Tower Hamlets Council refused planning permission for a 56-storey development on the Isle of Dogs because of its lack of affordable family accommodation and damaging effect on the city skyline.
The recommendation to refuse the 611ft-high tower was made at a meeting with the council’s Strategic Development Committee on Thursday night and awaits a final decision from Mayor Sadiq Khan.
A report by Aman Dalvi, Tower Hamlets Council’s director of development and renewal, said: “The development would fail to provide a satisfactory mix of housing types and tenures and fail to provide adequate family housing in both the affordable and market sectors.”
It states that applicants Cubbitt Property Holdings plan for 23.7 per cent of the 414 proposed residential units to be affordable falls below the target for the area by 11 per cent, and that there would be “over-provision of 1 bed units and an under-provision of family sized homes” as well as “inadequate on-site provision of children’s play space”.
The report raised “no objection” to the demolition of the existing building, but said the tower was an “overdevelopment which seeks to maximise not optimise the development potential of the site” and that the “height, bulk and mass” of the tower would have adverse effects on residential life, amenity space and the development of surrounding sites.
The development was also said to provide an unsuitable transition between the Canary Wharf tall buildings cluster, South Quay Plaza to the east and Dollar Bay to the west; as well as limiting the amounts of sunlight and daylight reaching surrounding sites.
Previous mayor Boris Johnson was known to approve the plans, but Khan has pledged to force developers to make half of new homes in the city affordable for low to middle income Londoners.
A spokesperson for activist group Tower Hamlets Renters said: “Developments such as these can be a nightmare for local people as rents and house prices increase and price them out of the area. And the so-called ‘affordable’ homes that are built are unaffordable to those that need them the most.
“Sadiq should only interfere in local planning decisions where councils accept less than 35 per cent social housing in an application and force them to meet their targets.”
A previous planning application for the erection of a building between 11 and 43 floors high was refused in December 2010. Planning applications for the site are being considered against the Mayor’s London Plan 2015 and the Tower Hamlets Local Plan comprising the Core Strategy 2010 and the Managing Development Document 2013.