Concerns raised over height of Canary Wharf tower

By Rob Virtue on August 21, 2014 8:28 AM |

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A 68-storey tower planned for South Quay has been thrown into doubt following concerns, including those expressed by Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

The 498-home Quay House scheme, in the newly-named Canary Wharf ward, is currently in consultation at Tower Hamlets Council.

But letters received from the Greater London Assembly, English Heritage and Greenwich Council all complain it is too overwhelming.

As well as height, the GLA raised issues on quality of homes, infrastructure to support the scheme, affordable housing and pedestrian routes.

The GLA says the mayor believes the application "does not comply with the London Plan".

English Heritage said the tower would "exceed the height of any other built element within the cluster and could impact on the setting of a wide range of heritage assets".

Greenwich Council expressed "concern on the excessive height".

The Royal borough said the scheme would "bring tall buildings even closer to the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site".

Andrew Wood, Conservative councillor for the Canary Wharf ward, said the area was overwhelmed with development. He has called for a block on approvals being granted until a council-led masterplan is finalised.

"I am glad to see that the groups are agreeing that the development at Quay House is problematic but it is one of the smaller developments in the area," he said.

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"The council is working on the South Quay Masterplan. No developments in the area should be approved until that plan has been completed and the public fully consulted."

Among other schemes in the pipeline are 50 Marsh Wall which could rise to 60 floors, the Hertsmere scheme at up to 71 storeys, a mixed-use 80-storey scheme at South Quay Plaza and an eight floor tower in place of the North Pole pub.

Cllr Wood added: "We have a huge range of development coming to the area around Marsh Wall and when I was shown some developer's pictures of what the area might look like Hong Kong sprung to mind."

Investin, the developer behind the Quay House declined to comment.

Cllr Wood is organising public meetings at Alpha Grove Community Centre at 6.30pm on Thursday, September 4, and 4pm Saturday, September 13, to discuss the South Quay Masterplan.