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Tarling West Estate

A Community Blog about our estate in East London

Problem of the Month: October 2017

Film Crews Operating Without Permission on the Tarling West Estate

On the morning of Saturday 7 October residents of Tarling West Estate were alarmed to find a large film crew with two vans, a motorbike and numerous cars and a crowd of about 20 people operating without permission on the estate. As you will see below this caused a great deal of disruption, many residents found their parking bays occupied, and the road was blocked several times during the course of the morning and early afternoon. When approached, members of the crew claimed not to know anything or who was in charge. Enquiries with Tower Hamlets Film Office confirmed indeed no official permission had been granted. This was not an amateur, student, or community production, it was a commercial film. This is probably a first for the Estate and one of the more surprising problems to have come up this year, if the film crew had the decency and politeness to ask residents would almost certainly have granted their permission and cooperation.

For the rich history of film in Shadwell (on and around our estate), including some films made by the local community or residents, see the blog entry about Shadwell on film, here: https://tarlingwestestate.wordpress.com/2017/02/14/shadwell-on-film/

If residents see filming happening on the estate and they haven’t been informed, it is possible to check if a film has been granted permission to film at any site in Tower Hamlets here:

The Film Office
Brady Arts and Community Centre
Room S11
192 -196 Hanbury Street
London
E1 5HU
0208 980 8771
e: info@filmoffice.co.uk
t: @thefilmoffice
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Tarling West Garden Stolen by Private Business (assisted by LBTH, THH, TFL)

 

Maddocks_House-2000-2003-detail2000-2003

Maddocks_House-2015-detail

2015

Above are aerial photos of the gardens adjacent to the west of Maddocks House on the Tarling West Estate. As can be seen despite partial shadow, the space between Maddocks House and Shadwell Overground Station was clearly a green space, a well kept garden.  Below is a 1957s map clearly indicating the extent of the Tarling West Estate mapsite, and the location of the garden to the west of Maddocks House as part of the estate.

Ordnance_survey_1957

 

Below is a historic photograph showing children relaxing on the grass garden after a game of cricket in the early-1960s (courtesy of resident John Fullerton).

IMG_20170930_200105

Between Shadwell Overground Station and Maddocks House a small green space which was historically part of our estate garden and mapsite until 2011 when the land was leased by LBTH to Rail for London (subsequently TFL) for essential maintenance works and refurbishment of the station. Associated with this lease was a covenant making clear that the land could strictly be used ‘solely in connection with the use and operation of Shadwell station’ (as residents discovered by making  a Freedom of Information request, January, 2017).

FOI-Land

Communication with Graeme Craig, Director of Commercial Development for TFL confirmed that after the maintenance works on Shadwell Station were completed TFL leased the land to a tenant (unnamed/redacted).

Graeme_Craig-TFL

The tenant subsequently made two planning applications (19/03/2013 PA/13/00145  and 11/12/2013 PA/13/02358). Interested parties can view these applications in full by searching the above references here: https://development.towerhamlets.gov.uk/online-applications/  The second of these planning applications was successful.

The site has had two refurbished shipping containers placed on the site in 2016. Since then piecemeal building work has taken place often creating mess and disruption for residents and members of the public accessing  Tarling West Estate. Images of the plans and some of the disruption follow:

Container_ViewFull_Size_Plan_LandscapeSite_Map-Delivery_Service_Plan

Resumption of building circa March 2017

Blocking_Interacting_with_customer_Parking

Resumption of building work September-October, 2017Bag_front_of_ShopMess ongoing (9/10/2017)

 

The residents of Tarling West Estate wish to challenge the planning permission on the following basis:

Regarding Planning Consent for Application PA/13/02358

Conditions and Covenant on the Land transfer from LBTH to TFL

– We, the Residents of the Tarling West Estate, wish to question the condition or covenant on the land when transferred between LBTH and TFL which is very clear: ‘Conditions were attached to that transaction restricting the use of the land solely to use in connection with the use and operation of Shadwell station as an underground station’ (FOI Tarling West TRA to LBTH, January 2017). Why would LBTH grant planning permission for building on land for Class A1/A2/B1 that was protected by the following conditions?

This was Not Vacant Land!

