Residents asking what’s with the hole at King Henry’s Wharves development

#holewatch Live Updates

Update from Beatrice Danesfield () via Twitter 15:15 hrs

The digger is gone. Dust from the six foot high pile of soil that remains is already being blown into neighbouring homes.

Update from Cllr.Rachel Blake (@RNBlake) via Twitter 13.23 hrs

@denisejones196 and I have requested officers consider enforcement action on King henrys wharf site and officers are reviewing @LoveWapping

Update from Giles Sparrow 12:36 hrs

“Just wanted to say thanks for the swift action on highlight this to the enforcement people. As Chris says, our main concern will be that the developers don’t try to circumvent the process by making things a fait accompli. I’ve been out since early morning but the Wapping Mole (!) reports that things are quiet on site so far today – obviously if there’s further signs of significant work we’ll be highlighting it asap, but obviously it would be good to have that update on the process from Tim and Kamlesh’s end of things so that we know what to expect, and when, in a rapidly narrowing timeframe… “

Update 12:10 hrs 12th April 2017

Nowt. Nada. Nothing. Zilch. Zero.

Update 11:04 hrs 12th April 2017

Hole remains a hole. Man sits in van.

Update 10:00 hrs 12th April 2017

The Wapping Mole, who knows a lot about holes, has just returned from a quick snoop around and reports that there is no activity on site at the moment. We do not know if this is because of the Council asking them to stop or if the construction workers are just waiting for a delivery of concrete. More updates during the day.

Main Story

Thanks to swift action by residents and councillors Tower Hamlets Council now knows of the large hole created by the digger that appeared on site yesterday (Tuesday).

This hole, which seems to be the foundations for a small structure, now has wooden buttressing in it, presumably prior to it being filled with concrete.


The hole in question. Photograph taken yesterday at 5pm reproduced courtesy Chris of Bridewell Place
The hole in question. Photograph taken yesterday at 5pm reproduced courtesy Chris of Bridewell Place


All of this is of concern as it would seem the developers are getting busy while there are still outstanding objections to their Construction Management Plan (CMP).

Not so fast.

Since yesterday’s news that work had started at the site Tim Ross, Team Leader (West), Development Management has replied to an email from Cllr. Denise Jones (Lab) and informed the Planning Enforcement and Compliance Manager of the situation.

Tim says it is a ‘judgement decision’ as to whether it ‘expedient and reasonable’ to take action immediately.

Wapping resident Chris of Bridewell Place, which overlooks the site, is one of many residents who has been watching developments and has been in direct contact with Planning, Cllr. Denise Jones and Cllr. Julia Dockerill. Chris wants the work stopped. Below is his view:

“I note the construction site does not remotely follow even the Developer’s draft CMP. For example last night no security was in place to secure the digger and the soil and debris pile is not covered by plastic sheeting, which will cause dust/soil spreading to local residencies and indeed Tower Hamlet’s roads.
Can I also ask will these violations be taken into account when / if a future revised CMP is considered ? I would comment that since the developer is showing no respect for the planning rules ,that should be taken into account when looking at whether they will follow the “rules” they put in their own CMP. i.e. The concept in law of “an unreliable” witness or in this case developer. “
Note: Thanks to Chris for his observations. 

For more information

LW Comment

In Chris’s opinion this seems to be a classic case of a developer trying the ‘it is easier to seek forgiveness than seek permission’ approach.
Unfortunately for the developer this is Wapping and this trick will not work. Few if any residents have any problems with the King Henry’s Wharf and Phoenix Wharf development. Many residents do have serious concerns about the current CMP which would cause serious congestion to Wapping for two years.


One thought on “Residents asking what’s with the hole at King Henry’s Wharves development

  1. There are quite a few of us who have a problem with the new 5 storey building which is going on the current ‘car park’s site. And since this will be the last of the 4 sites to be developed, that it’s the one they have started with suggests it’s just a mechanism to stop the planning permission lapsing.

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