Decision on ‘harmful’ Fish Island luxury flats postponed

London and Quadrant Fish Island plans housing development
Plans for luxury flats on Fish Island. Image: L&Q

Planning permission for luxury housing development on a heritage site has been put on hold amid mounting opposition.

The seven-storey block of flats and neighbouring high-rise commercial building has been proposed for development on Fish Island opposite the Olympic stadium.

Members of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), responsible for the long-term development of the Olympic Park, voted nine to one to defer granting planning permission on the conservation area.

The decision will be reviewed following a site visit and consultation in the New Year.

With only 20 per cent allocated as affordable housing, the development proposed by London & Quadrant falls well short of the 35 per cent guidelines set out in Tower Hamlets’ Fish Island Area Action Plan.

The shortfall has come under heavy fire from local residents and campaign groups.

SAVE Britain’s Heritage feel the proposed development is inappropriate and out of character for Fish Island.

“This is unacceptable,” said caseworker Mike Fox, “the current area is characterised by buildings of between one and four storeys, with brick being the predominant material.

“Buildings noticeably larger and in contrasting materials will therefore cause harm and significantly change the character of the area.”

There are particular concerns that the building’s height will blight the neighbourhood.

Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society (GLIAS) says the submitted plans are misleading and do not detail the full impact the development would have.

“The proposed buildings would be higher than the street is wide. This is the most immediate impact on the Conservation Area, yet the planning documents have avoided mentioning it,” said Malcolm Tucker, a GLIAS spokesman.

“The architect’s perspective is so angled and the street’s actual width is not drawn.”

The plans were revised after the first round of consultations in June. The commercial building was lowered by one storey but the ceiling height increased, so the overall height was reduced by only two metres.

SAVE Britain’s Heritage said the changes are inadequate and fail to address residents’ concerns.

“Although revisions have been made to the original application, these do not go far enough in addressing the level of harm and impact that these proposals will cause, and we are hopeful that the planning committee will refuse this application” said Mr Fox.

The LLDC will visit the site early next year to assess the impact and decide whether the proposals should be taken forward.

An L&G spokesperson said: “Following the committee meeting, we are considering the committee’s comments carefully and look forward to responding soon.”


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