Turnaround for Watts Grove after securing £7 million

Watts Grove Depot. Pic: Robert Scarth.

Watts Grove Depot. Pic: Robert Scarth.

A multi-million pound housing project that was scrapped last year is now back on track after securing funding from the Greater London Authority.

The turn around for the Watts Grove Development in Bromley-by-Bow was agreed at a Tower Hamlets council cabinet meeting last week.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman said that the council has secured a grant of £7 million from the Greater London Authority to provide 149 homes as in the original plans, but at “ a significantly lower cost to the council”.

Rahman added: “By refusing to budge on our commitment to value for money, we’ve saved the council millions, and at the same time, secured the homes that residents much need. This is the approach that Tower Hamlets needs to tackle our historic housing problems.”

The development project at the Watts Grove Depot site was originally put off last July as the Mayor had felt that it “did not give value for money”. The council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee heard that more than £300,000 had already been spent on the project, largely on legal, financial and management advice.

The U-turn has been welcomed by some who said that Watts Grove will help to tackle the housing needs in the borough, which has about 20,000 people on the council’s housing waiting list.

Abdal Ullah, Labour’s housing spokesperson, said: “For six months we have been urging Lutfur Rahman to reconsider his decision to scrap these 149 homes, we are glad he has finally decided to listen.”

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