Central Area Good Growth SPD

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Tower Hamlets adopted the Central Area Good Growth SPD on 28 July 2021.

The Central Area Good Growth Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) provides design guidelines supporting the development of high-quality, small-scale housing developments in the central sub-area of the borough. The SPD’s design guidelines are based on a character appraisal of the area to ensure that residential developments on small sites are sympathetic to the surrounding context and that anticipated development and growth is achieved in a balanced and positive way. The SPD is a material consideration for developments on small sites located in the Central Area of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, although it may also provide guidance that is applicable for residential developments on small sites located elsewhere in the borough.

The Central Area Good Growth SPD was prepared under Regulations 11 to 16 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012. Early-stage feedback was incorporated into the draft that was presented for public consultation, which took place between January and February 2021. A summary of the comments received during the public consultations and the Council’s response to them are set out in the Consultation Statement also available on the Council’s website.

Copies of the adopted SPD will be made available for public inspection at Idea Stores in Tower Hamlets.

Why is this SPD needed and how does it relate to the Local Plan?

In order to deliver much-needed homes and to plan for housing growth, the Tower Hamlets Local Plan 2031 directs housing delivery by identifying four sub-areas to positively manage development opportunities and change at the strategic level. The sub-area found at the central part of the borough is known as the Central Area. The Central Area has a well-established character, with several conservation areas and listed buildings, as well as some of the borough’s key green spaces such as Victoria Park and Mile End.

The area is formed of several neighbourhoods, or character places, as the map below shows:

Map showing Tower Hamlets and the boundary of the Central Area within it. The map also shows each of the 10 character places with a different colour.

With limited land available for significant redevelopment and a sensitive character, it is expected that the Central Area will go through a gradual intensification through small-scale housing developments that are sensitive to the existing context. These may include roof/rear extensions to existing buildings, estate infills and new build developments.

The Central Area Good Growth Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) aims to:

  • Provide guidance to help deliver housing growth
  • Help to ensure new developments respect and enhance the well-established character of this part of the borough
  • Encourage good quality, sustainable housing
  • Allow for a variety of housing solutions and promote innovation where possible
  • Support those involved in putting forward development proposals such as residents, homeowners, community groups, SMEs, developers and associated agents by providing more certainty on the council's aspirations
  • Describe the character and buildings of the Central Area to inform context-led design

What does the SPD cover?

The Central Area Good Growth SPD provides design guidance to ensure that new small-scale housing developments proposed in the Central Area are of a high design quality and that they respond to and enhance the area’s distinctive and valued character. The SPD is informed by an updated character study of the different neighbourhoods in the Central Area, including descriptions of existing scale, urban grain and typologies. By providing design guidance directly informed by existing character, the SPD will promote Good Growth in the Central Area.


If you would like to get in touch with the project team with further questions/comments please email placeshaping@towerhamlets.gov.uk



Outline of the Central Area of Tower Hamlets:


Outline of the Central Area of Tower Hamlets


Tower Hamlets adopted the Central Area Good Growth SPD on 28 July 2021.

The Central Area Good Growth Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) provides design guidelines supporting the development of high-quality, small-scale housing developments in the central sub-area of the borough. The SPD’s design guidelines are based on a character appraisal of the area to ensure that residential developments on small sites are sympathetic to the surrounding context and that anticipated development and growth is achieved in a balanced and positive way. The SPD is a material consideration for developments on small sites located in the Central Area of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, although it may also provide guidance that is applicable for residential developments on small sites located elsewhere in the borough.

The Central Area Good Growth SPD was prepared under Regulations 11 to 16 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012. Early-stage feedback was incorporated into the draft that was presented for public consultation, which took place between January and February 2021. A summary of the comments received during the public consultations and the Council’s response to them are set out in the Consultation Statement also available on the Council’s website.

Copies of the adopted SPD will be made available for public inspection at Idea Stores in Tower Hamlets.

Why is this SPD needed and how does it relate to the Local Plan?

In order to deliver much-needed homes and to plan for housing growth, the Tower Hamlets Local Plan 2031 directs housing delivery by identifying four sub-areas to positively manage development opportunities and change at the strategic level. The sub-area found at the central part of the borough is known as the Central Area. The Central Area has a well-established character, with several conservation areas and listed buildings, as well as some of the borough’s key green spaces such as Victoria Park and Mile End.

The area is formed of several neighbourhoods, or character places, as the map below shows:

Map showing Tower Hamlets and the boundary of the Central Area within it. The map also shows each of the 10 character places with a different colour.

With limited land available for significant redevelopment and a sensitive character, it is expected that the Central Area will go through a gradual intensification through small-scale housing developments that are sensitive to the existing context. These may include roof/rear extensions to existing buildings, estate infills and new build developments.

The Central Area Good Growth Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) aims to:

  • Provide guidance to help deliver housing growth
  • Help to ensure new developments respect and enhance the well-established character of this part of the borough
  • Encourage good quality, sustainable housing
  • Allow for a variety of housing solutions and promote innovation where possible
  • Support those involved in putting forward development proposals such as residents, homeowners, community groups, SMEs, developers and associated agents by providing more certainty on the council's aspirations
  • Describe the character and buildings of the Central Area to inform context-led design

What does the SPD cover?

The Central Area Good Growth SPD provides design guidance to ensure that new small-scale housing developments proposed in the Central Area are of a high design quality and that they respond to and enhance the area’s distinctive and valued character. The SPD is informed by an updated character study of the different neighbourhoods in the Central Area, including descriptions of existing scale, urban grain and typologies. By providing design guidance directly informed by existing character, the SPD will promote Good Growth in the Central Area.


If you would like to get in touch with the project team with further questions/comments please email placeshaping@towerhamlets.gov.uk



Outline of the Central Area of Tower Hamlets:


Outline of the Central Area of Tower Hamlets


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Where are the good examples of small housing developments?

8 months

Use the map to point out any housing schemes within the borough that you think are successful examples. We want to know which housing projects that have been delivered in the past couple of years that you like. This can include roof/rear extensions to existing buildings, estate infills and new build developments. You can also upload a picture if you have one.

CLOSED: This map consultation has concluded.
Page last updated: 20 August 2021, 15:37