Labour passes council motion calling on the Docklands Sailing Centre to be protected

At a meeting of Tower Hamlets Council (21st January 2015), the Labour Group proposed and passed a motion calling for the Docklands Sailing Centre to be protected from the consequences of property development – some of which may prevent the continued use of the Millwall Docks for use by the Docklands Sailing Centre Trust.

Open spaces are under increasing pressure to meet the needs of our growing population; it is important to protect them for current and future generations. Sailing and other water sports require stable and predictable wind conditions and the shape and height of buildings matter enormously when alongside water used for sailing.

The school, social housing and park that form part of the Westferry Print Works application are welcome, but these should not be traded for the Sailing Centre. With sensitive design, the borough can have both the development and the Sailing Centre. Sustainable development is very important.

Key Facts

  • The Sailing Centre is used by 15,000 people every year
    • 8,000 of which are children
    • 9 young people training with national squads (6 from TH – possibility of a TH competitor at a future Olympics)
    • The Royal Yachting Association says the Docklands Sailing Centre is:
      • Number 1 sailing training centre in the UK
      • Number 1 youth sailing training centre in the UK
      • Number 1 sail racing centre in the UK

Cllr Dave Chesterton, of Tower Hamlets Labour Group, said:

“The Docklands Sailing Centre, secured in the 1980s after a long campaign by local people, is the jewel in Tower Hamlets Crown. The Sailing Centre, rated the best sailing training centre in the UK, is a charity that doesn’t require public grant funding.

Open spaces are under increasing pressure to meet the needs of our growing population; we must protect them for current and future generations. We need sustainable development to protect important assets such as the Docklands Sailing Centre.

That’s why we have called on the Council to exercise its powers as local planning authority, to ensure any development on the West Ferry Print Works site does not cause any detriment to sailing and use of the Millwall Docks from Docklands Sailing Centre.”

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar & Limehouse, said:

“The Sailing Centre is a hugely important community asset. It must be protected to allow it to continue to be used and enjoyed by all its members and supporters. Every effort must be made to allow it to survive and prosper and it’s to the credit of the Labour Group that it is leading in this regard.”

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