Tarling West Estate

A Community Blog about our estate in East London

Fire in Maddocks House

At 3am Sunday 5 March 2023 a fire broke out in flat 18 Maddocks House a top floor 2 bedroom flat in the smallest of three blocks on Tarling West Estate on Cornwall Street, Shadwell, London. The London Fire Brigade attended swiftly (the Fire Station is 2 mins down the road on Cable Street). Residents from the estate rushed to the fire to help everybody out of the block as quickly and safely as possible. One resident, Mizanur Rahman was taken by ambulance to an ICU at Whitechapel Hospital, on Thursday night fellow residents learned he had died of his injuries. Five fire engines and around 35 firefighters from Shadwell, Whitechapel, Bethnal Green, Dowgate and Dockhead fire stations attended the scene. All other residents of Maddocks House are safe and uninjured.

18 Maddocks House was severely overcrowded and had more than 15 residents staying overnight on the night of the blaze. The Fire Brigade and residents of the flat have since told us that there were 20 beds at a time in the flat, and often as many as 20 residents sleeping at in the flat at any one time, the landlord, a leaseholder appears to have been running the flat as an intensively exploitative B&B.

Other residents of Maddocks House had made complaints about the flat to Tower Hamlets Homes (THH), representatives from the Council and to other agencies, about leaks and other problems resulting from its dangerous overcrowding and poor state of repair for years, since 2019 at least. The Residents Association has for a long time struggled with THH’s poor management of the estate and lack of attention to residents calls for attention to the poor conditions on the estate. The Residents Association is currently preparing a report about the fire summarising this history of complaints, poor repairs and negligence on the part of the Council and its managing agent THH.

On Wednesday 8 March residents held a community meeting and invited residents of the estate, those living in the flat, community organisations London Renters Union and IWGB Couriers, representatives of THH, the Council: Councillors Ana Miah, Harun Miah and Abdul Wahid.

Survivors of the fire have received support and emergency housing from LBTH Council. Residents are working with other community groups to raise funds for survivors of the fire as well as providing direct support. The survivors have lost everything: their phones, money, laptops, clothes, bikes, documents and their home. We urge you to donate to the fundraiser: https://www.LaunchGood.Com/HousefireVictims

Mizanur’s family, who are in Bangladesh have been supported by Eden Care while Mizanur was in intensive care, Eden Care and Muslim Burial Fund will support the family through the next stages. Those wishing to donate to support Mizanur’s family can get in touch with the TRA or the organisations mentioned above.

A vigil has been called in collaboration with Justice for THCH Residents and 18 Maddocks House Fire Support and other community organisations to take place this Sunday 12 March 3-5pm at Altab Ali Park.

A Short Film by Rainbow Collective about the Fire

News Articles covering the fire

A statement (12/03/23) from 18 Maddocks House Support Group


The death of Mizanur Rahman was completely and utterly preventable. It was a result of the criminal activity of the landlord that he died, but just as equally due to the negligence of the licencing authority, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, and the housing management organisation, Tower Hamlets Homes, which has just gone back into control of Tower Hamlets Council.

There are seventeen people that have survived the fire, people need to rebuild their lives, students and workers, asylum seekers and tourists, who are all of Bangladeshi origin, and are Spanish nationals, Italian nationals, Bangladeshi nationals and French nationals. They now need to reconstruct their lives. They have organised themselves into support group with others to meet their demands and concentrate support. They demand the following:

1] Rehousing – seventeen people have been made homeless – they need to be given accommodation for their duration of their stay in the United Kingdom

2] Compensation for the family in Bangladesh (2 sons, a wife and a mother) – apart from the family tragically losing their son, they have also lost a key provider and income earner.

3] Investigation of the Landlord, LBTH and THH – there needs to be an investigation into the responsibility of the landlord, Tower Hamlets Council (licence provider and enforcement body) Tower Hamlets Homes (housing authority).

4] Monument to Mizanur Rahman – celebrating his life and those of migrants in Shadwell.

5] Case worker for all 17 survivors for 6 months – each need medium term help and are victims of a system that has failed them – they need help. Many don’t speak good English and can’t navigate the bureaucratic system in the UK, they are subject to racism and they are in shock.

6] Educational, social and psychological support – the seventeen survivors need access to language classes, medical and mental health services, each to varying degrees

These are the demands and needs of the seventeen people that survived the fire. The one person who died needs to be honoured.





