Mayor helping to develop plan to tackle tall buildings concerns

03 October 2014

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has intervened in the proposed redevelopment of a site on the Isle of Dogs following concern that too many tall buildings are being proposed without an overall vision for the area.

 

South Quay in Tower Hamlets is made up of numerous small plots of land and many of the individual landowners want to construct their own tall buildings.

 

The Mayor believes that sensitively managed tall buildings that are well designed and in the right place, will help London address its housing need. However, he is concerned that without an overall strategy for South Quay, the tall buildings proposed could have a negative impact on London’s skyline and the public realm.

 

As a result, the Mayor is now working with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets who are developing a Masterplan for South Quay. The plan will establish the key priorities for the area so that new buildings are delivered in a planned, sustainable and responsible way.

 

Sir Edward Lister, Deputy Mayor for Planning said: “South Quay is enjoying unprecedented interest from developers all of whom want to bring forward their own plans. While we want to see the comprehensive regeneration of the area, what we cannot allow is a situation where planning is granted on a first-come-first-served basis with no overall strategy, as this could eat up valuable space, have a negative impact on the public realm and potentially cause other schemes to collapse.

 

“This Masterplan will allow us to take a coordinated approach so that this growth is managed in a sensible way with developers coordinating their proposals. It will allow us to maximise the area’s huge potential while ensuring that all development contributes directly to the sustainability of the area.

 

“The Mayor firmly believes that tall buildings play a valuable role in addressing some of our housing needs but it is essential that the right buildings are built in the right places.”

 

By working with the council, the Mayor hopes that the Masterplan will be brought forward more speedily so that there is clarity for developers about what schemes are suitable. This will ensure that the key planning objectives for this key growth area can be met.

 

The Masterplan will also ensure that the social and physical infrastructure required to realise and support this unprecedented growth is delivered in a managed way.

 

Developers are being encouraged to proactively engage in meaningful discussions to ensure that their proposals respond appropriately to this emerging vision.

 

The Mayor also intends to develop an Opportunity Area Planning Framework to building on the work of the Masterplan and addressing the wider Isle of Dogs.