Architect and developer to concentrate planning gain from North Quay scheme on depressed Poplar district
Architect Will Alsop has submitted proposals for the regeneration of Poplar, a depressed area located next to Canary Wharf in east London.

The Connecting Poplar document has been produced to complement proposals by Alsop and Cesar Pelli for a two-tower North Quay scheme on Canary Wharf, which would be linked to Poplar by footbridge.

The deprivation of the area, which has been in decline since the closure of the East and West India Docks more than two decades ago, stands in vivid contrast to the affluence of Canary Wharf. Tower Hamlets council hopes to use the North Quay scheme, which is in for outline planning, to improve Poplar.

Alsop, who is understood to have handed in his Poplar proposals to the council, has been backed by developer Canary Wharf plc.

A Canary Wharf spokesperson said: "We have looked at connectivity from North Quay through to Poplar. We have done some work with Alsop as part of our general plans for the area and shared it with Tower Hamlets."

The study focuses on south Poplar, which would be directly connected to North Quay when it is eventually built. Improvements would include the construction of community centres and the allocation of land for green spaces.

Poplar – where Building's offices are located – stands outside of the Canary Wharf estate, but the developer has launched several community schemes to help to regenerate the economies of neighbouring areas.

A source close to Canary Wharf said that it was hoped that the study would put pressure on the council to concentrate the benefits of planning gain on Poplar, rather than other areas in the borough, such as Whitechapel.

The source said: "There's a lot of section 106 money flying around – potentially, much of this could be spent to improve a lot of Canary Wharf's neighbours."

The North Quay development was submitted for outline planning permission in March. The proposed scheme provides more than 220,000 m2 of office and retail space in two towers and one mid-rise central building. The towers at either end of the site will be clad in glass and stainless steel, and will be linked to the central building above ground by bridging floors.