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Boris approves PLP's Westferry tower as term nears end

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PLP Architecture got the go ahead from the mayor of London for a redevelopment of the former Westferry Printworks on the Isle of Dogs

London’s deputy mayor Edward Lister decided on the called-in scheme prepared on behalf of media company Northern & Shell at a hearing last week.

Lister was acting for Boris Johnson, whose eight-year term draws to a close this week. The decision means Johnson has now approved all 17 schemes where he elected himself de facto planning authority.  

The scheme will see the demolition of existing buildings and the creation of nine buildings of up to 30 storeys, providing 722 homes, public open space, a 1,200-pupil secondary school plus commercial and office space.

A report by Greater London Authority planners said the project would ‘deliver a high standard of residential accommodation that meets or exceeds the relevant strategic and local residential design standards’.

The 6.1ha site is located on the northern bank of Millwall Outer Dock.

PLP’s scheme was revised to increase the proportion of affordable housing from 11 per cent to 20 per cent after negotiations between the developer and the mayor.

Planners also concluded that the development would not harm the setting of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site.

In comments on the design of the scheme, they also said that the site layout would ‘provide a significant contribution towards permeability and legibility in the area’.

Although they acknowledged that the proposal would introduce tall buildings outside of a town centre, they said that ‘the form and massing of the proposals relates well to the form, proportions and scale of the existing surrounding context’.

As well as the Westferry tower, another tower in the Docklands was approved by Lister last week - Pilbrow & Partners’ Alpha Square in South Quay.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • It'll be interesting to see:

    a) how much of the 80% (reduced from 89%) 'unaffordable' housing winds up as overseas / offshore 'fast buck' investment fodder of various shades of grey,
    b) whether the architecture impresses the guardians of World Heritage sites,
    c) just what sort of 'secondary school' (surely 'academy', Boris?) it will be, in the event that it's sponsored by Northern and Shell?
    d) Given that the developers of this site, and of the Camden Lock Market area, have both grown out of the pornography industry, is this a new route to financing London's architectural diversity?

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