Wapping residents concerns re London Dock development

Below is the text of a letter sent by local resident Christine Trumper to Tower Hamlets Planning Department regarding the London Dock planning application by St. George.

The letter was prompted by a circular that John Schuster, Chairman of the Quay 430 Management Company, forwarded to all residents of Quay 430.  John has put a lot of hours into this by taking the lead and working with all relevant bodies including Telfords Yard. 

Many thanks to both Christine and John for all their hard work.

For those of you who don’t know where Quay 430 is it is immediately adjacent to the London Dock site so they will be most affected by the development.

“To Whom it May Concern,

Whilst I welcome the redevelopment of the old News International site, I object to the proposed planning application on the following basis:

Daylight/Sunlight Overshadowing (DSO)

A lot of the residents of Quay 430 and I believe that St George have understated the loss of daylight (BRE Guide 2011, VSC test) to many of the apartments facing the new development.  They maintain the new development will have negligible impact on the daylight coming into residents’ windows.  I, for one, have a reduction and impact in excess of 20% on a property I have shared ownership of (57 Leeward Court) and I know of several others who will have an impact and reduction in daylight of over double my percentage if this goes ahead.  It is my opinion that in excess of 40% is not negligible impact.

Furthermore, St George have refused access to the modelling they have used for this important study, to both Quay 430’s consultants and those of LBTH.  Consequently, Both Quay 430 and LBTH are not able to challenge St George on the accuracy and assumptions used.

Also, there has not been a full and independent assessment of the DSO issues.  I would be keen to legally challenge this and accordingly leave St George’s application vulnerable to Judicial Review.

Height and Mass of the Development

Whilst the height of the tower block has been reduced, it will continue to dominate the skyline ta height of 96.4 metres.  Despite the reduction the number of planned 1800 apartments on the development remain unchanged.  There has also been no changes to the height and mass of the other proposed buildings.

The proposed buildings next to Quay 430 rise from a height of between 29m and 41m to heights of up to 74.5m.  This will in effect create an almost impenetrable cliff face of glass and concrete with total loss of privacy to myself and the other Quay 430 residents.

Accordingly, I object to the proposed buildings design on the basis that :

  1. The height and mass of the proposed development is totally out of scale with its surroundings and the heritage of Wapping;
  2. The design does not address the genuine concern of the residents regarding loss privacy, particularly with regard to those building elements adjacent to Quay 430;
  3. It is not acceptable to replace the existing ‘Fortress Wapping’ with a bigger and higher version; and
  4. The design proposals should be reconsidered to take into account these views.

Demolition and Construction

The logistics plan for the demolition and excavation phase shows the waste material from the site will be transported by HGVs on the roadway next to the boundary wall next to Quay 430.  They will be operating less than 20m from most residents’ bedrooms.

This road will be used for all 8 phases of the demolition and construction over the 10-15 year timetable.

There will be 166 fully loaded HGVs per day using this roadway for the first two years, and up to 17 per day in the later phases.

The subsequent noise, vibration and dust from this will have a major impact on residents, particularly for those with young babies and young children.  I have two 3 and 9 year old children myself.  This is clearly not acceptable.

Furthermore, the impact of the noise, dust and vibration of these HGVs have not been assessed nor has the potential impact on our boundary wall.

I totally reject this proposal on the following basis:

  1. The impact of this proposal for site waste removal has not taken into account the major negative impact it will have on Quay 430 residents and particularly for those residents with babies and young children as a result of the noise generated;
  2. This proposal does not comply with the LBTH Code of Construction Practice and EIA Scoping Guidance (2012). In the words of LBTH’s own consultants LUC and Cascade Consulting ‘St George’s interpretation of negligible noise impacts is totally understated and underestimated and does not give a true impact of construction noise at sensitive receptors’. In essence, the impact on Quay 430 is being ignored; and
  3. There should be a total change in the site management of waste disposal with an alternative site traffic management system using only the roadway between the Print Works and Pennington Street Warehouse.

Noise, Dust and Vibration

LBTH’s own consultants have already stated that St George have totally underestimated the noise impact from the site. We believe this is also true of their assessments on vibration and dust pollution.  St George are planning to monitor these at receptor sites at Quay 430 but will not make available the data collected when there are breaches in the permitted noise, dust and vibration levels.

I would reject this proposal and would like to ask to see:

  1. Full compliance by St George of LBTH’s codes and additional receptor sites established as a condition of approval; and
  2. That all monitoring of noise, dust and vibration is made public in real time for the whole of the demolition and construction process.

Car Park and Basement Ventilation

St George is proposing to increase the size of the basement area.  This will require additional ventilation to that previously proposed.

They are still planning to ventilate this area along the boundary wall next to Quay 430 resulting in noise and pollution from the fans.

I object this proposal and would like to see ventilation from the basement and car park dispersed across the development site.

Local Council Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

I am concerned that there is no allowance in negotiations for accommodating the new planning process and financial responsibilities associated with and relevant to the future planning applications proposed at a time from when the local CIL has been determined.

I am aware that 15-25% of local CIL monies can be applied for to benefit the immediate surrounding areas.

I don’t believe it is fair to negotiate this planning application solely under Section 106.

The impact of the proposed development on its immediate environment and on the people that live and work in the local neighbouring areas will be great, and there does not seem to be any consideration to financially support and encourage the local community to feel compensated and to go some way to mitigate the impact of the development on their quality of life.

I would like to see a proposal drawn up and added to ensure that the monies paid through section 106 obligations and/or referencing the proposed local CIL stating that a percentage or proportion of the money identified be spent locally on local concerns as a first consideration.

This needs further discussion and proposals implemented involving the local community.

Although it would like to be thought that the decision makers on this application will make the best decisions taking into account the impact on the local community as well, but understanding the needs of the local community can be difficult and not uppermost in mind unless you are a member of that community.

Health, School, Car Parking, Identified Benefit to the Residents of Wapping

I also object to the following:

  1. That the proposed school will not open until 2020;
  2. That there is no clearly identified benefit to the residents of Wapping to balance the negative impact the demolition and construction of this site over a 10-15 year period;
  3. That there is no provision for healthcare; and
  4. That the proposed number of 1080 parking spaces exceed current GLA and LBTH guidelines.

I look forward to receiving confirmation that these comments and objections have been read, will be taken into account and been made available to all the relevant decision makers.

Best wishes,

Christine Trumper”


Also see: London Dock plans gain approval from Tower Hamlets Council

%d bloggers like this: