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Foster wins planning for super-tall tower on Isle of Dogs

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Foster + Partners has won approval for a new 68-storey tower on London’s Isle of Dogs which is set to become one of the tallest residential buildings in the country

The practice had originally proposed a 73-storey landmark tower and a 36-storey sister building for the South Quay site (see below). However, although the lower block was largely untouched, the tallest element of the revised 888-home scheme for Berkeley Homes was shrunk by five storeys.

Foster’s 220m-tall proposal will be slightly shorter than Squire and Partners’ proposed 75-storey City Pride tower - a 239-metre-high residential tower at the nearby South West India Dock which was rubberstamped last year (see AJ 19.07.13) .

Approved by Tower Hamlets Council on Thursday (6 November), the Berkeley Homes’ project includes the demolition of an existing 1980s office building.

Berkeley initially snapped up the South Quay Plaza site in Canary Wharf back in April 2013. The plot is earmarked for residential development under the Millennium Quarter Masterplan and, over the next 20 years, with at least 10,000 new homes proposed for the Isle of Dogs and another 6,150 in Millwall.

At the same council meeting, Glenn Howells Architects’ proposed Arrowhead Quay scheme featuring two ‘slim’ skyscrapers, which are 183m and 170m high, were also given the green light.

The skyscrapers will house 756 homes.

Last month Tower Hamlets Council was forced to rebut London Mayor Boris Johnson’s claims that he had stepped into to oversee development in the South Quay area.

Johnson said he was ‘concerned’ that the uncoordinated development of tall buildings south of Canary Wharf, warning the spate of skyscrapers lacked a clear masterplan and, therefore, could have a ‘detrimental impact’ on London’s skyline and the public realm.

However a Tower Hamlets spokeswoman said it was ‘ inaccurate’ to suggest the GLA was working with the authority due to any concerns that have been raised about the South Quay area.

‘The GLA have not ‘intervened’ in the proposed redevelopment at South Quay,’ she said.

‘As with all significant developments in the borough, South Quay has been determined by the council’s Strategic Development Committee, based on an assessment of the Tower Hamlets Local Plan and other planning guidance to include an overarching vision to improve the quality of life for everyone who lives and works in the borough.’

Previous story (AJ 07.08.13)

Foster + Partners to build tall on South Quay Plaza

Foster + Partners has been chosen to build a super-tall tower as part of the redevelopment of South Quay Plaza on London’s Isle of Dogs

Developers Berkeley snapped up the site in Canary Wharf in April 2013 and has submitted initial options for a residential tower nearly 80 storeys high, just shorter than One Canada Square.

Plans to redevelop the surrounding area will create 1.8 acres of public realm, opening up 57 per cent of the site - an increase from the 9 per cent of public space currently.  

Responding to the appointment, Grant Brooker, senior partner for Foster + Partners, said: ‘South Quay Plaza has a key role to play in revitalising this pivotal dockside location and we are absolutely delighted to have been chosen by Berkeley to work with them on this very significant project.’

South Quay Plaza occupies a prominent position on Marsh Wall and a central location on the Isle of Dogs. It comprises a small complex of shops, two office buildings and a leisure building in the North East corner, which together cover a large part of the site very little space for public use.

Planning policy identifies the need for at least 10,000 new homes across the Isle of Dogs and 6,150 within Millwall over the next 22 years.

During consultation, locals demanded better pedestrian access the site and improved links by foot between the South Quay Docklands Light Railway station, Millharbour and Canary Wharf. They also wanted an improved waterfront area and more shops throughout.

‪South Quay Plaza is set for residential development under the Millennium Quarter Masterplan, and over the next 20 years is set to include at least 10,000 new homes on the Isle of Dogs and 6,150 in Millwall.

The site is within Isle of Dogs Opportunity Area, the Canary Wharf Activity Area and the Millwall area of the Core Strategy.

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