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Make’s contentious Canary Wharf tower approved at appeal

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Make Architects has won consent at appeal for a 49-storey housing tower close to Canary Wharf which had initially been rejected for being ‘too large’

The 332-home scheme in London’s Docklands was approved by government planning inspector Colin Ball a year after it was turned down by Tower Hamlets Council.

The proposals for 225 Marsh Wall, backed by client Cubitt Properties and development manager LBS Properties, will feature a range of flats from one to four bedrooms.

The £230 million scheme will include 71 affordable homes and almost 1,000m2 of commercial space as well as a public square.

An earlier attempt to build a 56-storey tower on the same site was withdrawn by developer Cubitt Property Holdings in 2016 after being recommended for refusal by planning officers. Make and Cubitt then submitted the shorter building in December that year.

This was recommended for approval by planning officers at Tower Hamlets, but councillors on the strategic development committee overruled their advice.

Rejecting the application last autumn, the committee said: ‘The proposed scale, height and massing would result in a development that fails to present a human scale of development at street level, is too large for the plot size, is overbearing, is unduly prominent in local views and detracts from the low-rise character of the area to the south and east.’

However, after visiting the site several times and following a five-day inquiry, Ball has now approved the scheme.

‘The site is in a location identified as appropriate for a tall building,’ he said. ‘This proposal would deliver a high-quality, high-density residential development and public realm on Marsh Wall, complementing the tall building cluster in Canary Wharf while respecting its existing surroundings.’

Make lead architect Frank Filskow hailed the role of technology in getting the proposals through planning.

‘This is the first time we have used virtual reality to help the inspector assess the scheme on site,’ he said, ‘and it made a real difference.

’At a time when it is agreed that more homes need to be built that provide amenities and community benefits, we are delighted with this result.’ 

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