Mayor approves plans to develop derelict warehouse and create new jobs

18 January 2016

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has today approved plans for a development which will breathe new life into a derelict warehouse site and provide up to 2,400 new jobs.

The Victorian warehouses on Blossom Street in Norton Folgate have sat empty for 30 years and were heading for an uncertain future after plans to redevelop the site, creating 340,000 sq ft of office space, 40 homes, shops and restaurants, were rejected by Tower Hamlets Council.

In September the application was referred to the Mayor, who decided to take on the role of planning authority for the scheme in order to have a more detailed look at the site, which sits in a key opportunity area identified as being capable of providing 70,000 new jobs by 2031.

Since calling in the development, the Mayor’s planning team has worked closely with developers British Land and has managed to negotiate the retention of two 19th century warehouses in their entirety rather than just the facades as previously planned – a move supported by Historic England. These two buildings sit next to a warehouse dating back to 1887, which will also be retained as part of the scheme.

The site will provide affordable work space for a mix of small and medium sized businesses, as well as large scale companies in the local area, creating 2,400 new jobs in the creative technology industry. The development also comprises 40 homes - of which 30 per cent are affordable.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: “Calling this application in provided me with an opportunity to visit the site and to have a detailed look at a development which proposes to create a significant number of jobs in an area crying out for office space.

“I have been acutely aware of the strength of feeling about the heritage of the site and I am pleased we were able to negotiate the retention of two historic buildings within this development.

“Our city is a major draw for businesses and that’s why it is of critical importance we get on with building the office space needed for the 860,000 new jobs that will be created in the next 20 years.” 

Planning permission is subject to the completion of a Section 106 agreement.