– In the applicant’s design statement, the land is described as requesting ‘a change of use from non specified site’ to ‘use to Class A1/A2/B1on a vacant site’. However, the use is specified clearly above. Moreover, it has always been specified as a part of the estate gardens of Tarling West Estate.
Question that the land was vacant or of indeterminate use. For example in the Design and Access Statement the applicant states: ‘The site has remained vacant for a number of years and appears derelict.’ The site was in active use by the local community and residents of Tarling West Estate up until its use by TFL for renewal of Shadwell Station. After this, it has remained derelict. It has remained derelict and has become rat-infested under since it has been leased to the applicant. The site could have benefited ‘regeneration’ of the area by being returned to use by the residents. It has been an eyesore since it was taken away from the community and remains so. Our belief is that best use of the land, which is part of the mapsite of Tarling West Estate is for it to be returned to use as a community garden under management of THH for the residents of the estate and local community.

No Community Benefit

– The applicant states: ‘The proposed development will be good for local the economy, create employment and assist in the regeneration of the area. It will help individuals to set up new businesses, attract business to the community from elsewhere, bring disadvantaged people into the economy and will meet the needs of a diversified community.’ The proposed development has delivered none of these things. Rather it has directly divested the local community and residents, ‘disadvantaged’ or otherwise, of a popular community space – a much loved and cherished green space on our estate. Where is the community benefit?

No Business on a Private Estate Road

– The Tarling West Estate is situated on Cornwall Street which is a private estate road.

– The Application states: ‘Access to the proposed site is from two sides. One entrance is from Cable Street at the south side of the site, a second entrance from Cornwall Street to the north of the site. Access to the units and bin storage is from Cornwall Street.’ (Design and Access Statement, p.12).

– Delivery times are specified and Cornwall street is indicated as a delivery access point. The residents already have enormous problems with deliveries via the fire escapes, and customer access to retail units situated in the railway arches on Chapman Street. Further deliveries via Cornwall Street are bound to disturb residents of Maddocks House and contribute to further congestion on this private estate road.

Length and Disruption of Building Works

– Over three years has elapsed since permission was given, yet works recommenced in the week of 2/10/2017-6/10/2017. Begun, but not completed. ‘The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of three years from the date of this permission.’

– What is ‘the alternative use permission’ in the Full Planning Permission statement? Does this conflict with, address or alter the existing covenant on the land?

Our Estate Garden has been Sold Out from Under Us!

– Residents have struggled to obtain from LBTH, THH and TFL, clarity on the status of the land given it was previously for over 60 years a part of the mapsite of the Tarling West Estate and clearly in use up to its alienation in the transfer by LBTH to TFL as was its original purpose for the enjoyment and leisure of the tenants and residents of the three blocks, Maddocks House, Richard Neale House and Newton House Tarling West.

Change of Use and Contravention of Planning Statement

– The applicant writes: ‘The proposed development is for the use of the existing vacant site for Class A1 shop units, A2 financial and professional services and B1 Business. Food and hot beverages are not to be sold within the market for the protection of Shadwell Station and the users of the station from litter, spillage and the discarding of food and the cartons and other elements associated with food and hot drinks take away.’ We are led to understand the current intention for the site is as use as a cafe. However, the Design Statement (p.8) above clearly states: ‘Food and hot beverages are not to be sold’.

 

Conditions on planning consent given by LBTH planning department (PA/13/02358)

Statement of positive and proactive engagement
The Local Planning Authority has worked with the applicant in a positive and proactive
manner by making available a formal pre-application process, including free duty officer
advice. The Local Planning Authority has also produced policies and provided written
guidance, all of which are available on the Council’s website and which has been followed
in this instance.
Conditions and Reasons:
1 – The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of three years
from the date of this permission.
Reason: To comply with the provisions of Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act
1990 (as amended).
2 – The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the approved
plans listed in the Schedule to this planning permission.
Reason: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning.3 – The use allowed by this permission shall not take place other than between the hours of
08:00 – 23:30 Mondays to Sundays.
Deliveries and servicing shall take place only within the following hours: 8am – 6pm Monday
to Friday, 8am – 1pm Saturdays. No deliveries or servicing shall take place on Sundays or
Bank Holidays.
Reason: To safeguard the amenity of adjacent residents and the area generally in
accordance with policies SP03(2) and SP10(4) of the Core Strategy (2010) and policy
DM25 of the Managing Development Document (2013).
4 – No development shall take place until a landscape plan for the site has been submitted
to and approved in writing to the local planning authority.
The plan must describe the long-term landscape design aims for the site and give full
details of both the hard and soft landscape works planned.
The works thus approved shall be carried out prior to the occupation of any part of the
development.
Reason: To ensure an acceptable appearance of the development and public realm, to
provide urban greening, to ensure inclusive access and to safeguard the amenity of
adjoining occupiers in accordance with the requirements of policies SP04, SP09, SP10 and
SP12 of the Core Strategy (2010) and policies DM11, DM23 and DM24 of the Managing
Development Document (2013).
5 – No development shall take place until details of secure cycle storage for the
development hereby approved have been submitted to and approved in writing by the local
planning authority.
The scheme shall be implemented as approved prior to the first occupation of the
development and retained thereafter.
Reason: To ensure the provision of adequate cycle parking facilities in accordance with the
requirements of policy 6.9 of the London Plan (2011) and policy DM22 of the Managing
Development Document (2013).
Informatives:
1 – The applicant is advised that Transport for London – TFL’s approval for erection or
installation of the proposed structures is required prior to beginning of the development.
}2 – The applicant is advised that if implemented, the alternative use permission hereby
granted gives flexibility of use for 10 years from the date of this permission. After 10 years,
the lawful use shall revert to whichever of the uses is taking place at the time.

