Updated 5th Feb 2021
St William Homes LLP, part of the Berkeley Group, proposed to build 1,286 new homes on the Bow Common Gasworks site on the south-east edge of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park.
We led a public campaign to seek a dramatic reduction in the height and scale of the buildings to minimise the detrimental effects they’ll have on wildlife and the local community. Over the last year, we’ve been in negotiations with the developers – and we’ve made some real progress!
On the 19th January 2021 the LBTH Planning Committee met and voted unanimously to approve the Bow Common Gasworks development planning application as resubmitted in July.
While we are pleased that the height of certain buildings was reduced, we’re still disappointed that the changes have not been as significant as we’d have liked.
As part of the planning agreement, the Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park have been allocated some financial mitigation. The agreement notes that we are due to receive £375,000 over the course of the development (c. 12years) to help mitigate against the detrimental impacts of the development. We will make use of this money to enhance existing habitats and create alternative habitat provision in the Cemetery Park for those species that will be irrevocably harmed. We’ve also secured a written condition on the development which states that we are to be consulted on any proposed lighting for the gasworks buildings and site. This will allow us to work with St William to reduce the impacts of light pollution on the nocturnal environment of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and its surroundings. We consider this a small win.
We’d like to thank everyone who has supported our campaign and lots of thanks and appreciation to Olivia, who supported Ken in the campaign. The work will continue for us over the coming months and years and we’ll keep you posted!
Diagram showing the changes in height to the proposed buildings
What we’ve achieved so far
The developers submitted updated plans to the council for review. The proposals include reducing the height of a number of the blocks as shown in the diagrams above and in our progress update. A second online public consultation ran until Sunday 20th September. Although there was some great progress in reducing the impact of the development on the Cemetery Park, we continue to have concerns about:
- light pollution levels and the vast extent of the overshadowing, which can be seen in the newly submitted overshadowing maps: January – March | March – June | June – August | August – November | November – December.
- the expansive early morning shadows cast onto the southern meadows by blocks A and B, which pose a threat to our carefully balanced ecosystem, read our ecology expert testimonials for details
You can find out more detailed information in our campaign newsletters: Call to action – February 2020 and Progress and next steps – August 2020.
Thank you again for your help, without people-power, none of this would have been possible!
Original plans: now amended and resubmitted
St William Homes LLP, part of the Berkeley Group, are proposing to build 1,286 new homes on the Bow Common Gasworks site on the south-east edge of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park.
The development will directly affect Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and the surrounding community in the following ways:
- The proposed site will be packed with 14 very tall buildings up to 22 stories in height (89m) and housing at the lower levels, and construction will take a minimum of 10 years.
- The shading cast by the tall buildings through the day and light pollution at night will change light conditions and have a detrimental impact on the park’s wildlife, local people’s well-being and their experience of the Cemetery Park
- Over 1200 new homes and 3000 new neighbours will permanently damage wildlife and ecosystems in and around Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, and put unsustainable pressures on local green spaces.
The Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park want to make sure that local residents are aware of the scale of the development, and the destructive impact it will have on the park and the local homes.
You can also donate to support our work at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and other green spaces we work in across Tower Hamlets.