This webpage provides a summary of the proposed redevelopment of Bow Common Gasworks. It includes extracts of the information included within the hybrid planning application (Ref.PA/19/02379) which was submitted to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets (LBTH) on 30th October 2019. This page highlights the key elements of the proposals and should be read in conjunction with the Committee Report prepared by Planning Officers.Bow Common Gasworks is a 3.86 hectare site formerly used for the production and storage of gas. The site has been allocated to deliver strategic housing for 8 years, under both the 2013 adopted Local Plan and the recently adopted Local Plan 2020. It also lies within the Poplar Riverside Housing Zone which is proposed as an Opportunity Area within the Intend to Publish London Plan 2019. The hybrid planning application was submitted following over 18 months of discussions with Officers from LBTH, the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Transport for London (TfL). Additionally, extensive community engagement was undertaken to ensure the proposals are the product of a collaborative approach and address the requirements of the Site Allocation. St William is a joint venture between the Berkeley Group and National Grid. It was formed in 2014 with the goal of transforming former gasworks sites into new places for people to live, work and spend time. We want the places built by St William to be renowned for the quality of their landscape and public open space, and integration with the wider area.We have therefore designed the new buildings to maximise open space and reflect the industrial heritage of the seven gasholders that once stood on the site through their built form.


The development proposals presented here have to respond to local, regional and national planning policy. For Bow Common Gasworks, this means that the site needs to respond to the objectives of the London Mayor’s Poplar Riverside Opportunity Area (Intend to Publish London Plan 2019) and Poplar Riverside Housing Zone (London Plan 2016), particularly relating to targets for new private and affordable homes, as well as the requirements set out in the newly adopted LBTH Local Plan 2020. Both the GLA and LBTH have been involved in shaping the Bow Common proposals for the past 24 months. Bow Common Gasworks is one of only two site allocations within the LBTH Central Sub Region within the Local Plan 2020, a region which is required to deliver a minimum of 7,597 homes over the plan period. The LBTH Local Plan 2020 allocations for Site 2.1 include: • Minimum of 1ha of consolidated public open space;• Secondary School Education facility;• Provision of Affordable housing;• New pedestrian and cycle routes across the site and integration with Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park (Cemetery Park);• Integration with the green grid network and to improve biodiversity and ecology within open spaces and green infrastructure;• Locate family housing overlooking the publicly accessible open space;• Provide active frontages to Bow Common lane and along the railway arches; and• Respond positively to local conservation areas and surrounding context.


St William prides itself on being a landscape-led developer, passionate about delivering exceptional places for both people and nature. Specific to Bow Common Gasworks, the landscape design has been inspired by the adjoining Cemetery Park - a Local Nature Reserve and Site of Metropolitan Importance to Nature Conservation, and has carefully evolved in line with our key priority to positively impact the biodiversity and ecology of the local area. The proposed development will allow Bow Common Gasworks to become an integral part of the surrounding green infrastructure, including Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, Ackroyd Drive Green Link and the Council’s wider Green Grid Strategy. In fact, over 50% of the site will be publicly accessible at all times. This includes a consolidated 1 hectare park at the centre of the proposed development – that’s approximately the size of Trafalgar Square or up to 2 football pitches.The park will provide new and existing residents of all ages with opportunities to play, take exercise, or simply relax and enjoy nature. The park will include:•Open flower rich grassland/meadow;•A raised heath area with seating and a terrace at the top with facilities for events;•A wetland ‘pond’;•A sculpted landform with mounds and slopes;•Meandering paths; and•Multifunctional spaces for people to sit, play and relax.In addition to the park, Bow Common Gasworks will have a wide range of habitats such as hedgerows, green roofs and native trees to support wildlife and directly connect existing and new residents to nature on their doorstep. All of these spaces and landscape features will benefit biodiversity by delivering: • A significant contribution towards the Tower Hamlets Biodiversity Action Plan (‘BAP’) targets;• New environments and habitats to support key species including bats, black redstart, wild bees and small blue butterfly to name a few;• A net gain of biodiversity units of +3.05 which comprises a net biodiversity gain of 60%;• An urban greening factor of at least 0.4 (the illustrative masterplan scores 0.5) which means that the site has a high level of green coverage; and• Direct mitigation measures and financial contributions for the FoTHCP, secured through the Section 106 Agreement.


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Our proposals have been developed following extensive consultation with LBTH, key stakeholders, local residents and importantly the Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park (FoTHCP) over a period of approximately 18 months. Our team has met with FoTHCP eleven times both during both the pre-application stage and following submission - please refer to the above timeline for the timing of these meetings. The purpose of these meetings has been to consider the effects of the development on the Cemetery Park. Throughout the design stages, St William have sought to undertaken a precautionary approach to avoid negative impacts on the Cemetery Park, given its importance as a Local Nature Reserve and Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. Negligible ecological impacts to the Cemetery Park have been identified, however these cannot be easily quantified and are far outweighed by the ecological benefits of the development coming forward. Our engagement with FoTHCP has resulted in a significant reduction in height of the buildings which they have welcomed. These changes resulted in revisions to the planning application submitted to LBTH on 22nd July 2020. The revisions included a significant reduction in height of all buildings along the neighbouring boundary to reduce overshadowing and respond to the perceived impacts of the development, in line with the precautionary principle.