Tower Hamlets Supplementary Guidance

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Planning impacts on our everyday lives and influences the character of environment – our borough. It is because of this that we need the guidance to help plan for our future and shape the places we live.

The overarching document that guides planning in the borough is the Tower Hamlets Local Plan (2020). The Local Plan provides spatial policies, development management policies and site allocations to guide and manage development across the entire borough.

In order to expand on the planning guidance in the Local Plan, several additional Supplementary Planning Documents or ‘SPDs’ have been developed. These planning documents often have a specific focus or study area, which offers an added level of tailored guidance to the Local Plan policies.

We're talking with residents, businesses, community groups and developers to guide the future planning framework so we want to hear your views to make sure future developments work for the community.


Adopted guidance


Central Area Good Growth SPD

The Central Area Good Growth Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was adopted on 28 July 2021.

This 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.


Queen Mary University London SPD

The Queen Mary University London Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was adopted on 28 July 2021.

This masterplan for the Queen Mary University London campus in Mile End outlines the development opportunity for the campus and seeks to ensure proposals are in line with the interests of the local community and stakeholders.

The SPD also takes into consideration the important spatial context surrounding the campus, including the Mile End Hospital, the Regent's Canal and Mile End Park.


Reuse Recycling and Waste SPD

The Reuse, Recycle and Waste Supplementary Planning Document was adopted on 28 July 2021.

This SPD provides guidance to ensure the delivery of the Council’s adopted Local Plan policies with regard to the storage and management of recyclables and waste, and the implementation of high-quality on-site waste management systems. The SPD sets out guidance for developers on how reuse, recycling and waste management should be addressed in proposals for new residential and mixed-use development.


South Poplar Masterplan SPD

The South Poplar Masterplan Supplementary Planning Document was adopted on 28 July 2021.

The South Poplar Masterplan SPD provides supplementary guidance to ensure the vision and objectives set out in the Local Plan and Isle of Dogs and South Poplar Opportunity Area Planning Framework are delivered. This masterplan area covers approximately 30 hectares of land through South Poplar and Canary Wharf and has been adopted to enable clear and robust guidance to inform and be implemented in development proposals coming forward in the very near future.

The SPD seeks to sustainably manage anticipated growth in the area, ensure appropriate public benefit is extracted from development opportunities and ensure that the benefits of growth is delivered and shared across the wider South Poplar community.


High Density Living SPD

The High Density Living Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was adopted on 16 December 2020.

The High Density Living SPD provides supplementary guidance on the design of high density residential and mixed use developments. The SPD supports the Local Plan, in particular:

  • Policy S.DH1 - Delivering high quality design
  • Policy D.DH7 - Density.

The SPD pledges to improve the quality and fairness of housing and make development work better for Tower Hamlets residents.


Planning Obligations SPD

The Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document was adopted on 24 March 2021.

The SPD explains the council's approach to planning obligations and aims to clarify the types of planning obligations that may be sought and the method for calculating the amount of these obligations.


Upcoming consultations:

Tall Buildings SPD

This SPD seeks to set out guidance on the design and planning of tall buildings across the entire the borough. This policy will set parameters for tall building development outside of the designated Tall Building Zone.

Consultation: Autumn 2021

Leaside Area Action Plan

This project will create an Area Action Plan (AAP) that sets out policies for growth and regeneration in the Leaside area from now until 2031.

The policies will cover the south east of Tower Hamlets, including City Island, Teviot Estate and Aberfeldy Estate.


Planning impacts on our everyday lives and influences the character of environment – our borough. It is because of this that we need the guidance to help plan for our future and shape the places we live.

The overarching document that guides planning in the borough is the Tower Hamlets Local Plan (2020). The Local Plan provides spatial policies, development management policies and site allocations to guide and manage development across the entire borough.

In order to expand on the planning guidance in the Local Plan, several additional Supplementary Planning Documents or ‘SPDs’ have been developed. These planning documents often have a specific focus or study area, which offers an added level of tailored guidance to the Local Plan policies.

We're talking with residents, businesses, community groups and developers to guide the future planning framework so we want to hear your views to make sure future developments work for the community.


Adopted guidance


Central Area Good Growth SPD

The Central Area Good Growth Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was adopted on 28 July 2021.

This 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.


Queen Mary University London SPD

The Queen Mary University London Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was adopted on 28 July 2021.

This masterplan for the Queen Mary University London campus in Mile End outlines the development opportunity for the campus and seeks to ensure proposals are in line with the interests of the local community and stakeholders.

The SPD also takes into consideration the important spatial context surrounding the campus, including the Mile End Hospital, the Regent's Canal and Mile End Park.


Reuse Recycling and Waste SPD

The Reuse, Recycle and Waste Supplementary Planning Document was adopted on 28 July 2021.

This SPD provides guidance to ensure the delivery of the Council’s adopted Local Plan policies with regard to the storage and management of recyclables and waste, and the implementation of high-quality on-site waste management systems. The SPD sets out guidance for developers on how reuse, recycling and waste management should be addressed in proposals for new residential and mixed-use development.


South Poplar Masterplan SPD

The South Poplar Masterplan Supplementary Planning Document was adopted on 28 July 2021.

The South Poplar Masterplan SPD provides supplementary guidance to ensure the vision and objectives set out in the Local Plan and Isle of Dogs and South Poplar Opportunity Area Planning Framework are delivered. This masterplan area covers approximately 30 hectares of land through South Poplar and Canary Wharf and has been adopted to enable clear and robust guidance to inform and be implemented in development proposals coming forward in the very near future.

The SPD seeks to sustainably manage anticipated growth in the area, ensure appropriate public benefit is extracted from development opportunities and ensure that the benefits of growth is delivered and shared across the wider South Poplar community.


High Density Living SPD

The High Density Living Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was adopted on 16 December 2020.

The High Density Living SPD provides supplementary guidance on the design of high density residential and mixed use developments. The SPD supports the Local Plan, in particular:

  • Policy S.DH1 - Delivering high quality design
  • Policy D.DH7 - Density.

The SPD pledges to improve the quality and fairness of housing and make development work better for Tower Hamlets residents.


Planning Obligations SPD

The Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document was adopted on 24 March 2021.

The SPD explains the council's approach to planning obligations and aims to clarify the types of planning obligations that may be sought and the method for calculating the amount of these obligations.


Upcoming consultations:

Tall Buildings SPD

This SPD seeks to set out guidance on the design and planning of tall buildings across the entire the borough. This policy will set parameters for tall building development outside of the designated Tall Building Zone.

Consultation: Autumn 2021

Leaside Area Action Plan

This project will create an Area Action Plan (AAP) that sets out policies for growth and regeneration in the Leaside area from now until 2031.

The policies will cover the south east of Tower Hamlets, including City Island, Teviot Estate and Aberfeldy Estate.


Page last updated: 25 August 2021, 16:54