Cinnamon/Clegg/High Street Site Proposals

cinnamonResidents might recall a local planning consultation held by Phoenix back in October (I think) to showcase plans for three sites just off Wapping High Street that used to be owned by TfL (straddling Cinnamon and Clegg Streets and backing onto the High Street). You can find the proposals here.

Since the plans were formally submitted to Tower Hamlets, I have been helping residents make representations to the planning department over light, privacy and height issues. I have also added my own representations, lobbying for any CIL or Section 106 money from this development to be spent in Wapping, not elsewhere in the borough, ideally to restore heritage aspects of this conservation area and improve green spaces in the immediate vicinity. I have highlighted my concern about the junction of Cinnamon Street and Wapping Lane—although it is technically a car-free development, there will be more pressure on the surrounding roads at weekends and this is a tricky junction because of the bend in Wapping Lane where the D3 and 100 buses pass through. I have raised concerns too about the width of the pavements around the site, particularly if families with pushchairs or disabled people will be living in any of the new properties.clegg 1

I managed to get the consultation period extended on this development and since there were over twenty letters of objection, this application would have been decided by the Development Committee not officers. I also brought the Head of Planning to the site as part of a walkabout of the ward and he took on board a number of my concerns.

Since that time, the developer has withdrawn the application completely. It is my understanding that they will be returning to residents this month with revised proposals for consultation and I shall let everyone know as soon as I hear anything more. Please be assured that I am doing what I can to ensure that whatever is built is sympathetic to this important site which lies at the heart of a conservation area.

P1060972

Likely location of commercial unit on Wapping High St

My representations to the developer:

Dear Sirs,

Re: Application Number: PA/14/03062, LPRN: 6025556

125-129 Wapping High Street, 13-15 Cinnamon Street and 14-16 Clegg Street, London by Wapping High Street Limited

As the planning consultants for the above development in my ward, I should be grateful if you could feed the following comments to the developers for their consideration before this application goes before officers and then committee.

You will be aware that I attended the consultation event at Raines House at which we were presented with some initial plans, and I shared with you some very loose initial thoughts on the application. Since that time, I have had time to look over the plans in detail and have received representations from people in the ward about the development which I summarise below along with my own thoughts.

I would appreciate it if you could ensure these comments are passed to the developer in the hope that they are receptive to the views of local people and the ward member. I am copying in the planning officer also.

-              Site C height and bulk. The existing building on this site is a small warehouse occupied by a car mechanic and, while in daily use, has little impact on the area in terms of pedestrian or car traffic. It is proposed in its place that a row of three storey townhouses is erected that will back onto the existing chain of homes on Cinnamon Street. The impact on those homes will be potentially significant loss of light from the bulk of the new building and loss of privacy since it possible that the new building will give direct views into existing homes on Cinnamon and Clave Street. This is understandably a cause of huge concern among existing residents.

-              Site C is a row of town houses intended for family occupation. As far as I can see, there will be no commensurate green space attached to these homes for children to enjoy. As you know from my initial email, I should like to see s106/CIL monies retained specifically for the local area, not diverted elsewhere in the borough, and given over to the improvement of the green space between Prusom Street, Inglefield Square and Wapping Lane. This patch of green space has become a problem area for anti-social behaviour and were landscaping carried out that encouraged frequent pedestrian flow between Wapping Lane’s shops and the surrounding residential blocks, this ASB could be deterred. Pleasant seating areas, children’s play facilities and more sophisticated planting could encourage better use of the space by all residents, and help erode the sense of divide between Wapping Lane and Prusom Street. Working with Tower Hamlets Homes, the adjoining pieces of land around Inglefield Sq, Doughty Court and Oswell House could be incorporated as part of that regeneration and help expand the green spaces available for residents to enjoy, while discouraging the current problem of flytipping.

-              Everyone is keen for the cobbles to be retained on the roads but they are not easy to walk on. This makes it even more important that the pavements are easily navigable, yet it seems the narrowness of pavement next to site C will be retained. Given that this has been designated for family homes, it seems life will be very difficult for those residents using prams, pushchairs or wheelchairs. I would recommend the widening of the pavements around all three sites, with a very gentle slope down to the cobbled roads to make it easier for the above groups to get around.

-              Site A. There is concern that the scale of the development will change the character of the area, damaging its unique industrial heritage. The proposed buildings on the main site are greater in height than any of the existing Victorian warehouses and the number of units is very high considering the existing pressure on these narrow, cobbled streets. There is serious concern over loss of light and privacy for the properties on Clave Street, with the potential for living rooms and bedrooms to be directly seen into.

- Site B backs onto Tasman House yet is one storey higher. This again has implications in terms of restricting light into properties in this block, as well as implications for privacy as balconies look directly into Tasman bedrooms and bathrooms. Residents in this block are concerned that the new building will dwarf their own and be out of keeping with the current aesthetic of Clegg Street, the former LCC blocks and, indeed, with other proposed buildings in this development. As a practical improvement, they recommend balconies look instead onto Clegg Street and that the look of the building reflects the new town houses proposed rather than the rather out-of-keeping, monolithic block that has been suggested for this part of the development.

-              Even if this is marked as a car free development, it is unrealistic not to expect significant uplift in vehicles in the area at evenings and weekends from such a high density proposal and it is unclear how this will be catered for. Every road that reaches the site is narrow and Cinnamon Street itself has a tricky junction with Wapping Lane that is particularly difficult to navigate when the D3 or 100 bus is approaching. These are all matters in need of greater consideration and potential CIL investment in roads.

-              There is a loss of commercial space offset only by the provision of a small retail unit fronting Wapping High Street. I understand that the developer argues this could be difficult to let due to the constraints of its internal space. A frequent comment from residents is that while one of Wapping’s great attractions is its peaceful atmosphere, it could equally benefit from a little more street life such that it is not simply seen as a backwater but a proper community with accompanying amenity. It has been suggested by some residents that more of the site is retained for commercial purposes, perhaps light industry, and that in making this a mixed-use development rather than a residential one, it would make a far richer contribution to the existing community.

-              I should like to see any new building reflect the long-lasting quality of existing buildings with materials sympathetic to the heritage and style of Wapping’s historical warehouses.

I would appreciate it if these views could be shared and given due consideration.

Best wishes,

Julia

Junction under pressure on Wapping Lane

Junction under pressure on Wapping Lane

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