Tobacco Dock Hotel Site

tobacco site2Turning into Wapping Lane from the Highway, Wapping residents will recognise the dormant Tobacco Dock hotel site which has lain undeveloped and unloved for far too many years now. It was hoped when planning permission was given to build an aparthotel on the site that we would finally see this eyesore dealt with. Instead, the site has become even grubbier as the hoardings guarding it have gotten more graffitied and ratty-looking.
Following resident complaints, I am trying to get the council to take notice so that the owners of the site are, at the very least, ‘strongly encouraged’ to take better care of this prime Wapping land. We were recently given a presentation by a former Met police officer turned anti-social behaviour guru about the raft of powers now available to councils to penalise this sort of poor stewardship, and I have suggested that the council uses these powers to improve the look of this site. tobacco site
A bit of correspondence on the matter for everyone’s info.

—–Original Message—–
From: Julia Dockerill
Sent: 05 February 2017 12:49
Subject: FW: Wapping Lane Hotel

Janet,
I’d be grateful if the Wapping Lane site adjacent to Tobacco Dock could be investigated. There is planning permission for an aparthotel opposite Tobacco Dock but no works have begun. Instead, the site is overgrown and surrounded by dangerous and ugly hoardings. It is an absolute eyesore.
I attended the council’s ASB workshop on Wednesday at which councillors were advised of a range of new powers available to the council to tackle this sort of thing. I should be grateful if a senior officer could look into this with a view to issuing an order against the site owners to clean this up or face a substantial fine.
I look forward to hearing back from them.
Best wishes,
Julia

On: 13 February 2017 11:48wrote:

Dear Cllr Dockerill

I am writing to you with regard to your query concerning the parcel of land opposite Tobacco Dock, on the junction of Wapping Lane and The Highway. Following an assessment of the site, and in light of the fact that the site is opposite a Grade I listed building (Tobacco Dock), I am now in the process of  contacting all of the parties who hold an interest in the site to establish what their intentions are for the site in the immediate future. I will also be asking them to take steps to improve the appearance of the site by repairing and repainting the surrounding wooden hoardings and to cut back the overgrown vegetation which protrudes above the hoarding.

I will of course provide you with a further update in due course. If the meantime you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact me.

Regards

Planning Compliance Officer
Development & Renewal
London Borough of Tower Hamlets Council

From: Julia Dockerill
Sent: 13 February 2017 12:01
Subject: Re: Land At the South East Junction of The Highway & Wapping Lane, London, E1W 2SF

Thank you, I appreciate your work. The site has been a mess for a long time now and I’d be grateful if you could explore what penalty fines can be issued in the event that the site falls into disrepair again. I think it needs to be made clear to the owners when you make the approach that it’s in their financial interests to ensure the site is in decent nick. They are a big landowner in Wapping and it’s about time TH made it clear that their sloppy stewardship cannot continue.

Best wishes,

Julia

Cllr Julia Dockerill
Conservative Councillor for St Katharine’s & Wapping, London Borough of Tower Hamlets
www.wappingconservatives.com
@wappingtories

 

From: “towerhamlets.gov.uk>
Subject: RE: Land At the South East Junction of The Highway & Wapping Lane, London, E1W 2SF
Date: 13 February 2017 12:51
To: “Julia Dockerill” <Julia.dockerill@towerhamlets.gov.uk>

Dear Julia

Further to my previous email, I note from the Councils  planning records that consent was granted on the 07/02/2012 in respect of the “Redevelopment of the site to provide a 242 room hotel (class C1), 63 serviced apartments (sui-generis) and retail (class A1) building with publicly accessible courtyard together with provision of vehicular and pedestrian access” (our ref: PA/11/01278). Condition 1 attached to this permission states that “The development allowed by this permission must begin within 3 years from the date of this decision”.

Whilst I understand that some works, albeit minor from what I could see during my visit, have taken place (i.e. excavation) the Council will need to assess whether this is enough to be able to say that the works have indeed ‘begun’. This is crucial in making a determination as to whether the aforementioned planning permission is still extant or whether it has now lapsed.

It in the meantime if it is felt that the owners have failed to maintain their land in an appropriate manner to such an extent that it is now detrimental to the visual amenity of the area then the Local Planning Authority will consider  the service of an improvement notice (S215 Notice) to improve the appearance of the land.

Regards

Planning Compliance Officer
Development & Renewal

London Borough of Tower Hamlets Council

 

 

 

 

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