Planners have rejected ‘excessive’ proposals by Studio Egret West to build homes on the site of an arts hub in Hackney Wick, east London
The London Legacy Development Corporation’s (LLDC) planning committee threw out the local practice’s highly-opposed scheme for 60 Dace Road, near the former 2012 Olympic Stadium.
Known as Swan Wharf, the area is currently used as a café-bar, a woodworking workshop, artists’ studios and creative office and event space.
Studio Egret West’s project, backed by developer Anderson Group, would have seen a mixture of demolition, refurbishment and new build work to provide 42 homes, 765m² of commercial space and 88 cycle spaces.
Objections came from a range of local people and bodies including Tower Hamlets Council, Save Britain’s Heritage and Historic England. Many of the concerns raised focused on fears of the new elements dwarfing existing structures and damaging the feel of the area.
The committee described the proposed six-storey Courtyard Building as being of ‘excessive height, scale, massing, detailed design and inappropriate siting’ and ruled it would cause harm to the appearance and setting of the adjacent 1912 Stable Block.
Meanwhile, a two-storey roof extension designed by Studio Egret West for the existing Warehouse Building was dismissed as ‘overly dominant’ and ‘top-heavy’. This extension would ‘unsuccessfully integrate with the existing building’ added the decision notice.
The volume of affordable housing offered and the loss of employment workspace was also criticised by the committee.
Planning officers had recommended refusal, having concluded that, although harm to the character of the Fish Island and White Post Lane Conservation Area was less than substantial, it was greater than could be outweighed by the public benefits of the scheme.
Studio Egret West declined to comment on the decision.
The practice says on its website: ‘Our proposals for Swan Wharf build upon the historical legacy of Fish Island. Through innovative design, they will provide a new chapter in the use of the site, providing new workspace to complement the existing offer, and much-needed, high-quality riverside residential [accommodation].’
‘The site contains existing buildings of varying degrees of heritage value. However, it is currently underutilised, with much of the existing building in urgent need of restoration having fallen into a state of disrepair.
’The proposals facilitate the retention and enhancement of the heritage buildings of greatest merit, an extension and a new mixed-use building.’