Garden society threatens legal action over green space flats plan

The Limehouse Triangle biodiversity site where 94 flats are planned to be built.
Pic: The East London Garden Society

Opponents of a plan to build almost 100 houses on a Limehouse green space are hoping to challenge the decision in the High Court.

The construction of 94 affordable flats on a site known to locals as the Limehouse Triangle in Salmon Lane, Limehouse is expected to begin at the start of next month as part of a £37.1m project by construction company, Bouygues UK in conjunction with Tower Hamlets Council.

However, local residents are unhappy with the construction plans, causing The East London Garden Society to start a petition in a bid to ‘reclaim the Limehouse Triangle‘. 

The council has selected Bouygues UK to deliver phase four of the multi-million-pound project named, Locksley D. This project is one of four new build housing developments by Bouygues UK. Previously these plans were the completion of Bouygues UK’s last three sites within the Tower Hamlets borough: Jubilee Street, Baroness Road and Rhodeswell Road.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs said: “We’re delighted to see this project move forward…we realise the huge demand for good quality, affordable homes for residents. This development will be one hundred per cent affordable.”

Locksley D will convert a triangular piece of land, Limehouse Triangle, into a seventeen-unit, eight storey high housing development. Bouygues UK said: “This will comprise a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments for local people, including families, on the housing register.”

A representation of what the flats should look like once completed. Pic: Bouygues UK

In 2000, the Limehouse Triangle was created as part of a biodiversity plan by Tower Hamlets Council in order to form more green spaces within the local community. Although, in recent years the nature reserve has become run down and neglected but still holds significant value to local residents as an area of respite.

The East London Garden Society petition argues: “We agree more social housing is needed…but not at a cost to the existing community’s quality of life, health and wellbeing and certainly not at a cost to the environment and bio diversity.”

Geoffrey Juden, Chairman of The East London Garden Society, told East London Lines: “More appropriate sites in the area could be used for the purpose of dwellings.”

Juden said: “I, as Chairman of The East London Garden Society, with the patronage of Dame Judi Dench are to challenge a planning decision in The High Court on the felling of protected and ancient trees.” 

Dame Judi Dench was firstly approached by the society and has now become patron of the Bethnal Green Mulberry Tree situated in the Victoria Park Conservation Area. Juden said: “She is a wonderful proponent for the keeping of trees. Dame Judi is able to bring a greater awareness for the struggle of the trees, being herself one of our nation’s treasures.”

Under the petitions ‘reason for signing’ section, one supporter, Beccy S wrote: “It’s a shame that the council have gone back on their original plan to encourage biodiversity on this site. It is a valuable area, the only green space on Salmon Lane which has about six trees down its entire length.”

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