Campaigners slam ‘indiscriminate’ development on Isle of Dogs

Westferry Printworks development
Under fire: campaigners have criticised the Westferry Printworks development

Campaigners have launched a petition criticising “indiscriminate” development on the Isle of Dogs.

The petition demands a review of previous planning decisions, including those for Westferry Printworks and the 75-storey City Pride tower.

The campaigners claim that on the Isle of Dogs “planning permission is given indiscriminately without a corresponding plan for basic infrastructure like schools and GP surgeries.”

They also say that roads, passages and footpaths, such as Lovegrove Path, have been “closed indiscriminately and dangerously for years at a time”.

More than 320 people have signed the petition so far. Serena Fersch, who started the campaign, said: “Someone needs to take a good look at this borough. Tell us why no-one listens to us. And tell us what to do to be heard.”

Supporter Joe Khouri added: “We really are sick of the construction, dust, noise and inconvenience. Enough already – we need a moratorium on new builds.”

But a spokesperson for London’s mayor Sadiq Khan said: “The Mayor has no statutory powers to review planning applications that have previously been granted planning consent.”

Mayor Khan announced an Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) for the Isle of Dogs last year, which he says will deliver high-quality homes and jobs, and will include a public consultation.

But Cllr Andrew Wood, who played a major part in the creation of a local neighbourhood planning forum, is concerned about a “lack of ambition” in the OAPF.

He said: “Overall, very little work has taken place yet and there is almost no detail in the public domain. I understand the first public consultation is this autumn.

“I do fear a lack of ambition for the work that needs to be done. For example, we might need 13 new schools and only have locations for five of them.

“The island is a unique place that requires unique solutions.”

Councillor Andrew Wood
Councillor Andrew Wood. Photograph: Tower Hamlets Council

According to Cllr Wood, developments can remain unfinished for long periods of time, and he is calling for tighter building regulations to be introduced.

“There should be rules about starting and finishing work within a set period.

“If a site is left empty for more than six months then it should be possible for the local authority or local community to use the empty space as a park or allotments or a farmers’ market on a temporary basis.”

  1. Muhammad Haque on Monday 25 July 2016 at 3:02 am

    Your headline says:

    “Campaigners slam ‘indiscriminate’ development on Isle of Dogs”

    THE FACTS speak otherwise.

    INDISCRIMINATE and all over Tower Hamlets.

    The Borough is being sold out to Big Biz and Big Crooks with Big Cash.

    Tower Hamlets Council is a stooge and a colluder.

    The “London Mayor” has been COMPLICIT in that process.

    DEGENERATING the East End and Socially Cleansing the Borough.

    With an “executive” mayor obstacle against accountability, it is not just the Isle of dogs
    but the whole the Borough that is pushed to the dogs!

    Of Greed
    Of dodgy cash
    Of no regulation.

    0302 GMT London Monday 25 July 2016

  2. Arthur Graves on Saturday 25 February 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Oh dear. What a sad comment that is. I’m genuinely sorry that you feel so alienated. Would you really, honestly, like to return to the 1970s before the London Docklands developments began? Go on YouTube and search Isle of Dogs or Tower Hamlets and watch some of the hours of video from those days: rundown, filthy, polluted, with crumbling streets and decaying smokestack industries, no transport except the buses, Victorian school buildings with outside toilets. Of course not all of the development of the past thirty years has been good: in fact, quite a bit of it is already being demolished and superseded. But it’s brought the East End closer in to the heart of London with the tube and the dlr; it’s brought jobs and schools and health centres; it’s brought the world financial hub of Canary Wharf. OK most of us can’t afford to live there: but we shop there; eat there; go to the movies there. Change is always tough. Progress is often hard to come to terms with. But don’t kid yourself that it’s all a plot by the super-rich to keep the rest of us in our places. Tower Hamlets and the Isle of Dogs belong to us all and we all benefit – on balance – from the wealth that new investment brings.


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