A Flyer with the Fundraiser and Statement from the 18 Maddocks House Support Group

A report from the Tarling West Residents Association summarising what residents knew and reported about overcrowding and conditions in 18 Maddocks House before the fire

On Monday 13 March a delegation of residents of Tarling West Estate and survivors of the fire at Maddocks House went with representatives of the Residents Association went to meet Mayor Lutfur Rahman at his surgery at the Whitechapel Ideas Store to present the reports from the Residents Association and statement by the Maddocks House Support Group. The Mayor was very welcoming, giving his condolences, expressing his anger over the conditions which led to the fire and Mizanur’s death, worry that these conditions also existed elsewhere in the borough and his willingness to investigate and tackle these problems.

A letter from the Mayor Lutfur Rahman on the fire at Maddocks House.

At Full Council, 16 March, LBTH passed an emergency motion on Rogue Landlords in response to Mizanur Rahman’s death and the Maddocks House Fire

Featured post

Tarling West Garden Stolen by Private Business (assisted by LBTH, THH, TFL)




Google aerial views (undated circa 2015-2016)

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.

Here a 2017 map of the Tarling West Estate Mapsite clearly indicates the boundaries of the estate and a small area to the East of Maddocks House ‘gated off’.


2017 Map from:

This map (from planning application PA/13/02358) shows the site of the garden (considered vacant land in the application) between Maddocks House and Shadwell Overground Station.


Below is a 1957 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.


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).


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 transferred by sale by LBTH to Rail for London (subsequently TFL) for essential maintenance works and refurbishment of the station. Part of the conditions of sale 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).


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).


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:  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:


Resumption of building circa March 2017


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

The outcome of the alienation of the land, and the planning approval finally saw its result in a rather underwhelming ‘Box Cafe’ formed of shipping containers, opening in November 2017. The cafe is located within the mapsite of Tarling West Estate, its only access is via a Private Estate Road. This means that we have a private business operating on our estate without permission, its customers’ access and any delivery or waste removal commits trespass through our estate without permission every day.  Congratulations to TFL, LBTH Planning, LBTH Licensing, THH and the business owner for creating a fine mess on our estate.


The successful planning application (PA/13/02358) indicates ‘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.’ This means the operation of this business will from the midst of a residential estate on a private road will involve deliveries and rubbish storage and collection on that residential estate land (the remaining part of it that hasn’t been stolen yet).

The planning permission is granted on the basis that: ‘this permission does not modify or extinguish any covenants, easements or other restrictions applying to or affecting the land, or the rights affecting the land, or the rights of any other person entitled to the benefits thereof.’

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
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).
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.

We have had the following response from LBTH Planning Enforcement Service (19 Oct, 2017):

Dear Sir/Madam,
Location: Site at Tarling Road West Estate (between Maddocks House and Shadwell
Station), Cable Street, London E1
Breach: Unauthorised use of container as a café not in accordance with planning
ref: PA/13/02358/NC
I refer to your enquiry of 18/10/2017 relating to a possible breach of planning control at the
above address.
Your enquiry has been registered and allocated to Sophia Stewart.
A site visit will need to be undertaken to assess what action, if any, is appropriate within the
next 28 days. Should you require an update on the case then please do not hesitate to
contact the case officer four to six weeks after receiving this letter.
When the enforcement case has been closed you will receive notification from the case
officer outlining the reasons why the case has been closed. Therefore if you do not hear
from us you can assume that the case is still open and being investigated.
Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.
Yours faithfully,
Planning Enforcement Service

