Central Area Good Growth SPD

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

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


CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Ask for a clarification regarding the consultation process or the document itself. 



  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    When will this guidance be seen in use in future developements?

    scharmer asked 3 months ago
    Following Public Consultation, all comments and information received will be carefully analysed and will help to inform the SPD.  It is expected that the revised SPD will be adopted in the summer 2021.
  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Where exactly is the "central area"?

    James Frankcom asked 3 months ago

    Hi James, the 'Central Area' of Tower Hamlets is the entire area highlighted on this map: