King Henry’s Wharf & Phoenix Wharf development gets green light

The development at King Henry’s Wharf, Phoenix Wharf and Swan Wharf on the corner of Wapping High Street and Brewhouse Lane has passed the Planning Inspectorate Appeal and so is now likely to start any day.

Which means that traffic in Wapping is likely to be a vision of hell for some time. The reason for this is that key to the development is a one-way traffic system in Wapping High Street.

(Many residents have questions about this issue, see the bottom of the page.)

Welcome to Wapping!

Yep, you read that correctly. This post from March last year gives a flavour of what we can expect.

The King Henry’s Wharf, Phoenix Wharf and Swan Wharf developments are now accompanied by the Brewhouse Lane development as shown below.

If you have just moved into Bridewell Place all we can say is welcome to Wapping!

The appeal was made by Bridewell (Thames) Limited against Tower Hamlets Council and related to the issue of the Construction Management Plan or CMP.

The Planning Inspectorate Appeal APP/E5900/W/17/3187063 Decision document can be found here. 

Strange thing is that Bridewell (Thames) Limited who applied for planning permission and launched the appeal no longer exists – the company in charge is now Snow Hill Trustees Limited.

Neither Bridewell (Thames) Limited or Snow Hill Trustees Limited provide any clues as to who the real owners are as they are simply legal vehicles managed by solicitors to hide the owners’ identities.

Wapping is already suffering from the closure of the Rotherhithe tunnel to anything other than a humble car – so the vans trundle through Wapping on their way to Tower Bridge and beyond.

Add to this a dash of construction traffic headed to the High Street and the temporary one-way system and driving in Wapping should become a trifle challenging.

Once again thanks to Chris Jackson for his tireless monitoring of this issue. He is keen to raise some points from the CMP and the agreement between the developers (whoever they are) and the Council.

Chris says he is keen to have contact with the developer (as the CMP promises we should have) and discuss the challenges the site will bring. All residents near to the site need to ensure they are involved with this.
He also points out one key concern for Bridewell Place residents regarding possible damage to their property. The agreement states that:
“Moreover, compensation for any property damage incurred would be a private matter between the developer and affected party. “
Skip lorry squeezing down Brewhouse Lane – photo from Chimney Court resident
Or to put it another way, Tower Hamlets council is washing their hands of the problem of any damage caused by construction vehicles exiting and entering the site on the Brewhouse Lane land – where the pavement is approx 10-15cm wide and residents have overlooking windows. 

Update 17 October 2018

Many residents have been asking us questions about the effects of this work and we have emailed the Council asking for some more details as below.
  1. Do you know when development work will start?
  2. Any idea what the effects on the 100 bus route might be?
  3. Any details as to when the temporary one-way system will be in place, i.e. dates and times?
  4. With the current closure of the Rotherhithe tunnel to anything but cars, Wapping is experiencing very high traffic levels. Does the council have any plans to mitigate any potential problems
  5. We have no idea who the developers are. Do you have any contact details for them?
We will let you all know what the answers are when we get them!

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7 thoughts on “King Henry’s Wharf & Phoenix Wharf development gets green light

  1. Regarding the question of the Brewhouse Lane development – there’s been zero communication on this since the architects’ rather-less-than-accessible exhibition at Tobacco Dock late last year.

    So far as we know (and since we directly overlook the site we’d expect to have received official notification) – there’s been no actual planning application yet – so how the heck are they extending the CMP to cover an application that hasn’t been made yet?


    1. Thanks Giles. To be honest with you the issues surrounding the development(s) in the area of Brewhouse Lane is so complicated and opaque we have only been able to keep track of it through the eagle-eyed Chris Jackson. I think it might be a very good idea if residents in the area started a residents association/group to help everyone. If you do we are more than happy to publicise it. One of the issues is that highlighted by Chris of the possibility (certainty?) of damage to neighbouring properties. As to planning applications I just did a quick search and found PA/18/02037/NC | Application for certificate of lawfulness in respect of existing use as amenity land. | Land Adjacent To Brewhouse Lane, Brewhouse Lane, London, E1. This seems to cover the Brewhouse Lane development but interestingly this application (whatever the hell it means) is made by Cunnane Town Planning who originally worked with Bridewell (Thames) Limited who were behind the King Henry / Phoenix Wharf development. But Bridewell (Thames) has now been dissolved.

      1. Hi Mark and Giles,

        My understanding is there are two separate developments (with separate owners), albeit they share the same Development agent.

        1) The King Henry’s Wharf one which includes Phoenix Wharf, Swan Wharf (where the floating restaurant ties up and the new (to be built) Brewhouse Lane 5 storey block facing Wapping High St.

        This is the site for which the Panning Inspectorate has given the green light to.

        2) Is the L-Shaped bit of Land which borders the Old Tower Buildings on Brewhouse land.

        Last year plans for a new apartment block(s) on that land were shown at that Tobacco Dock presentation. However as yet no formal planning permission application has been put in for that site. FYI King Henry’s Wharf had a similar Tobacco Dock presentation way back in 2013.

        However as Mark indicates an application has been made to change the use of that L-shaped site and that seems to be for it to at as an over flow site for storage for the King Henry’s Wharf development, especially in the second year of construction when the Brewhouse Lane 5 storey block starts. i.e. No actual building should take place on that site nor is it approved to date.

        I hope this helps BUT please bear in mind this is my reading of what the situation is based on trawling the literally hundreds of files and pages.

        I am seeking a meeting with Councillor Denise Jones to try to get more details,clarity and contact details for the Developer. I will share what I find (if any) via Mark.

        Just as an example of the kind of question I wish to ask. “The CMP states Wapping High Street will remain open at all times. And yet it also states that when the 40 metre crane is installed on the Brewhouse Land site (probably early on in the process) that WHS will need to be closed for at least one day.” Clearly this is contradictory and indeed the traffic disruption will be Wapping wide on that day, so substantial prior notice is needed.

        I hope this helps


    2. Having read the Planning Inspectorate’s decision, I think there is some confusion in the article. The CMP does not cover the Brewhouse Lane development – as Giles says, a planning application has not been submitted for that site. It appears to me that the CMP only relates to the King Henry’s Wharf planning application.

      The decision also notes that the Council and developer have agreed that there will be no diversions to the 100 bus.

      1. Thanks for that Giles, this is a ridiculously complicated subject. Without the work of Chris Jackson my mistakes would be even more plentiful than they are!

  2. Mark,

    Thanks for publishing this.

    One key point I feel nearby local residents should be aware of is the following quote from the report by the Planning Inspectorate (albeit TH Planning said a similar thing in their submission).

    “Moreover, compensation for any property damage incurred would be a private matter between the developer and affected party.”

    i.e. TH is not going to help local residents with how to raise the legal issue of compensation for any property damage which construction vehicles cause, on exceptionally narrow Brewhouse Lane / westerly wall & windows of Bridewell Place.

    Effectively it is up to residents to deal with this problem, even though of course it is TH which has created the underlying issue.

    And TH Planning wonder why local residents often oppose planning permissions.



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