City Hall overturns Tower Hamlets Council’s rejection of latest phase of Aberfeldy estate regeneration scheme

Aberfeldy village

Morris & Co’s detailed plans for the next phase of Aberfeldy Village

City Hall has approved Levitt Bernstein and Morris & Co’s plans for up to 1,545 new homes at the Aberfeldy estate in Poplar, east London, almost 12 months after Tower Hamlets Council rejected the scheme.

The application, put forward by developer EcoWorld London and social-housing provider Poplar HARCA, includes detailed consent for 277 homes in the next phase of development of Aberfeldy Village.

LDA Design and ZCD Architects worked with Levitt Bernstein and Morris+Co on the masterplan, which according to LDA Design prioritises ”quality of the public spaces” and sought to ”put young people at the heart of the co-design process”. 

Since planning approval for the mixed-use redevelopment of the estate was first granted in 2012, 901 new homes have been built in the initial three phases of the scheme.

But Tower Hamlets council knocked back Levitt Bernstein and Morris & Co’s hybrid application for the latest phase in February 2023 on the grounds that closing an underpass to cars as part of the proposals would displace traffic to other roads on the estate and increase congestion.

The council also said that despite the scheme providing an affordable housing offer of 38.8%, this benefit would be outweighed by the excessive height of the buildings which would create an “overbearing form of development”.

Five months after Tower Hamlets Council’s rejection of the proposals, housing secretary Michael Gove announced that new buildings taller than 18m will require a second staircase. Levitt Bernstein and Morris & Co’s designs were revised as a result, reducing the total of proposed new homes by 17.

The outline consent allows for new homes to be delivered in towers of up to 28 storeys in height. The detailed element of the approval covers flats in blocks of five to 11 storeys.