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

Save Wapping’s heritage, preserve Red Lion Court

By on October 22, 2014 in Planning

It seems that everywhere you turn in Wapping there is a new building development. Most are reasonable and will provide homes and preserve the original old buildings in our unique part of London.

The St. Patricks church development takes in Red Lion Court, the old warehouse in Reardon Path.

Update 24 Oct 2014. My error – the St. Patricks development and Red Lion Court are completely separate.

Like many newcomers to Wapping I find there is something about Red Lion Court that makes it far more than just another derelict building.

Here are some photos in case you aren’t familiar with it.

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So what will take the place of the existing ‘facade’? Something like this.

Boring, innit? And where are our lovely bollards?

Boring, innit? And where are our lovely bollards?

Yawn. This could be anywhere in, well, anywhere. Doesn’t look like Wapping does it?

What goes and what stays

No one in their right mind would disagree that Red Lion Court needs to be redeveloped. The question is what goes and what stays. And seems quite a few people think the unique exterior should stay.

Cllr. Julia Dockerill has been doing a great job keeping track on Red Lion Court and her blog is well worth regular reading,  Consultation event on Red Lion Court  being a good example.

Today a tweet led me to another entry on Red Lion Court and I have grabbed some (most!) of the content, a letter from the Planning Department at Tower Hamlets, and reproduce it below as it is important – but please red Julia’s original post too.

Not convinced

The reason this letter is important is because it seems the Planning Department are not convinced by the developers plan to completely demolish everything, including the facade.  Have a read.

Dear Councillor Dockerill,

TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1990 (As AMENDED)
RE: Redevelopment of Red Lion Court, 1 Reardon Path, London E1W 2PP

Thank you for your enquiry in relation to the above development. Following a public exhibition by the site’s developers’ you asked for clarification on the following matters:-

1) Whether during pre-application discussions LBTH Planning Officers have agreed to the principle of demolishing the existing C18th century warehouse;

2) What the views of LBTH heritage officers are on the pre-application proposal;

3) Whether the development will be considered at development committee or through delegated powers;

4) If there is an update on the Construction Management Plan for the King Henry’s Wharf development as there is concern that the number 100 bus would have to be rerouted if the subject proposal were to be constructed at the same time.

In general terms pre-application discussions are held under terms of confidentiality. However, given the emerging plans have been subject to public consultation I think it would be useful to clarify the Council’s current position.

LBTH Officers are of the view that the existing warehouse façade makes a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the Wapping Pierhead Conservation Area. However, the façade is clearly in a very dilapidated condition and its retention is likely to be challenging.

The Council will need to assess whether the scheme as a whole ‘preserves or enhances the character and appearance’ of the Conservation Area. The quality of the replacement building will be an important part of this consideration. In the event that the scheme as a whole is found to cause harm to the Conservation Area, planning policy (particularly with reference to paragraphs 131 – 136 of the National Planning Policy Framework) requires that the Council balances the harm to the Conservation Area against the public benefits of the proposal.

Officers have not yet been presented with the Developer’s full case for the loss of the façade, and as such have not reached a final position on this matter. Any decision would also need to be informed by the views of the local community, which would be sought during the consultation phase of the application. We are also required to consult with English Heritage on the proposals.
By virtue of the size of the proposed scheme, the planning application would be considered under delegated powers unless there are 20 or more letters of support / objection against the officer’s recommendation.

Finally, with regard to the Construction Management Plan at King Henry’s Wharf I can advise that I have not had any further contact from the Developer of this site since the grant of planning permission. Any Construction Management Plan for Red Lion Court would need to discuss how works would be coordinated with potential simultaneous works at King Henrys Wharf.
I hope this responds to enquiry, however if you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Applications (Team Leader)

Interesting.

These words in particular catch the eye  “LBTH Officers are of the view that the existing warehouse façade makes a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the Wapping Pierhead Conservation Area. However, the façade is clearly in a very dilapidated condition and its retention is likely to be challenging.

The Council will need to assess whether the scheme as a whole ‘preserves or enhances the character and appearance’ of the Conservation Area.”

And of course the Council wants to hear from you.

Over to you Paul

Have a look at what Pootling Paul thinks of the summary of plans .

Time to say “No”

Bottom line is that maybe, and this is just Love Wapping’s view, it is time for residents of Wapping to say “No”.

Yes Red Lion Court has to be redeveloped, but the developers should be required to keep the existing facade. It has been part of Wapping for many years and should be for many years to come.

One way you can express your views is by getting in touch with Tower Hamlets Planning regarding the potential development at  Red Lion Court, 1 Reardon Path, London E1W 2PP and express your views.

Contact details.

Planning Department
Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
London
E14 2BG

Tel: 020 7364 5009
Email:planningandbuilding@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Let’s get busy shall we Wapping? While we still have something to left to save.

In the meantime feel sorry for the development team who now have Wapping Conservatives, Pootling Paul  and Love Wapping on their case.

Update  10 March 2015

Many thanks to Mayou for highlighting this! Read her comments below.

Re Reardon Path / Red Lion Court

I don’t know if you aware of the proposed development of Red Lion Court in Wapping (next to Bordello),
But if they are given permission the whole historic facade will be demolished.
Also the affordable housing element has not been fully considered.

I have put an objection in.
Today the planner told us that there are 12 objections but they would need more before they would take it to committee !!!
Objections have to be in by tomorrow.

We wondered if you would be interested to email a letter of objection to the Planner, Kate Harrison, if you agree this development and loss of historic facade are unacceptable.
Kate.Harrison@towerhamlets.gov.uk

 

 

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