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Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners hits back at CABE's Wood Wharf criticisms

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Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has hit back at claims by CABE that its massive, high-rise Wood Wharf scheme on the Isle of Dogs in East London could create a ‘ghetto’.

The practice told the AJ that the comments, which were only published last week, are already ‘out of date’ and do not take into account significant alterations to the 454,000m2 mixed-use project in London’s Docklands.

In its report, dated 15 August, the design watchdog’s review panel claimed the 7ha, 1,400-home proposals should not be given planning permission, warning that ‘a ghetto [could] develop in the eastern end of the site [due] to the high proportion of the affordable accommodation that is currently proposed.’

The commission also said that while ‘generally very supportive’, it had concerns about ‘the spatial potential of the commercial heart’ of the development next to Canary Wharf.

A spokesman for Rogers Stirk Harbour + partners said: ‘We would emphasise that these comments are out of date since the scheme has moved forward considerably following detailed discussions with officers at the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.’

The practice added that the affordable-housing elements had also been reconsidered. A spokesman said: ‘In consultation with specialist affordable-housing expertise, we originally sought to place the affordable, social-rented and intermediate housing closest to the new park and to the existing residential community on the eastern side of the site with good local access, rather than locating it on quaysides adjacent to office buildings.'

He added: ‘Following ongoing and extensive dialogue with London Borough of Tower Hamlets and with the local community both before and following the submission of the planning application, a broad consensus on how the various elements of the scheme are integrated across the whole development has been reached.’

The scheme, which has only been submitted for outline planning, has yet to be determined by the planning authority.

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