 

 

 

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Problems on the Tarling West Estate

Here we lay out some of the problems and threats we experience in our community and in our life together on the Tarling West Estate:
We currently have problems with:

1/ Anti-Social Behaviour.

As a consequence of a private security operation at Watney Market and stronger policing in Whitechapel and due to the attractive opportunities for begging at Shadwell Station we have seen a surge in the number of homeless, beggars and drug users frequenting the estate this February-March 2018 – sleeping rough, using drugs, sleeping or taking drugs in abandoned cars on the estate and trespassing in Newton House, Maddox House and Richard Neale House. The TRA and residents have been making police, THH and THC aware of these problems on a daily basis, we have yet to see any results from these efforts.

2/ Bulk Waste and Flytipping

Can_You_Rubbish.jpg

Few of our residents on Tarling West Estate seem to realise that if they dump bulk waste, large household items, furniture or packaging either outside their flat or on the street in front of the estate, even by the rubbish collection points, leaseholders are collectively charged for the removal of these items. Each item costs over £60 per removal, at the moment we have more than two collections a week and the annual cost is substantial. Moreover, if one person dumps then usually others follow, both residents and opportunistic local businesses regularly flytip items on our estate, both in front of the rubbish collection points and elsewhere.

This is senseless since each household has two free collections carried out by the council IF YOU CONTACT THEM BY CALLING THE STREETLINE TEAM ON 020 7364 5004  and many items such as functioning furniture or electronics are eligible to taken away for free: ‘Each household is now entitled to two free collections per year – with up to five items taken away per collection by the council’s Clean Team.’

http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/environment_and_planning/recycling_and_waste/recycling_and_waste_at_home/large_items.aspx

3/ Enclosure and Privatisation of Estate Lands

We currently have two ongoing incursions on the Tarling West Estate, both effectively amount to inappropriate trading  on what is a private estate road and amounts to trespass and breaking the clause in the users lease agreement. The length of Cornwall Street is a private estate road owned by Tower Hamlets Council and managed on its behalf by Tower Hamlets Homes, the land under and surrounding our estate is owned by Tower Hamlets Council.

3A/ Wholesalers using Network Rail railway arches

For several years wholesale businesses leasing railway arch units running between Chapman Street and Cornwall Street owned by Network Rail have been developing their businesses significantly and this has resulted in various incursions onto Tarling West Estate, noise pollution, illegal parking, poor waste management, various traffic accidents, parking infringements, threats to local residents and inappropriate use of estate land. Though Tower Hamlets Homes leased a part of our estate to Network Rail for use as a parking area by these businesses, this agreement was not made with the consultation of residents and the businesses in question have used the agreement to transgress, cause mayhem and irreversible physical damage to our Estate.

Ramadan_Shopping-4_July_2014

Ramadan Shopping, June 2014

3B/ Tarling West green space privatised and misused

Blocking_Interacting_with_customer_Parking

Between Shadwell Overground Station and Maddocks House there was a small green space which was historically part of our estate lands until 2011 when the land was leased by LBTH to Rail for London (subsequently TFL) for essential maintenance works and refurbishment of the station. Associated with this lease was a covenant making clear that the land could strictly be used ‘solely in connection with the use and operation of Shadwell station’ (as residents discovered by making  a Freedom of Information request, January, 2017).

FOI-Land

At some point after the completion of the works to Shadwell Station the land was leased onwards to an unknown party who has since attempted to build on the land for commercial purposes, initially seeking to open a number of market stalls, this failed and the site laid dormant until January 2017 when in the middle of the night work begun installing containers on the site (thus blocking the natural light to ground floor flats in Maddocks House) and smashing and rebuilding the already very narrow pavement which skirts the land leading from Tarling West Estate to Shadwell Overground Station.

As can be seen above the works obstructed pedestrians travelling to and from Shadwell Station, the pavement is already badly damaged by customers using the wholesalers operating from the railway arches. Furthermore the mess generated by the works has encouraged anti-social behaviour and littering as well as being a hazard and eyesore for residents and users of the space.

