples.
Barges. On the river. Simples.

Seems like a case of ‘back to the drawing board’.

Any views at all?

In addition to any formal comments you might want to make to Tower Hamlets Planners you can also contact the developers’s representative:

Paul Reeves at Cunnane Town Planning LLP either via email

or by post

67 Strathmore Road


TW11 8UG

T: 020 8943 4032