(another resident’s) Complaint 30 Oct:
Dear Sir / Madam.
I am writing in complaint about a commercial property being built on residential private land between Shadwell Station and Maddocks house.
Kindly confirm the use for the above-mentioned building, appropriate licences & that they have received appropriate planning permission.
Given that the above-mentioned building is a commercial premises, kindly confirm whether they have been granted permission for construction works.
If the commercial building has received the appropriate permissions, then kindly provide assurances that commercial deliveries to this property will not be granted road access via Private Entrance to Private Road (Cannon St Road to Cornwall St)
Response 14 Oct:
Your complaint 10053299 about Commercial Property on Private Estate
Thank you for your recent complaint received on 30 October 2017. I understand your complaint to refer to a commercial property being built on residential private land between Shadwell Station and Maddocks house. I have carried out a full review of all aspects of your complaint, as noted above, and will reply to each point individually. I have set out the specific elements of your complaint below in italics and my response is set out beneath each issue.
Firstly, I understand that the land is owned by Transport for London (Rail for London) and it does not fall under the management of Tower Hamlets Homes.
You ask for confirmation of the use for the above-mentioned building, appropriate licences & that they have received appropriate planning permission, and granted permission for construction works.
Based on the description of the site contained within you complaint my understanding is that your complaint relates to the planning permission (reference PA/13/02358) concerning land adjacent to Shadwell Tube Station, Cable Street, London. Planning permission was granted on 11th December 2013 for the erection of reconditioned shipping containers to provide 96sqm of retail, professional services or office use (Use Classes A1, A2 or B1) on the vacant site abutting the west side of Shadwell Station. The construction works are therefore permitted by this consent.
In October of this year, the Council received a complaint regarding the use of the site as a café. This was investigated by our Planning Compliance Team as this use is not permitted by the aforementioned planning consent.  The investigating officer was unable to access the premises but considered that the café is likely to be a class A3 use (restaurants and cafés) as defined in the Town and Country Planning Use Classes Order.
Full planning permission is not required to change the use of a retail premises (Class A1 or A2) to a café or restaurant (Class A3) up to a maximum of 150 sq.m of floor space and subject to the prior approval of certain matters by the local authority or alternatively for a temporary two year period, but subject to an initial notification,   No such request for prior approval or temporary change of use notification has been received and so I have asked the Compliance Team to re-open this investigation.
You also request that if the commercial building has received the appropriate permissions, you would welcome assurances that commercial deliveries to this property will not be granted road access via Private Entrance to Private Road (Cannon St Road to Cornwall St).
The Council when determining planning application (reference PA/13/02358) considered the issue of servicing in detail. Indeed a number of objection letters questioned the use of the estate road for access and servicing because it would result in congestion and disturbance to residents, in addition to existing disturbance from commercial users of the DLR arches located to the north of the application site. Objectors were also concerned about further parking stress in the area and access for emergency vehicles.
As part of its determination of the application the Council considered that it was unlikely that the proposed uses would require intensive servicing or a large number of deliveries. Any deliveries or servicing over the estate road were would not be sufficient in scale to threaten highway and pedestrian safety or result in undue congestion. The development would be unlikely to  generate a large number of vehicular trips because most customers are likely to arrive on foot or as part of linked trips through the Shadwell Overground and DLR stations. Furthermore Transport for London raised no objection subject to provision of the 2m access strip along the western elevation of Shadwell Station.
I have carried out a full review of all aspects of your complaint, as noted above and consider that the issue of servicing was adequately considered during the determination of the application. The shipping container appears to be being used as an unauthorised café and the Council will seek to regularise this situation.
We do take all complaints seriously, and I hope that I have demonstrated this to you in my investigation and my response to all aspects of your complaint. I hope that I have adequately captured the nature of your concerns and addressed them with clear reasons for my responses.
However, if you are dissatisfied with the outcome and wish to progress to Stage 2 of our complaints process please provide details of why my response has not resolved your complaint and what action you would require as a resolution.
To escalate the case please use the link below;
Email us about this case
Yours sincerely
Tim Ross
West Area Manager, Development Management
Planning and Building Control
Featured post

Wildflower Meadow Established by Residents has Signage, July 2021

TRA Newsletter 2019

Newsletter__2019 poster version-p.1

Newsletter__2019 poster version3

Download a PDF of the Newsletter__2019 poster version3

Tarling West Summer BBQ 2019






Download a PDF Poster for this event

Some of the work residents put into the Residents Garden in advance of the 2019 BBQ