Residents of Tarling West are seeking clarification from TFL, THH and LBTH about how this land was transferred and how we can challenge it’s improper use. Thus far we are not impressed by either Tower Hamlet’s Homes’ response or that of LBTH or TFL, we feel this is a dubious alienation of land held by a public body and an improper use of a part of our estate.

transfer of land from LBTH to Rail for London happened in 2011.  It was agreed by THH in 2009, which was covered in point 5 on the response you have already receive from Cllr Islam.  Existing THH personnel were not in post in 2009 and we have found no file records that can assist with this enquiry any further. 

The solution we propose is cancelling of the lease, restitution of the land to LBTH under the management of THH, restoration of the land as a green open space for the use and enjoyment of residents of Tarling West Estate and repair of the pavement used by pedestrians and the general public. Fight the enclosures. Down with the fences!

Abandoned_Car_March

Abandoned car parked by children’s play area March 2016

4/ Abandoned Cars on Tarling West Estate

We have an ongoing problem of a number of abandoned cars on Tarling West Estate. Given the large number of cars on the estate, including those parked by customers and employees of businesses operating from the Network Rail railway arches and lack of monitoring of parking by Tower Hamlets Homes these often go unnoticed for sometime and often become noticable to residents when they begin to be used for criminal activity such as drug-dealing and drug taking. It is Tower Hamlets Council’s responsibility to tow away cars abandoned in the borough, but because our estate is located on a private estate road there is a vacuum of responsibility between LBTH and THH which leaves the cars languishing on our estate for an average period of 2 months.

Guerilla_Gardening

5/ Guerilla Gardening

On the morning of Monday 27 March outside Richard Neale House a pastoral scene greeted our eyes: an employee from one of the wholesale businesses operating from the Network Rail railway arches (whose street address is  129 Chapman Street) backing onto Tarling West Estate could be seen working hard digging up the land which is part of our estate mapsite and planting vegetables there. It’s wonderful to see the greening and planting of our estate carried out so enthusiastically. We wonder however if we might coordinate future allotments not just for local business interests, but for the residents by actually planning them together in discussion between the Tarling West TRA and Tower Hamlets Homes? This is just one of the more humorous examples of THH’s poor, almost non-existent, management of the land.
Guerilla_Gardening-2
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Where Are We?

The Tarling West Estate is located along the length of Cornwall Street between Cannon Street Road and Watney Street. The estate boundaries are bordered to the south by Cable Street (or Cablestrasse as some have called it in homage to the area’s irrepressible cultural diversity) and to the North by the DLR and C2C rail track. The estate is very close to Shadwell Overground and DLR stations. Nearby is Watney Market a famous East End institution running for over one hundred years and still going strong; St George in the East church designed by architect Nicholas Hawksmoor; the Cable Street Mural commemorating the struggle against fascism by the local community in the 1930s; St George’s Gardens a public park surrounding the church and St George’s Leisure Centre.  The historic relic of popular entertainment Wilton’s Music Hall, now restored as a bar and cultural centre, is less than a mile down the road also off Cable Street. These are just a few of the historic elements which make up our rich surroundings and make it a great place to live. From a more practical and play-oriented perspective the amazing Glamis Adventure Playground provides a unique facility for kids of all ages to play and socialise adventurously for free. The nearby Shadwell Basin, a former dock provides a watery playground for sailing, and canoeing. Though many swimmers enjoyed the basin this summer (2016) swimming in the basin is actually forbidden, though there are plans in the pipeline being led by the Turk’s Head Charity to make an official swimming pool in Shadwell Basin in the near future.

watneymarket01

battle-of-cable-street

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtower-hamlets-glamis-adventure-playground-12OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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The Truth about Grenfell Tower: A Report by Architects for Social Housing

A PDF file of this report is available here: The Truth about Grenfell Tower

On Thursday, 22 June, 2017, in response to the Grenfell Tower fire the previous week, Architects for Social Housing held an open meeting in the Residents Centre of Cotton Gardens estate in Lambeth. Around 80 people turned up and contributed to the discussion – residents, housing campaigners, journalists, lawyers, academics, engineers and architects. Below is an edited film of the meeting made for us by Line Nikita Woolfe, with the assistance of Luc Beloix on camera and additional footage by Dan Davies, and is produced by her company Woolfe Vision. The presentations we gave that evening are the basis of this report, to which we have added our subsequent research as well as that collated from the numerous articles on the Grenfell Tower fire published in the press and elsewhere, to which we have attached the weblinks, with the original documents included whenever they are available.

