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Horden Cherry Lee submits contentious Robin Hood Gardens plans

Horden Cherry Lee has submitted an outline planning application for its controversial £500 million project to redevelop Robin Hood Gardens in Poplar, east London

The high-profile Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and Tower Hamlets Council-backed proposal will create 1,700 new homes on the site of the 1970s Alison and Peter Smithson-designed housing estate which will be demolished.

The Twentieth Century Society led a campaign to save the buildings however culture secretary Andy Burnham granted the buildings a five-year ‘immunity from listing’ in 2009.

Named Blackwall Reach, the regeneration scheme, pursued in partnership with developers Swan Housing Association and Countryside Properties, would feature 700 socially rent and shared ownership homes alongside public realm improvements.

Horden Cherry Lee prepared the outline planning application with Aedas, which is working for Swan and Countryside. The developers are expected to submit an Aedas-designed detailed planning application for part of the scheme soon.

Lutfur Rahman, mayor of local authority Tower Hamlets Council, said: ‘The Blackwall Reach project is truly exciting. It will enable us to deliver a net gain of affordable homes, including many family homes, to meet the growing need in the borough.’

HCA London director Jackie Jacob added: ‘We believe that the outline application represents an excellent opportunity to improve the quality of life for local people in the Blackwall Reach area. The proposal corresponds with our commitment to supporting the highest quality design and putting residents’ needs at the forefront of delivering new homes.’ 

Aedas, Glenn Howells and Jestico + Whiles worked on Swan and Countryside Properties’ bid which was chosen in February last year. A competing bid by L&Q and Telford Homes, which employed HTA and Squire and Partners was dismissed, despite claims it was the residents’ favourite.

One year ago, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects unveiled an alternative scheme for the estate, setting out a vision for the refurbishment and reconfiguration of the structure’s dilapidated 213 flats.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Knocking down perfectly good (arguably excellent) buildings that need an Urban Splash treatment. Re-building on virtually the same footprint. Such a waste and shortsighted. What is needed is a more "nuanced" approach.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Knocking down perfectly good (arguably excellent) buildings that need an Urban Splash treatment. Re-building on virtually the same footprint. Such a waste and shortsighted. What is needed is a more "nuanced" approach.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

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