Residents and guests enjoying the 2019 Summer BBQ

Gardening on the Tarling West Estate

2018-2019 UPDATES

March 2019 A Wildflower Meadow is Sown


Wildflower Meadow, Tarling West Estate, July 2019

In March a few of us raked weeds and debris from a long narrow stretch of waste land up against the railway arches (between Cornwall Street and Chapman Street) directly in front of Richard Neale House. This is extremely poor soil, a mixture of gravel, building debris and very dry earth, however, this is exactly the soil quality which suits British wildflower species. With the soil prepared (raked to 2-3cm and after fresh rain), we sowed a wildflower mix of Black medick 4.9%, Meadow Buttercup 4.2%, Red campion 4.2%, White campion 3.5%, Night-Flowering catchfly 3.5%, Wild Clary 3.5%, Cowslip 0.7%, Field forget-me-not 2.8%, Foxglove 2.8%, Common Knapweed 4.2%, Goatsbeard 2.8%, Greater knapweed 2.8%, Lady’s bedstraw 4.2%, Musk mallow 2.1%, Oxeye daisy 2.1%, Hoary plantain 1.4%, Ribwort plantain 2.1%, Salad burnet 5.6%, Selfheal 3.5%, Common Sorrel 3.5%, Common St John’s-wort 1.4%, Wild Carrot 2.8%, Yarrow 1.4%, Corn chamomile 4.5%, Corncockle 13.5%, Cornflower 6%, Corn marigold 4.5%, Field Poppy 1.5%.

Containing twenty eight UK Native wildflower species, this mixture contains a larger quantity of annuals, ideal for situations where first year colour is important, but a permanent meadow is required. LWXP supports bees, butterflies and other pollinators as 81% of the wildflowers included in this mixture are recommended by the Royal Horticultural Society as ‘Perfect for Pollinators’.

It was a mixed summer, with some very dry periods and some very hot, nonetheless already a good spread of Field Poppy, Corn chamomile and Cornflower was in evidence by June-July. This September we will sow more and hope for a greater coverage in 2020! As well as the developments in the community garden, this low-maintenance effort had a great impact because many of the motorists who live on the estate noticed the flowers on what had been a completely barren area and remarked, ‘looks lovely, you should do more… the whole way along the arches’.

The first eruptions of our wildflower meadow coincided with a free ‘Wildflowers in the City’ course which took place in the amazing community orchard and meadows of Swedenborg Gardens, which a member of our garden group attended and learnt a great deal from. We’ll be augmenting the meadow and hopefully extending it using our knowledge of where to pick up seeds, when to sow and how to maintain it.


Spring 2019 Building the Khodu Palace

A bit later in spring (with assistance from a THH: Inspiring Communities grant to make improvements to the facilities in the Residents’ Hall and Garden) work begun in the community garden on a khodu (aka bottle gourd, a variety of edible gourd native to Bangladesh) planter to fit in an awkward spot between the apple tree and a diagonal fence which cuts across the eastern end of the garden. This was a tricky space, since what looked initially like a right angled bed meeting the back fence was in fact several lines at acute or obtuse angles. We chose to use the same timber beams we had used for the long bed but arranged in a trapezoid. After quite a bit of learning and getting advice from some carpenter pals, we worked out how to cut our large timber railway sleepers at obtuse angles and get a good enough finish to fit them together nicely into a large deep frame. Since the khodu and other gourds like to climb high up and dangle their massive fruit downwards, using gravity to extend their surface area, once finished with the base we needed to construct a 2metre high frame. Once the base was completed we filled it to the brim with earth (50cm deep) and planted our khodu seedlings and some random pumpkins or squash. The pergola was finally completed in early July, and finished off with a bench built into the base so our gardeners and visitors can get some shade and rest.

June 2019 Bird Boxes Added to the Estate


Courgette’s growing in the squash patch, June 2019


Spanish Vetchling blooming around the apple tree

Spring-Summer 2019 Lots and Lots of Planting

Between April and July 2019 we added, to the long bed: Thyme, Oregano, Sorel, Rosemary, Chilli, Foxgloves, Snapdragons, Heuchera, Lobelia, Curry plant, Parsely, Bay, African Marigolds.

Jasmine, Orange and Black Nasturtiums, Lobelia, Bacopa, Passion flower (all climbing or tumbling flowering plants) were added to hanging baskets or bed and trained to cover the fence running alongside Cable Street. It’s hoped that in time this builds up sufficiently to provide some shade to the garden and, possibly, along the street.

Around the James Grieve Apple tree and Walnut tree a number of wildflower species were selectively allowed to run wild, with Pigface, Lobelia, assorted succulents, a peach-coloured Rose, Asters, Lavender, Snapdragons, Foxgloves, Spanish Vetchling and a Goosberry bush were all planted to complement and build up the slightly chaotic rockery.

