John Biggs: We need Island improvements
By John Biggs
As widely reported, the other week planning permission was granted for a 75-storey block of apartments close to Canary Wharf.
There was strong local opposition, and the councillors who agreed it were evenly divided. It will certainly be a striking addition to London's skyline, the tallest residential building in the UK.
Concerned residents say the scale of development on the Island is creating unmanageable pressure on services and we cannot keep building forever.
I share this concern. There is scope for more housing on the Isle of Dogs and some can be in tall buildings. But three things need to happen and, if I become Mayor, they will.
First, we need to recognise that there is a limit to how much we can build.
There is still scope for new homes for those of all income levels who need one. But we need to urgently review local planning policies on questions of density, location and height. The Isle of Dogs is not Manhattan.
Second, we need to provide the school places, doctors surgeries and so on, where they are needed.
For reasons I do not understand, the local Mayor has failed to do this. The need is urgent.
Third, we need to start listening to local concerns. The future of the Isle of Dogs depends on a strong local community with a reasonable quality of life.
This needs a Mayor who listens to all parts of the community. That's the job - it's time someone did it properly.
■ John Biggs is London Assembly Member for City and East