Tower Hamlets Mayor lobbies Sadiq to review pace of developments

Isle of Dogs, Tower Hamlets. Pic: Nico Hogg

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs has called on Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to review the scale of development and ring fence money for infrastructure on the Isle of Dogs.

Biggs recently lobbied the Mayor of London on the issue when he visited the borough to launch his housing strategy consultation, and has now followed this up with a letter to City Hall.

The Opportunity Area Planning Framework identified in the London Plan for the Isle of Dogs means it is one of the areas that will play key part in the future development in the capital.

There are currently around 40,000 people living on the Isle of Dogs and this is set to more than double in the next decade.

The planned development is part of the City in the East project, which could deliver up to 260,000 homes and support 360,000 jobs across Tower Hamlets, Lewisham, Southwark and Greenwich.

The letter said the Tower Hamlets Council recognised the need for “many more homes” across London, adding that it was committed to delivering new homes, including those for affordable rent.

“However, with several decades now of continual growth – our population has doubled in 30 years – we need to be sensitive to and examine the impacts of that growth,” it read.

Biggs said he had already raised the issue with Khan and was looking forward to working with City Hall to “ensure the scale of development on the Isle of Dogs is appropriate and that adequate funding for infrastructure is ring fenced”.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London told Eastlondonlines: “Sadiq is determined to make the most of this regeneration opportunity and believes that it can play an important role in his wider efforts to tackle the capital’s housing crisis.

They said his team was “working closely” with Tower Hamlets Council to “develop a comprehensive plan to deliver this growth, while protecting existing residential and commercial communities”.

As well as raising concerns about the scale of such concentrated development on the Isle of Dogs, Biggs also called for ring fenced money for infrastructure.

He proposed the retention of the Mayoral Community Infrastructure Levy, which directs money raised from developers and directed into specific infrastructure improvements.

Councillor Rachel Blake, Cabinet Member for Strategic Development, said: “We recognise the need for more homes in the borough and are delighted that Tower Hamlets is building the most affordable homes in London.

“However, we are also making the case for proper investment in infrastructure so we create communities where people want to live,” she said.

The draft planning framework for the Isle of Dogs will be published for public consultation this autumn.

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