In the long planter by the ramp and hall double doors Cavallo Nero was harvested throughout Winter 2019, then filled with a very diverse range of  Tomatoes, Pumpkin, Spring Onion and dwarf Peas in March/April 2019. As the Onions and Peas were eagerly eaten and eventually died back in mid-summer, a winter crop of Cabbage and Leeks was planted.

Massive thanks to our pals Melvin, Ken and Paul from Winterton House, whose generosity, advice and keen eyes for a bargain led to us getting most of these plants for a song or sweet FA.

Hard at work weeding and shaping the rockery, and (right) making bee hotels with spare wood

July 2019 We’ve Got a Shed

Hard work putting a shed with over 150 rivets and 20 near-identical metal plates, but we got there, just in time 2 weeks before the annual BBQ. We now have a secure, dry shelter for a lot of the garden equipment we built up over the first two years.

Summer BBQ

Summer BBQ was the gardening group’s first opportunity to invite all residents of the estate to see their hard work, and this really paid off. Residents enjoyed the comfort afforded by the new benches and seating areas, many were impressed by the khodu palace and the bright flowers soaring or trailing from hanging baskets along the fences and surrounding the now established apple tree.


Green Pumpkin and Tomato Plants thriving in the long bed
September Harvest

As well as ready supplies of Lettuce, Thyme, parsley, sage, nasturtium flower throughout summer, in September we harvested Khodu, Summer pumpkin, Lavender, Chillies, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Carrots, Aubergines, Sorel and Apples.

Into the large bed we have planted, or will soon be planting, Cavallo Nero, Cabbage, Leeks. All beds will be dug up, replenished with compost from our own composting bins and filled to the top with soil ready for the next season in March.

Looking Ahead to 2020: New Opportunities

With a community garden now established at the Residents’ Hall, we look forward to building and developing this space further and involving more residents in the Garden Group. We have also, both as a TRA and as the Garden Group been looking for some time towards opportunities to green the more public spaces on the estate.

Two opportunities have arisen by which residents stand to gain substantial green space on their previously congested and barren estate.

Firstly, an opportunity has arisen, through a new Traffic Management Order, to reduce excess parking and traffic access on the estate.

Secondly, an opportunity for a small area of land, which was a historical part of the estate mapsite (known as the land adjacent to Shadwell Station), and has been remained derelict or used by abusive businesses, is under positive negotiation, to be returned by TFL to green space managed by the estate residents via the TRA under a license granted by Transport for London/Rail for London.

We will be discussing these exciting new opportunities with residents with a view to making a better, greener and more harmonious environment and expanding the potential for gardening and activity on the estate by residents in 2020 and beyond.


July, 2018 We started with almost nothing, James Grieve apple sapling shortly after being planted


July, 2018 Tomatoes queuing for a deeper bed

A Gardening Group Forms 2017-2018

2017-2018 was a great period for gardening on the Tarling West Estate. Residents planted bulbs during the cold winter in November 2017. These flowered in Spring 2018. Since then we have been planning more ambitious projects: two successful grant applications, one from the Tower Hill Trust and one from Can Do a grant programme administrated within Tower Hamlets (by Island House, Osmani Trust and others), will allow us to improve opportunities for gardening and biodiversity in the Residents Hall garden and on our estate.

Our initial grant from Tower Hill Trust enabled us to build a very large long planter on the concrete out of timber railway sleepers

And to develop a long border filled with gravel by the garden fence parallel to Cable Street, by lining its edge with timber sleepers and then filling the border with very good soil.

This became our herbs, flowers bed with a squash patch at the shadiest end next to a compost heap. We also planted climbing Jasmine in 2018 and added passionflower, nasturtiums, honeysuckle and two other types of jasmine in order to encourage coverage on the fence, and eventually shade for our gardeners and visitors.




Existing and New Gardens

A historic green space situated at the far west of the estate (close to Cannon Street Road), the James Gair Memorial Garden is managed independently of friends of James Gair. Two remaining gardens (surviving the one destroyed by TFL/Box cafe) between Richard Neale House and Newton House are managed by THH’s gardening team. In preparation for the installation of raised beds, a long border,  a shed storing gardening equipment, a residents have carried out extensive weeding and pruning in the Residents Hall. The Gardening Group has replaced a diseased Cherry blossom Tree with a James Grieve apple tree (planted in April 2018), begun a herb garden and sown a substantial crop of tomato plants.


