Stirling prize-winners receive planning permission for mixed-use scheme in Poplar, east London

Tate Modern architect Herzog & de Meuron is to go ahead with a social housing and health scheme in east London, after years of council wrangles.

The architect last week received planning permission for four buildings, ranging from six to 11 storeys, for RSL Poplar HARCA. The 2667 m² mixed-use scheme will include a medical centre on the ground floor and 36 residential units.

The news comes after Building revealed last year that Herzog & de Meuron had dropped plans for a social housing scheme in Plaistow, east London, after clashing with Newham council.

Steve Stride, the chief executive of Poplar HARCA, said he contacted Herzog & de Meuron after he found out it was interested in designing a social housing project.

He said: “I made contact with Herzog & de Meuron and we started to work together. We went to Basle, Switzerland, to see other schemes they’d done and then we bought the site to facilitate the scheme. We were excited by the other work they had done recently.”

A source close to the scheme added that, once again, Herzog & de Meuron had troubles during the planning process. The source said: “There were months and months when the scheme was just going round in circles.

The council flagged up problems at the end of the process that should have been highlighted at the beginning. The registered social landlord had to adapt the scheme, but not massively so.”

The Poplar scheme will be the first big housing scheme Herzog & de Meuron has undertaken in the UK.

The practice is normally known for its designs for landmark buildings, for which it has won the Stirling and Pritzker prizes.

Last month the practice revealed plans for a spectacular £215m, 10-storey extension to the Tate Modern museum on the south bank of the River Thames in London.