Plans to build a 12-storey tower block on green land in Virginia Quay were deferred by a London Thames Gateway Development Corporation at a meeting on Thursday in Stratford Old Town Hall.
LTGDC decided to ask for further legal guidance on the proposals after residents expressed their discontent with the plans.
The building would be located on the north riverbank, directly on top of a car park and green just 100 metres from East India station.
More than 800 people signed a petition to reject the proposed building on Newport Avenue. Tower Hamlets Council also voted unanimously to reject the proposal after a hearing of the Strategic Development Committee.
Virginia Quay residents and councillors were concerned the height of the building would reduce open space, block sunlight, and generate a sense of enclosure in the area.
Cara Moey, 37, a Virginia Quay resident said: “My children are young and they need space to run. If the building goes ahead the space will be replaced by the construction. The area would also be dangerous during the construction process.”
As reported at the time, Virginia Quay residents have had a long fight to have their voice heard by the LGTDC. Thursday night’s meeting is being seen as a victory for the local community.
“I am happy our appeal was heard and considered by the company. I think this is the best outcome we can achieve”, said Moey.
Cliff Prior, a spokesman for Tower Hamlets Council, said the vote by LTGDC to defer the development was narrow, but that he was pleased the development had been halted.
Prior said: “It is about rights for residents. Everybody that lives in this space has the right to get his or her voice heard. It’s so important to the development of the whole borough. We have to struggle hard to make our voices heard, and our efforts are not in vain. It is a real breakthrough.”
[UPDATE, 06/03/12: EastLondonLines contact the LTGDC for a clarification. The committee meeting reported above was not to decide a “formal decision” on the application. The LTGDC they had not been “clear enough”, and added that the applicants have sort legal advice and will be resubmitting later. This first has to go back Tower Hamlets council, and then the LGTDC will formally consider the application.]