Residents Box Scheme

Complimenting these existing green spaces and projects, the TRA has developed a box scheme with residents, whereby each household can apply to develop a small growing space of their own in a raised wooden crate situated in the vacant and unused areas of the estate.


Gardening Group

To formalise these projects and to democratise it beyond the TRA a Gardening Group has been formed communicating via Whatsapp and meeting on the first Sunday of each month 12-4pm in the Residents’ Hall at 1A Newton House. To join the garden group or find out more about its activities please send an email to tarlingwest.tra AT or come to our next meeting 5 August 2018 12-4pm or to one of our regular TRA general meetings.

Watch this Space

More information about all these projects will soon appear here…

Our Green Past, Present and Future

Below is a painting of Tarling West Estate made by a resident in the mid-late 1990s. It’s a beautiful image of the past and potential future of our estate greener, cleaner and providing an environment which we can nurture and will in turn nurture us, our friends and families.


Forming a Leasehold Association

What is a Leasehold Association?

Forming a residents’ association is an effective way for leaseholders to express their collective views to their landlord or managing agent.


• The rules of the association should be fair and democratic

• Membership shouldn’t be less than 60% of those eligible to join

• Members must be paying a variable service charge to their landlord

• Tenants paying fixed rents/service charges will not qualify for membership

(but they could be involved in the process informally)

• Only one vote per home will be permitted in decision making processes

• No more than one association per block will be recognised, unless there

are several blocks on the development

• To be most effective, a residents’ association needs to be formally recognised

by their landlord (in our case THH)

Legal Rights of a Leasehold Association

•If recognition is granted, residents’ associations can exercise a number of legal rights under the Landlord & Tenants Acts. The secretary of an association can:

• Ask for a summary of service charge costs

• Ask for a management audit of their housing manager

• Inspect accounts and receipts in relation to service charges

• Ask to be consulted about the appointment or reappointment of a managing agent

• Ask for a summary of insurance cover for the block

• Appoint a surveyor to advise on any matter relating to service charges.

• The surveyor will have the right to see and copy relevant documents held by the landlord. They will also be able to inspect the communal areas and appoint assistants Landlords or managing agents should also serve copies of any notices required under Section 20 consultations upon the secretary of a recognised association.

Residents’ associations also have the right to nominate contractors and inspect any estimates and specifications.


Tarling West TRA have made a leaflet to inform residents about forming a Leasehold Association: Basic_Postal_Leaflet_latest_June

Useful Links

A guide to forming a Leaseholder Association here:


Summer BBQ 22 July 2018










This year’s BBQ is supported via a grant from THH’s Inspiring Communities programme enabling us to make it bigger and better than ever.


Network Rail Success

After persistent lobbying of Network Rail by residents of Tarling West Estate, finally some of the illegal access points to our private estate road are being closed down.


Network Rail appear to have taken action by ending the lease of users of Unit 124 who had for a long time been abusing their fire exits to provide customer and delivery access to our estate. As an added bonus the illegally installed air conditioning units have also been removed. Residents will sleep more soundly with the noise of the poorly installed fans gone (though many remain on other units) and with fewer deliveries and customers illegally driving through and parking on their estate.

Well done all residents, this is the result of our hard work together.

Only when all the access points to from these railway arches are bricked up will we be able to enjoy some peace and safety on our estate!

TRA General Meeting – Fri 6 Apr 2017

Tarling West Tenants and Residents Association

General Meeting Friday 6th April 2018 7pm

Residents’ Hall, 1A Newton House, Tarling West Estate


▪Grants applied for and projects we hope to organise­

â–ªAnnouncement of scheduled date for Summer BBQ and funding news

â–ªLeaseholder Service Charge concerns.

â–ªAdvice for Tenants with regards to Council’s public liability insurance policy in relation to any damage to our residence which can occur.

â–ªSmall point for absent leaseholders.

â–ªUpdate on network rail commercial tenants.

â–ª Drug dealing on the estate and other ASB

â–ª HyperOptic discussion

+ Any other business.

Hope to see you there
Keep in touch:

Twitter: @TarlingWestTRA | email: |


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