Final decision on 110m tower will be made by mayor of London

Tower Hamlets has refused planning for PLP Architecture’s 235 Westferry Wharf despite the scheme being called in by mayor of London Boris Johnson.

The council’s decision is theoretical since the call-in, but it sends a clear message to the mayor.

Plans submitted by PLP would have seen the existing printing works at Westferry demolished and replaced with a 110m-high 30-storey tower comprising of 722 residential units, retail, offices and restaurant and cafe space.

The borough’s planning committee resolved to unanimously reject the scheme on the recommendation of their planning officers’ report. The report stated two main reasons for refusing the scheme, namely the negative effect the new tower would have on the adjacent sailing and watersports centre as well as the low level of affordable housing for the scheme. The plans currently include 11% affordable housing which is lower than the quantum that Tower Hamlets concluded was possible during a viability assessment.

Critics also pointed out that the towers would deny boats vital wind which was needed to launch from the Dockland Sailing and Watersports Centre.

In a statement Tower Hamlets said: “The committee resolves to inform the mayor of London that were it empowered to determine the
application for planning permission, the council would have refused permission for the reasons in the committee report.”