Glenkerrin's plans frustrate island residents
Many residents around the proposed Island Point development have lived in their homes for decades.
And they are not welcoming their potential new neighbour with open arms.
Developer Glenkerrin hopes to build a scheme of up to eight storeys at 443-451 Westferry Road, next to the Chapel House Conservation Area. It has linked the development with its scheme on the City Pride pub site, meaning that 91 per cent of the affordable social housing will be located at the bottom of the island.
Residents fear the move will create "a ghetto" in the historic area, as well as take away their light and privacy. Some homeowners have been told they will lose 100 per cent of their winter daylight if the scheme is built.
Tower Hamlets Council deferred its decision on the project until April 2 last week, and residents from communities including Lockesfield Place, Chapel House Street and Julian Place are united in battling for its demise.
Gill Crawford, a 20-year resident of Lockesfield Place, said: "We have been told that we'd have to have the lights on all the time at the back of the flat to get any light in our house.
"It would bring the area down. At the moment, it's an integrated community that mixes well. A big enclave with a predominance of one type of housing would cause polarisation.
"I've found the developers to be very arrogant, and they only listen up to a point. But we're going to fight to the end."
Chapel House Street resident Stan Coyle has lived in the same house since he was born 76 years ago.
He said: "The size of the building is a problem. And it's going to create a ghetto out here.
"It seems the developer is happy to tread on us to get what they want. There doesn't seem to be any real consultation."
Margaret Morrissey, of Lockesfield Place, said: "I have categorically not received any letter from Glenkerrin. All I've ever had is notices from Tower Hamlets Council.
"I have a patio and I can only get sunshine from 4pm in the afternoon now. I like to sit out there in the summer with a glass of wine, but if this was built, I'd lose my light completely and be overlooked by other flats.
George Perkins, also of Lockesfield Place, said: "We have a conservation area here which would be grossly overlooked. We want something built on that dump, but only if it's suitable for the area."
Julian Place residents also fear the use of their road as a cut-through will cause parking chaos and increased noise.
Gennadi Kurkul, who has lived on the road for 12 years, said: "When this route opens up through our street, about five or 600 people will be coming through. This is a quiet street, and soon we won't know who or what is coming through."
A spokeswoman for Glenkerrin said: "We have made every effort to address the concerns raised in consultation which is demonstrated by the council planning department's positive recommendation of the scheme that provides over 100 family homes of three to five bedrooms set in high quality public open space, that will be allocated to families in severe housing need."