Planning Inspectorate overrules Tower Hamlets Council and decides to approve contentious split-site, housing-led schemes by Robin Partington and Peter Barber in Shoreditch, east London
Two years ago the council rejected proposals for a 14-storey scheme designed by Robin Partington Architects on the Huntingdon industrial estate, and a sister development on the nearby Fleet Street Hill site by Peter Barber Architects.
The moves marks a major victory for developer Londonewcastle in its long-running attempt to regenerate the City fringe plots close to AHMM’s Tea Building and the controversial, high-rise Bishopsgate Goods Yard project (see AJ 12.08.15).
A previous concept for the Huntingdon estate - a 23-storey twisting tower by Amanda Levete Architects - had also been thrown out by Tower Hamlets (see AJ 15.11.12), prompting Londonewcastle to bring in Robin Partington to work on a lower, 78-unit brick-clad ‘warehouse-style’ design.
But community groups JAG and OPEN Shoreditch remained unconvinced by the revised scheme by Robin Partington, claiming it went against the council’s policy on mixed-tenure housing, was too high and inappropriate for its setting.
However, the appeal win paves the way for work to begin on the two linked schemes before the end of next year.
Peter Barber of Peter Barber Architects said: ‘We are really pleased to have secured permission for the Fleet Street Hill proposals. The scheme will dramatically transform a strategically important site next to Brick Lane that has previously been dilapidated and vacant.
‘We hope it will significantly improve the lives of those who will live and work there, those who live and work nearby, and those who just happen to pass through the new mews streets and squares.’
Previous story (AJ 22.11.13)
Rejected: new setback for Londonewcastle’s Shoreditch scheme
Plans for a contentious 14-storey scheme designed by Robin Partington Architects (RPA) in Shoreditch, East London, have been dealt a blow after a council committee resolved to reject the proposals
The plans for the Huntingdon industrial estate area - a replacement for Amanda Levete Architects’ abandoned 23-storey twisting tower scheme (AJ 15.11.12) - were considered by Tower Hamlets’ strategic development committee at a meeting last night (21 November).
Planning officers had recommended approval for the mixed-use scheme which was submitted along with a sister project for the nearby Fleet Street Hill site by Peter Barber Architects (AJ 14.08.13).
However the committee members rejected the mainly brick RPA project, raising concerns about the impact on the heritage assets, essentially the height of the building, on part of the site which is a conservation area.
Fears were also raised about the tenure mix of the 78 flats in the scheme.
The previous Amanda Levete-designed skyscraper plans were dropped last year in favour of the shorter 14-storey, ‘warehouse style’ building by RPA on the sensitive site between AHMM’s Tea Building and artist Rachel Whiteread’s studio.
Community group’s JAG and OPEN Shoreditch have been campaigning against the scheme, developed by Londonewcastle, claiming that it went against the council’s policy on mixed tenure housing, was too high and was inappropriate to its setting. The organisation had even drawn up an alternative scheme (see below).
JAGO Action Group co-chair Rebecca Collings said that the committee decision had ‘restored her faith in democracy’.
A statement from the developers said: ‘Londonewcastle is extremely disappointed with the decision made by councillors to not follow officer’s recommendation to grant resolution for planning to the residential-led mixed use schemes at Fleet Street Hill and the Huntingdon Estates sites
‘These schemes would have delivered both high quality, design led affordable and private housing at a time when there is a growing need for good quality housing stock in London and would have created numerous employment opportunities through the commercial element of the scheme. We are now considering our options on how to take these proposed schemes forward.’