Island Gardens at the very southern tip of the Isle of Dogs (aka The Island) is one of the green jewels of Tower Hamlets, partly due to the glorious view of Greenwich that it provides.
But Island Gardens is now under threat from development and your help is vital.
If you know Island Gardens then please sign the petition organised by The Friends of Island Gardens now. The Friends are calling upon Tower Hamlets Council (and the Government if necessary) to investigate possible irregularities in the disposal of what they believe is still publicly owned land that should be protected as part of Island Gardens.
As with many things in our borough this is a slightly unusual story because it is not clear who actually owns the land – even the Council is not sure.
It seems that the site of the now-closed Calders Wharf Community Centre was part of Island Gardens before the centre existed and as such was transferred by the Greater London Council to the guardianship of London Borough of Tower Hamlets in 1972.
In 1980 the land was leased for 30 years to a local Tenants’ Association and the community centre was opened.
The council currently maintains that the land itself was included in a transfer to the independent housing association, East End Homes in 2006, yet no paperwork supporting this inclusion has been found by the council.
Which is kinda odd you have to admit.
The Friends of Island Gardens believe that any disposal of this public asset by the council would have been covered by the The Greater London (Parks & Open Spaces) Act 1967 and as such, subject to certain conditions.
The council has not been able to produce any paperwork for this either.
Recently obtained land registry records dated December 2016 show that a sale of the land took place from East End Homes to Telford Homes, and the Friends know that planning permission exists to construct luxury flats on this site, inside, what they believe to be part of Island Gardens.
In other words it is all a bit of a pickle. In the view of LW it does seem very odd that no paperwork exists to clarify ownership.
As a result of all this the Friends are calling upon Tower Hamlets to investigate whether proper process was followed in the “alleged disposal” of part of Island Gardens, re-assert public ownership of the land if applicable and to provide every assistance to the Friends of Island Gardens in preventing development on the site, restoring it to being part of the park once again.
King Edward Memorial Park is currently being trashed to satisfy corporate greed. We lost that battle but that does not mean we should stay quiet and al