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Supplementary Planning Document (SPD):
A Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) is a document that adds further detail to the policies already contained within a Local Plan. They can be used to provide further guidance for development on specific sites, or on particular issues, such as design. Supplementary planning documents are capable of being a material consideration in planning decisions but are not part of the development plan.
A Local Plan is a plan that is prepared by the Local Planning Authority which sets out how the local area will be developed in the future. The plan guides decisions on whether or not planning applications can be granted.
The Tower Hamlets Local Plan 2031: Managing Growth and Sharing Benefits was adopted by Full Council on 15 January 2020. You can access the Tower Hamlets Local Plan here.
Isle of Dogs and South Poplar Opportunity Area Framework (OAPF):
The Isle of Dogs and South Poplar Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) is a document prepared by the Mayor of London and Transport for London in consultation with Tower Hamlets Council. The framework was adopted by the Mayor of London on Monday 14th October 2019. The aim of the framework is to provide greater certainty to the community on how development can be influenced and can assist in guiding developers. The coordinated planning document seeks to manage pressures of growth and secure infrastructure delivery.
Opportunity Areas are identified within the London Plan as significant locations with development capacity to accommodate new housing, commercial development and infrastructure (of all types), linked to existing or potential improvements in public transport connectivity and capacity. Opportunity Areas typically contain capacity for at least 5,000 net additional jobs or 2,500 net additional homes or a combination of the two.
Greater London Authority (GLA):
The Greater London Authority (GLA) is the top tier administrative body covering the Greater London area. It is comprised of two parts: the London Assembly and the Mayor of London as defined under legislation. The London Assembly scrutinises the activities of the Mayor of London in the public interest.
Transport for London (TFL):
Transport for London (TFL) is an integrated transport authority responsible for the transport system in Greater London. TFL seeks to meet the Mayor of London's strategy and commitments on transport in London and also run the day-to-day operation of London's public transport networks and main roads.
Why is this masterplan needed?
In order to effectively and meaningfully implement recently adopted local and national policies, the masterplan is being developed to address key principles including connectivity, open space, housing, community cohesion, employment, sustainability, heritage and identity.
The Tower Hamlets Local Plan 2031 (Managing Growth and Sharing Benefits) was adopted on 15 January 2020. The draft New London Plan was published in December 2019 and is intended for adoption. The Mayor of London adopted the Isle of Dogs and South Poplar Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) on 14 October 2019. These overarching frameworks contain a number of spatial polices, development management policies and site allocations to guide and manage development in the borough.
This policy framework and in particular, the South Poplar Masterplan, is required to understand the finer grain of detail in terms of the challenges within the area as well as the opportunities in gaining a holistic understanding of site delivery and phasing.
There is also an opportunity to deliver improved north-south and east-west connectivity, linked to the severance currently caused by Aspen Way. This includes looking at ways to provide an improved connection across the existing Poplar DLR footbridge and a new connection that would link Poplar High Street to the new Canary Wharf Crossrail Station.
What will this masterplan achieve?
We are working to ensure the vision and objectives set out in the local plan and OAPF are delivered. South Poplar is a key opportunity and growth area within the borough as highlighted in the local plan’s site allocations. These site allocations include the sites of North Quay, Billingsgate Market and Aspen Way. The masterplan will help facilitate comprehensive development whilst also ensuring that practical requirements are deliverable and viable.
Overall, it is intended for South Poplar to share in the benefits of good growth, improved transport capacity and connectivity, be provided with social infrastructure alongside development, benefit from joined up development across different land ownership and be protected against the construction impacts of future developments. The masterplan will optimise land around a transport hub and provide more certainty within the development management process.
What will the status of the SPD be once it's adopted?
The South Poplar Masterplan SPD will be a material consideration to help determine planning applications within the designated masterplan area. This means that once the SPD is adopted, in addition to satisfying the requirements of national, regional and local planning policies, development proposals will also need to demonstrate how the guidance in this SPD has been considered.
The document can also be used by anyone who is interested in understanding the future aspirations for this area as a significant amount of growth is envisaged.
Once adopted, its guidance will be applied to the area of South Poplar and Canary Wharf as indicated on the preliminary masterplan boundary. It will be relevant to all development applications within the area.
What will happen following this consultation?
All comments and information received will be carefully analysed and will help to inform the SPD as it is developed. We will publish a summary of the consultation events undertaken together with the draft SPD when the latter goes out for public consultation, which is expected to happen in early 2021.
Will Covid-19 impact the project?
Covid-19 has had an impact on a number of council projects but our teams are adapting their approach to continue to deliver key programmes in challenging new circumstances. It is difficult, at this stage, to forecast the long term implications of Covid-19 on the delivery of future developments and infrastructure but it is reasonable to expect that there will be an effect on construction, market demand and occupation.
The need to prioritise safety and public health has meant we have had to change the way we engage as part of this project. We will not be able to hold in-person engagement events but we are increasing the amount of interactive online activity to make sure that all those who wish to have their say can continue to do so.
For the latest council advice and information on Covid-19, please visit www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/coronavirus