2000 Homes Scrapped to Save Petrol Station on the Isle of Dogs

Planning is about choices.  If you dont want to build on Londons Green Belt you need 1,000s of developments like this one- bad choice.

East London Advertiser.

The controversial skyscraper plans to redevelop the huge Asda supermarket site on the Isle of Dogs have been withdrawn.

How Asda skyscraper proposal would look like form Crossharbour DLR station. Picture: Ashbourne Beech

The battle is the second “victory for the people” of London’s East End within three months after rival food chain Sainsbury’s withdrew their skyscraper plans for Whitechapel.

Asda’s proposed ‘Crossharbour district shopping centre’ brought fierce opposition when it was first mooted in 2011 which was given Tower Hamlets planning consent in November, 2014 for shops, cafés, offices and 850 new homes.

But Ashbourne Beech developers then came up with an even more ambitious scheme for double the number of homes and began public consultations and a public exhibition last year at Café Forever in Glengall Grove.

They didn’t plan for the overwhelming wave of objectors who feared the “wall of skyscrapers” 33 storeys high would overshadow Mudchute Farm, Millwall Park and hundreds of homes at Cubitt Town.

Arial view of huge Asda site overlooking Millwall Park open space at the Isle of Dogs. Picture: Ashbourne Beech


Among many objections was condemnation of the Asda petrol station closing without being replaced—leaving no fill-up for car-owners anywhere on ‘the island’.

“It’s down to ‘people’ power through sheer weight of objections,” a delighted councillor Peter Golds told the East London Advertiser.

“We fought this for years and have managed to engage the community—so the developers can’t claim they’re representing anybody with this crass example of over-development.

“The original 2011 scheme for 850 homes was considered excessive. The 2,000 new homes in towers rising to 33 stories would have dominated Crossharbour and Mudchute Park.

Cllr Golds, who represents a large swathe of the Isle of Dogs, is calling for planners to recognise that the petrol station “is an essential local service” that should remain.

“The Island cannot sustain massive development without services,” he added. “The 850 new homes was regarded as ‘over-development’—so what on earth is 2,000 new homes?

Asda pulled out on Friday, the second major development to hit the buffers after Sainsbury’s nine weeks ago withdrew its 28-storey tower proposed at Whitechapel, regarded as a “people’s victory” by tenants of the historic Grade I-listed 1695 Trinity Green almshouses 200ft away, which would have been overshadowed. Sainsbury’s agreed to reduce the height to eight storeys and intends to resubmit its application.


One thought on “2000 Homes Scrapped to Save Petrol Station on the Isle of Dogs

  1. The petrol station is important but not the only reason we objected locally.

    We had four petrol stations locally, two closed in the last year (one for a new Galliard development). The last one is a Texaco on Cotton Street, which is small and sometimes inaccessible at rush hour due to backlogs of vehicles trying to get into Blackwall Tunnel. The remaining stations are some distance away on roads often full to capacity. In 2011 50% of households in the area had a car or van as the Isle of Dogs only received proper public transport in the late 80’s (DLR) many properties built for car use.

    We do not currently have an electric charging alternative (although locally we are working on this), even the proposed new development did not have more then 10% electric car charging points, none for the bus stand.

    There are other factors
    1. Height up to 38 storeys – in principle development is supposed to step down in height as you move away from 1 Canada Square – but we are creating a plateau – next door buildings all 2 or 3 storey – but 45 storey Baltmore Wharf
    2. The site is also meant to be our District centre but did not really detail how it fitted into wider area – not all the developers fault but also because Local Plan lacks detail – this was my biggest personal objection
    3. New 3 form primary entry school – a stones throw away from existing schools but with one cafe in the way, missed opportunity to have schools connected together
    4. Transport capacity concerns especially over Crossharbour DLR – as a reminded the densest road in the UK Millharbour is accessible from Crossharbour as well – we have lots of development happening locally
    5. That the new ASDA would actually not be big enough given the huge increase in local population expected (circa 56,000 today going to 115,000 maybe 150,000 people)
    6. The site is next to one of the jewels of London, Mudchute Farm, and there were concerns about the impact on the farm right next door (as a reminder we never saw the actual detailed planning application with sunlight daylight analysis as the application was pulled before we saw the detail)
    7. The cumulative impact of having more development then anywhere else in the UK in such a small area which is also an island. We currently have under construction residential towers of
    75, 68, 67, 63, 60, 55, 53 storeys in height plus a whole gaggle of 40-50 storey towers.

    Not forgetting the large amount of office construction underway in Canary Wharf itself. The GLA want us to add office space for another 110,000 workers

    Anywhere else in the UK delivering that much?

    The site already had planning permission for 850 homes up to 23 storey in height and a new ASDA. It was unclear why it had to go to 2,000 homes and up to 38 storey when 2009 Area Action Plan talked about 400-500 new homes on this site.

    The GLA are working on a new Opportunity Area Planning Framework for the Isle of Dogs and some of the draft numbers in that are stupendous given that you can walk across the area in 25 minutes.

    Councillor Andrew Wood
    Canary Wharf ward

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