Tower Hamlets rejects 50 storey Skylines village

By Rob Virtue on January 24, 2013 11:34 PM |

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The proposed Skylines development at the Isle of Dogs was rejected by Tower Hamlets Council's planning committee on Thursday night.

The development of two buildings, the tallest rising to 50 storeys, was queried by concerned planning committee members over a host of issues.

Ultimately they refused the application on grounds ranging from lack of play spaces for children on site to the reduction of daylight for nearby residents caused by height, to the population density of the scheme and its impact on health facilities.

The last time the application for the site in Limeharbour came to council was in November when planning officers withdrew it during the meeting following scrutiny from the committee.

This time officers pushed the proposal ahead and recommended the committee approve the application. Councillors felt they had enough information to decide and voted against the plans by five to none, with two abstentions.

The proposal by ZBV (Skylines) Ltd and Skylines (Isle of Dogs) Ltd was for 764 units, of which 222 was affordable housing and, of that number, 154 was social rented.

Cllr Peter Golds, speaking on behalf of those against the development, urged the committee to reject the application on grounds of over-development in the area.

"We've schools bursting at the seams, health centres with real problems seeking facilities, and transport problems," he said. "With the scale of this development there is the prospect of even more problems.

"It's just another ill thought-out development."

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The planning officer revealed as part of the section 106 payments an extra £200,000 was offered by the developer to DLR to improve the nearby South Quay station and another £100,000 was put forward for works to Preston's Road roundabout.

In total, over £6million was offered towards improving local infrastructure.

At the time of the November meeting worries had been raised by London City Airport over the height of cranes working on the development. However, for the latest meeting this was withdrawn by the airport.

Tower Hamlets' own environmental health team also complained about the noise the new residents would be exposed to by DLR trains and aircraft but this was also withdrawn.

Concerns were also brought by National Grid and Thames Water over the proposals but the planning officer said he felt both groups acknowledged the issues could be ironed out.

A further objection, meanwhile, came from English Heritage which complained the building would damage the view from Greenwich Park.

Meanwhile, an application by Telford Homes for a 190 unit development at nearby Preston's Road was approved by council. It had previously been rejected in December but returned with amendments.

This time, after a 3-3 tie between the committee members, chair Cllr Helal Abbas gave his casting vote in support to the development.

3 Comments

Damien, Island Gardens said:

I am entirely pleased that the Skylines development has been refused planning permission. The Island is already way over-developed, and the infrastructure cannot cope as it is. The extended DLR trains are bursting at the seams already, and trying to obtain a non-urgent appointment in less than two weeks at a health centre is virtually impossible. I am glad that LBTH Councillors have finally considered the residents’ needs over the greed of the developers. I seriously doubt the professional competence of the LBTH planning officers after they recommended acceptance of this ill-thought-out scheme.

Anonymous said:

Considering that CW IS just on the doorstep and the very same council allowed all theses skyscrapers with more on the WAY was such as - COLUMBUS TOWER, NORTH QUAY, HERON QUAYS and WOOD WHARF - IT IS A BIT RICH THAT THE VERY SAME COUNCIL REJECTING THE SKYLINES PROJECT AND ARE DUBIOUS ABOUT CITY PRIDE.
If London is to be a global city buildings of this scale are vital and even taller.There is no room for little tiny houses in city areas let alone the endless green fields being swallowed up for toy town developments.Brown field and city sites must have density - that is what city living is all about in the 21st.CENTURY.
London must build high and with no restrictions if it is to mmantain a global city status and the ISLE OF DOGS has the potential to be the most DRAMTIC AND DYNAMIC part not just of London but stand on its own as a MODERN CITY WITHIN A CITY of a GREAT WORLD CLASS CITY - LONDON.

Local Resident said:

That last set of comments is just ridiculous - I don't even know where to begin in explaining how misinformed and blind ro reality almost every line is. I will however agree, Tower Hamlets do lack consistency in their approach and decision making, although that is in part due to a legacy of poor policy making stemming back decades.