https://architectsforsocialhousing.wordpress.com/2017/07/21/the-truth-about-grenfell-tower-a-report-by-architects-for-social-housing/

 

 

 

 

Solidarity with Residents of Grenfell Tower

Solidarity_with_Grenfell

Residents of council tower blocks and estates across East and South London dropped 22 banners – one for each of the 22 residential floors in the 24 storey Grenfell Tower, destroyed by fire in Latimer Road on 14 June – in a show of mass solidarity with victims, survivors and local community.’

http://www.redpepper.org.uk/a-beautiful-message-to-the-grenfell-community-from-the-housing-estates-of-east-london/

Very proud that residents of Tarling West Estate took part, above is a banner of solidarity with the residents of Grenfell Tower displayed from Richard Neale House and below from Newton House.

Newton_House-Grenfell

Problem of the Month: June

Car_Fire

June’s problem is abandoned cars. We have an ongoing problem on the Tarling West Estate with cars (often stolen) being dumped on the estate then vandalised and or used by local drug dealers or drug users.

The procedure for tenants and residents who spot an abandoned car is to inform our Neighbourhood Housing Officer, Mohammed Parvees (Mohammed.Parvees@thh.org.uk ) , THH Tel:020 7364 5015 or email (contactus@towerhamletshomes.org.uk), Shadwell Safer Neighbourhoods Team (Shadwell.snt@met.pnn.police.uk) and the local Police 999 in an emergency 101 for everything else.  Should you report an abandoned car please also copy in the TRA (tarlingwest.tra@gmail.com)

 

Car_Encampment

Abandoned_Car_March

 

Letter on Fire Safety Post-Grenfell

Tower Hamlets Homes fire safety letter FINAL VERSION JUNE 2017

Tower Hamlets Homes fire safety letter FINAL VERSION JUNE 2017

Tower Hamlets Homes fire safety letter FINAL VERSION JUNE 2017-P2

BBQ and TRA Meeting 2 July 2017

Tarling West TRA are happy to welcome tenants, residents and friends of Tarling West Estate for a summer social event. A BBQ and Meeting will be held at our meeting hall on Sunday 2 July, 2017. The BBQ will be held in the garden of out meeting hall, so it’s a good opportunity to do some late-Spring cleaning and enjoy our communal space, meet other tenants and residents of your estate and get involved in improving the quality of life on our estate.

BBQ-3

BBQ 3pm

TRA Meeting 6:30pm

Tarling West TRA
1a Newton House
Cornwall Street
E1 2QW

Problem of the Month: April 2017

April’s surprising problem of the month is Guerilla Gardening

On the morning of Monday 27 March outside Richard Neale House a pastoral scene greeted our eyes: an employee from one of the wholesale businesses operating from the Network Rail railway arches (whose street address is  129 Chapman Street) backing onto Tarling West Estate could be seen working hard digging up the land which is part of our estate mapsite and planting vegetables there. It’s wonderful to see the greening and planting of our estate carried out so enthusiastically. We wonder however if we might coordinate future allotments not just for local business interests, but for the residents by actually planning them together in discussion between the Tarling West TRA and Tower Hamlets Homes? This is just one of the more humorous examples of THH’s poor, almost non-existent, management of the land.

A special prize is available for collection during the month of April for the first resident to guess what vegetable the mystery gardener is planting and report it to Tarling West TRA.

Problem of the Month: March 2017

Problem of the month this March is Bulk Waste and Flytipping

A special prize is available for collection from 1A Newton House for the lucky winner responsible for the above. Someone who has managed not only to flytip on our estate, increasing the charges to leaseholders and tenants, but also break the lift at the same time incurring further costs for repairs.

Can_You_Rubbish.jpg

Few of our residents on Tarling West Estate seem to realise that if they dump bulk waste, large household items, furniture or packaging either outside their flat or on the street in front of the estate, even by the rubbish collection points, leaseholders are collectively charged for the removal of these items. Each item costs over £60 per removal, at the moment we have more than two collections a week and the annual cost is substantial. Moreover, if one person dumps then usually others follow, both residents and opportunistic local businesses regularly flytip items on our estate, both in front of the rubbish collection points and elsewhere.

This is senseless since each household has two free collections carried out by the council IF YOU CONTACT THEM BY CALLING THE STREETLINE TEAM ON 020 7364 5004  and many items such as functioning furniture or electronics are eligible to taken away for free: ‘Each household is now entitled to two free collections per year – with up to five items taken away per collection by the council’s Clean Team.’

http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/environment_and_planning/recycling_and_waste/recycling_and_waste_at_home/large_items.aspx

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