John Biggs AM today responded to the submission of a planning application that would see the £800m overhaul of Bishopsgate Goods Yard. Mr Biggs called for the development to be a more appropriate height for the area, provide genuinely affordable housing and workspace, and for developers to engage better with local communities over their plans.
Hammerson and Ballymore submitted plans to Tower Hamlets and Hackney Councils this week for redevelopment of the goods yard into flats, offices and shops. The application includes plans for 1,500 homes and 58,500m² of commercial space in six towers ranging from 15 to 48 storeys, as well as a new park and open space.
Commenting on the plans, John Biggs, Labour London Assembly Member for City and East, said:
“The Bishopsgate Goods Yard is an iconic piece of East London’s history and heritage. But for too long this great space has been left derelict, and so it is right that we look at ways to re-develop it. I welcome early noises from the site’s developers that they want it to be ‘sensitive’ to the local area, but important changes are needed to ensure this the right type of development for Shoreditch and wider London.
“Boris has said he doesn’t want London to become “Dubai-on-Thames”, and this is a case in point. Shoreditch is predominantly a low-rise residential part of East London, and these towers would set a dangerous precedent for tall buildings in the area. It is also important that, with this space set in the heart of tech City, the development provides affordable workspace that can attract the start-ups that are fuelling the local economy. Finally, there needs to be genuine consultation with the community to make sure local people’s vision for the area is reflected in the proposal.”