Concern over 'poor' promotion of South Quay Masterplan consultation

By Rob Virtue on September 1, 2014 2:49 PM |

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Tower Hamlets Council has been accused of failing to adequately publicise a major consultation into development on the Isle of Dogs.

The South Quay Masterplan covers an area with 28 potential developments sites, but one councillor said the borough administration has barely advertised it.

A notice was found towards the back of the council's East End Life publication and Cllr Andrew Wood, who represents the Canary Wharf ward and was himself not informed, believed a report on the council's website was only uploaded after the first meeting last Thursday.

He said: "I am very concerned about how poorly the South Quay Masterplan consultation has been advertised by the council. An unclear advert on page 34 of East End Life is just not good enough.

"The Masterplan area might contain approximately 11,500 new homes and 10 tower blocks taller then 50 storeys in height so it is vital for the Isle of Dogs, Tower Hamlets and London that we get this right.

"The local community are not automatically anti-development but they need to be involved and feel that their good ideas are being considered if we are going to make development in the area sustainable for current and future residents."

The next meeting for residents will take place on Wednesday evening (September 3) and Cllr Wood is encouraging people to attend and find out more about the consultation.

South Quay covers the area immediately south of the Canary Wharf estate and includes the huge residential tower Pan Peninsula. It also has 75 and 73 storey proposals City Pride and South Quay Plaza.

The council is yet to respond, but in documentation now published it said it was working with designer Maccreanor Lavington and consultants Deloitte on the consultation which lays out how the area should look to 2025 and beyond.

It said it was currently running an informal consultation before a formal six-week version takes place in "late 2014".

Cllr Wood is also looking at setting up a neighbourhood planning forum for the Isle of Dogs region. This would see 21 individuals working together, under the Localism Act, to write legally binding planning policies.

It would also allow the group to chose where 25% of Section 106 contributions for Isle of Dogs developments go.

Cllr Wood said: "A neighbourhood planning forum will give the local community a stronger voice in the development happening in their area.

"East Shoreditch already has such a forum in place, while Spitalfields is in the middle of an application process.

"It means developers have to formally consult local residents and follow the plan they have laid out. The end result hopefully will be better planning, better design and more sustainable communities."

Wednesday's consultation meeting on the South Quay Masterplan will take place at at Jack Dash House in South Quay from 5pm and 8pm.

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