Planners back 49-storey scheme after seven-floor “haircut” and footprint reduction

Ken Shuttleworth’s Make Architects is set to bag planning permission for a 49-storey east London skyscraper after a significant rework of earlier proposals.

A 56-storey version of the 225 Marsh Wall scheme was withdrawn last year after planning officers recommended it for refusal on the grounds that it would be over-development of the Isle of Dogs site, south of Canary Wharf.

The current proposals, drawn up for Cubitt Property Holdings, boast 332 flats – down from the earlier scheme’s previous 442. Significant design changes include a reduction in the stepping effect of the tower’s highest levels and a simplified podium design.

Make said the reworked proposals had reduced the scheme’s height by 15% while its width had reduced by 16% to incorporate more ground-level public realm.

In addition to the new homes, the scheme would include 810 sq m of space for community or office use and a 79 sq m flexible retail unit.

London Borough of Tower Hamlets planning officers are recommending councillors approve the scheme at a meeting of the authority’s Strategic Development Committee tonight.

“The development would be of a high architectural quality with height stepping down from the Canary Wharf major centre and provides public open space to the west that would link in with the approved open space at Meridian Gate – aka the Madison – to the west,” they said.

“The proposed residential units would benefit from internal and external community space and child play space and all units would have private amenity space in the form of balconies.”

The reworked scheme seeks to address issues that prompted officers to observe that the predecessor tower sought “to maximise not optimise the development potential of the site”.

Impact on the light available to neighbouring properties was one reason the 2015 proposals were recommended for refusal.


225 Marsh Wall

The earlier “stepped design” of 225 Marsh Wall, which would have been 56 storeys talll


Officers also expressed concerns about the quantity of studio apartments and the small proportion of family-sized flats. The latest proposals includes no studio properties and 50% of the homes are family-sized, meaning that they have three or more bedrooms.

The new incarnation of 225 Marsh Wall is described as delivering 25% affordable housing through a mix of tenures, and has a 140 sq m lounge and terrace for affordable-home residents on the second floor.

So-called “private” residents would have access to 592 sq m of communal lounge, terrace and gym facilities on the 46th floor.

The planning officers’ report said the building’s affordable-housing residents and private-sector residents would use separate entrances, with the exception of people living in shared-ownership “intermediate units” on the 13th floor, who would have access to the “private core”.

Tower Hamlets’ Strategic Development Committee meets at 7pm.