‘Replace these properties brick by brick’: Mayor Biggs condemns illegal demolition of Victorian cottages

East Ferry Road cottages before demolition
The three cottages before demolition. Photograph: Tower Hamlets Council

Mayor John Biggs has slammed the bulldozing of three much-loved Victorian cottages on East Ferry Road.

He said: “I am outraged by this unwarranted and illegal demolition.

“The council is looking at its legal options, but in my view, the owners should be made to replace these properties like for like, brick by brick. This action is unprecedented in our borough.

“I can assure those who have been understandably distressed by this that the council takes protection of heritage assets seriously and we will thoroughly explore all of the options and seek to take the strongest legal remedy possible.”

The nineteenth century cottages were among a handful of buildings in the area that have survived two world wars, and Cllr Peter Golds warned the council back in April that they were at risk of being destroyed.

Golds and fellow Conservative councillor Chris Chapman are set to quiz the Mayor at next week’s council meeting.

They have tabled a formal question to Mr Biggs, asking: “Will the Mayor please inform the council and residents of the Isle of Dogs as to why a speculative developer was permitted to demolish three Grade-II listed buildings in East Ferry Road, despite warnings being given to the council that such an attempt was imminent?”

The scene after the cottages were demolished.
Turned to rubble: the remains of the cottages. Photograph: Tower Hamlets Council

The council issued several reminders to the property owners notifying them that it is illegal to tear down buildings in a conservation area without prior consent from the local planning authority.

Commenting on the unauthorised destruction of the buildings, a Town Hall spokesperson said: “The council is currently considering initiating legal proceedings against the owners of the properties.”

The cottages were inspected two years ago by Tower Hamlets’ building control team after concerns were raised that they were structurally dangerous, but no further action was taken.

1 Comment

  1. kent.all-in-one-place.co.uk on Thursday 21 July 2016 at 5:02 pm

    It is disgusting that developers think they can get away with it make them rebuild it and question how it never got stopped by the council.


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