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KPF's super-tall Canary Wharf tower plans rejected


Plans by KPF for the 68-storey Quay House in Canary Wharf has been refused by Tower Hamlets council due to concerns of over-development.

The east London borough’s strategic development committee said the 233m-tall tower at South Quay on the Isle of Dogs was ‘overbearing’, did not integrate into the existing townscape and could ‘harm’ the local area.

The council also raised concens over a lack of a legal agreement to ‘secure affordable housing, financial and non-financial contributions’.

Councillors noted that the proposal offered: ‘A limited and compromised public realm which would not provide a high-quality setting commensurate with a building of such significant height.’

‘An insensitive relationship with South Dock southern quayside would provide little visual relief, be overbearing and fail to provide a human scale of development at street level.’ The planning report also noted that the proposal failed to provide an active and engaging frontage on its southern façade due to its awkward geometry and design at lower levels.

KPF’s skyscraper, which is among a number of proposed super-tall residential towers in Canary Wharf, included 496 flats, a sky garden; a residents’ gymnasium and swimming pool; and ground floor space dedicated to a cafe or retail units. The new tower would have replaced a three-storey 1980s office building which currently stands on the site.

Almost a quarter of the apartments had been reserved as affordable housing, however planning officers noted that the legal agreement for the housing had not been finalised before the scheme was submitted for consent.

The council also feared the scheme exceeded London density standards without justifying exceptional circumstances and would put a strain on services such as the Jubliee Line.

GLA submitted its own concerns over the scheme, stating that Quay House would host the equivalent of 9,128 habitable rooms per hectare compared to the recommended density of 1,100 rooms per hectare in the London Plan.

Following the council’s decision the application has been referred to the Mayor of London.

KPF refused to comment.


Readers' comments (3)

  • Tower Hamlet's council are being confrontational just for the sake of being confrontational. The proposed skyscraper is not
    overbearing and sits "just fine" with it's neighbours. I hope the Mayor overturns the objections

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  • Tower Hamlets is giving the green light to way too many residential towers in the isle of dogs. Overpopulation is already a big concern in the isle as there are not enough services to the residents.

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  • Tower Hamlets would appear to have bigger problems than Quay House and they are systemic. Lack of a coherent policy, no credible CIL, underesourced and under-skilled, the GLA need to accept that TH are fundamentally unable to process these complex applications with any competence. Whilst I don't believe in the GLA taking away the planing brief from TH, they should be sending in mentors & resources to get them back on a solid footing. Currently, there is little confidence in TH as a planing body and that needs to change. Pronto.

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