A few bits of news

Tobacco DockTobacco Dock – Earlier in the year, we had a meeting between Tobacco Dock and neighbouring residents about the management of events. I suggested at the meeting that it would be good idea if a better relationship was built between the community and Tobacco Dock, and one way to do that might be an Open Day. I am delighted to see that this has now been organised for 25 August. Click on the flyer for more details – all Wapping residents are welcome.

London Dock - I wrote about the Vaughan Way carriageworks a few weeks ago. These are now underway and you may have seen that they have just opened a ‘pop up park’ opposite Thomas More Square as well. A street food market will be hosted in it on Wednesdays during August. London Dock have also debuted on Instagram to share images of the development – follow them on: London_dock.

Tideway Tunnel – there was some concern about an application from Tideway that appeared to suggest they wished to avoid the archaeological survey during site set up. Local residents have since been assured that this is just for the works within the park, not the foreshore, and Tideway’s promise to undertake a foreshore archaeological dig with community involvement still stands.

Lido & Leisure Plans - I wrote a piece for this site a few weeks ago to try to clear up confusion about a planned lido at Brussels Wharf. Click here The Turks Head have now put their application in, and a few residents have written to ask me whether this means the lido is going ahead under them. I wrote to the council to ask for the latest on their viability study and for the latest information on their leisure strategy, especially with regard to the futures of St George’s and John Orwell leisure centres. I received the reply below.

The planning application from the Turks head has come in and planning colleagues are fully aware of the council’s intention’s to build a Lido there ourselves.

The Lido site feasibility has started and is being done in house as part of the  café feasibility and is due to be completed for early autumn.

The consultation for KEMP is due to go back to residents with designs based on the earlier consultation.  This will take place at the beginning of September.

The first element of the leisure Facilities strategy is currently taking place, this involves building condition surveys for all of our Leisure facilities and will help us to identify what our existing stock is like and what our future needs will be.  This will be completed in the next couple of months.  Following this work we will then be in a position to advise the Mayor and for him to take a decision on any future Leisure sites.

Local Plan – Tower Hill and Wapping – Councillors were recently invited to a workshop to see the first iterations on the Local Plan, a document that hopes to bring some coherence and strategy to the development of the borough over the next decade or so. I was not happy with the amount of attention granted to Wapping and Tower Hill and residents may be interested to see the correspondence below with the Mayor and Planning team. Let’s see how this develops and I shall continue to try to get this area the attention it deserves.

From: Julia Dockerill
To: LBTH Planners
Cc: John Biggs; Owen Whalley
Subject: Local Plan

Dear ….,

Thank you for your time last week during the initial discussions on the Local Plan.

As you know, I expressed my disappointment that Tower Hill was not highlighted as an area in need of thought and attention. I also believe insufficient attention has been given to the Wapping area in general. You suggested I write to you and that perhaps we could meet to discuss further.

I am keen to do this but beforehand wished to bring to your attention a meeting I had this week with Gensler. Gensler is a global architecture and design firm and they wish to move their European HQ from Aldgate to Thomas More Square, Wapping. In doing so, they have been asked by Resolution, the new owner of Thomas More Sq, to completely overhaul the complex to attract more firms to base themselves there.

You will be aware that at last SDC, approval was given for Royal Mint Court, a massive commercial development opposite the Tower of London. Meanwhile, we have the London Dock coming on stream, as well as new residential and commercial space along Cable Street and in St Katharine Docks. For the majority of these commercial premises, Tower Hill will be the nearest tube station.

We face the prospect of thousands of new workers, not to mention potential new secondary school children and residents, coming daily to this part of the borough but with pedestrian and cycle access and walkways from the tube that are particularly busy and dangerous. I have already discussed with you the huge benefits the borough should be deriving from tourists visiting the Tower of London if we can encourage them into the East End.

In short, how this is going to be successfully managed requires careful thought and planning. I have talked both to John and Owen about my concerns re Tower Hill and I really hope that we can get this put firmly in the Local Plan.

Many thanks,

Cllr Julia Dockerill


Julia

Thank you for copying me in to your email.

I acknowledge the points you make and have some sympathy with the quality of the urban realm that is currently presented by Tower Hill and the inhospitable pedestrian environment that it currently dominated as it is concrete, tarmac and vehicles.  Given the increasing pedestrian flows that you describe moving between Tower Hill tube station, the Tower itself and St. Katharine Docks, East Smithfield and Mansell Street, I agree that this area would benefit from a more detailed assessment and is certainly is something that could be considered for the Local Plan.  I would suggest that we would want to look at this as part of a borough wide urban realm assessment in the preparation of the Local Plan.

In the meantime, I propose to discuss potential improvement opportunities with my LBTH colleagues and colleagues from TfL.

Best wishes,

Owen

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