Proposed design for Ailsa Wharf by Broadway Malyan.

New 952 home development approved for Poplar, despite concerns about affordable housing along A12

A new development for Poplar has been approved by the council delivering 952 homes, despite concerns about affordable housing being concentrated along the A12.

A new 952-home riverside development at Ailsa Wharf in Poplar has been approved, despite affordable housing being built along the A12.

The development is at Ailsa Wharf in Poplar next to the River Lea. This is on the edge of Poplar in Tower Hamlets, bordering the borough of Newham. 

The council approved the plans at a Strategic Development Meeting last month.

This site had pre-existing planning permission granted in October 2018. That permission approved 785 residential units including 233 affordable and almost 3000 square meters of commercial space. Construction has already begun on the site for the first phase of the development.

The new planning permission affects phase two of the development. It increases the number of homes to 952 including 285 affordable.

However, the commercial space shrinks to 1,548 square meters of commercial space. It also changes the position of buildings, affects open space, increases the height of taller buildings, and changes the housing mix including affordable housing.

The increased height would see one riverside tower reach 23 stories and the two other riverside towers reach 22 stories.

None of the three riverside towers has affordable housing.

Instead, a block of the development alongside the A12 would contain all affordable rented housing for phase 2 of the development.

Concerns about air and noise pollution were raised at the Strategic Development Planning Meeting for this affordable housing block and a play space for 0-5 year-olds next to it. They both would be alongside the A12.

Concerns were also raised about public transport accessibility and the amount of light some housed in the development would receive.

Despite these concerns, the application received approval with 5 votes for and 3 against.

In a similar instance earlier this year officials approved a plan earlier this year to build 150 houses in Poplar. In that instance concerns were also raised about affordable housing situated close to a DLR track.

The site is owned by a Chinese consortium, which includes Guangdong-based real-estate developer Country Garden and an unnamed Hong Kong fund.

Country Garden is one of China’s largest real estate companies. However, in recent years it has faced liquidity issues.

The site is designed by Broadway Malyan, a global architecture, urbanism and design practice.

The development is part of the Poplar Riverside Opportunity Area. This is one of the key locations in London that authorities have identified as having the potential for large-scale development.


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