Central Area Good Growth SPD

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The London Borough of Tower Hamlets has prepared the first draft of a supplementary planning guidance to support the development of high-quality housing developments in the central part of the borough. Public consultation on the draft document was held between 11th January and 21st February 2021. The public consultation draft of the emerging SPD already carries some weight in planning decisions.

What is happening now?

All comments and information received are being carefully analysed and will help to inform the revised SPD. We will publish a summary of feedback received (no personal information will be published) and how it was

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets has prepared the first draft of a supplementary planning guidance to support the development of high-quality housing developments in the central part of the borough. Public consultation on the draft document was held between 11th January and 21st February 2021. The public consultation draft of the emerging SPD already carries some weight in planning decisions.

What is happening now?

All comments and information received are being carefully analysed and will help to inform the revised SPD. We will publish a summary of feedback received (no personal information will be published) and how it was taken into account in the revised SPD. It is expected that the SPD will be adopted in the summer 2021

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, which is now in draft form, 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


  • Breakdown of Document

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    Breakdown of document and detail of content:

    You can download the full PDF of the SPD or you can download and view specific sections of the document:

    1. Introduction

    Part A - Character Appraisal

    2. Overview

    3. Central Area Character Places:

    4. Central Area Housing Typologies


    Part B - Guidelines for Good Growth

    5. Character-based Growth Principles

    6. Design Toolkit for Small Sites

    7. Design Principles for Residential Developments

    Front cover of SPD. Reads: 'Central Area Good Growth - Consultation Draft January 2021'

  • What are small sites?

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    What are Small Sites?

    For the purposes of the SPD, small sites are defined as those of up to 0.25 hectares. Developments on these sites may include roof/rear extensions to existing buildings and new build developments. The guidance contained in the SPD applies to both extensions to existing dwellings as well as the creation of new dwellings. Developments may be as small as one residential unit and there is no defined upper limit - although it is expected that in most small sites this will be up to around 40 units.

    Here are some built examples of small-scale housing developments across Tower Hamlets:

    Photo of 2-3 storey timber shingle infill development.Estate Infill (Beveridge Mews - Peter Barber Architects, Photo
    by Morley von Sternberg)


    Photo of low-rise brick along canal.Corner Infill (Old Ford Road – pH+ London, Photo by Tim Soar)


    Street Infill (Redchurch - 31/44 Architects, Photo by Rory Gardiner)


    Photo of brick base building with 2-storey roof extension in timber and slate Roof extension (Reardon Path – Proctor Matthews, Photo by Ivan Jones


  • Youth-focused Workshop

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    Join a youth-focused workshop for the Central Area Good Growth consultation on 16th February!

    The Tower Hamlets Place-Shaping team are looking for 20 young people, aged 16-25 years, from the borough, to be part of an exciting, two-hour online workshop on a new planning document on Tuesday, 16th of February 2pm-4pm . You will be reimbursed for your time with a voucher valued at £20. This is your opportunity to have your voice heard!


    ABOUT THE CENTRAL AREA GOOD GROWTH CONSULTATION

    The Central Area Good Growth consultation will run from January to February 2021. It focuses on getting input from people in the area about the proposed design guidance for the area. As part of the consultation, we want to reach out to the young residents across the borough. We believe that young people’s voice should be heard more in planning consultations, so we are proactively working to achieve that. This is especially relevant as the planning guidance we are consulting on will be adopted for a long period of time and therefore it will help to shape your future in the area.

    If you are an interested and passionate young person who fits our brief, we’d love to hear from you! See below for further details and how to apply. 👇 👇 👇



    WHAT DOES THE CONSULTATION OFFERS YOU?

    The consultation seeks to genuinely reflect young people’s voices in the development of planning guidance in the borough. You will:

    • Be part of an exciting and creative youth consultation on urban planning;
    • Represent the views of young people across Tower Hamlets;
    • Build a sense of pride and achievement, and some great content for your CV;

    ✊ We believe your time is precious, so we will reimburse you with a voucher worth £20.



    WHO CAN APPLY?

    We are looking for young people who live, work or study in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and have some knowledge of or connection to the Central Area.

    You must also be:

    • Aged 16-25;
    • Enthusiastic to get involved, gain new experiences, and develop your skills;
    • Respectful of others and eager to contribute as part of a team;
    • Able to dedicate two hours of your time on the 16 February between 2pm and 4pm.

    🤝Applications are welcomed from anyone who fulfils the criteria. No prior knowledge required.



    HOW TO APPLY

    You can apply by clicking here and completing the form. We will also ask for your consent to attend the workshop in the application process.

    👉 Applications close at 12pm on the 10th of February 2021.

    SELECTION PROCESS

    Your application will be reviewed by the team to make sure you fulfil the criteria, and you will be informed of the outcome by Friday 12th of February, 2021, via email.

    If successful, you will need to attend the workshop on the 16th of February between 2pm and 4pm. The workshop will take place over Microsoft Teams and details of how to join the session will be sent in advance.



    MORE INFORMATION

    If you have any questions about the consultation process, please contact:
    Mariana Schiller and Tamara Kahn, Place-Shaping Team at PlaceShaping@towerhamlets.gov.uk

    Click here to access the Central Area Good Growth consultation page.

  • Where is the Central Area of Tower Hamlets?

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    The 'Central Area' of Tower Hamlets is the entire area highlighted on this map: