Tarling West Estate

A Community Blog about our estate in East London

Summer BBQ 22 July 2018









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

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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!

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Shadwell Traffic Management Resident’s Alternative Proposal and Report On Planning and Enforcement

By Chapman Street Fightback Residents Group, Shadwell Gardens TRA & Tarling West Estate TRA

This report is an initial response by the Shadwell local community to the LBTH Consultation on the ‘future of Cable Street and traffic in the surrounding area’

Download a copy of the report




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LBTH Consultation on the future of Cable Street and traffic in the surrounding area

LBTH are currently carrying out ‘consultation’ around the ‘future of Cable Street and traffic in the surrounding area’. Obviously, Cornwall Street is right next to Cable Street and in the middle of these proposed plans.

It’s very important local residents read these plans and try to respond to them annoyingly we have not been able to obtain printed copies, we are still seeking to find out how these are to be obtained.

The council carried out a Preliminary consultation with the public about making changes to traffic movements in and around Cable Street.

Download a copy of the proposed changes in detail.

One of the main reasons we are encouraging residents to read and respond to the plans is because another ‘consultation’ took place in 2015 and residents found that the Council tried to deliberately obfuscate the process and prevent knowledge of the plans and importantly responses from local residents from being heard.

Typical problems of ‘consultation’

We have read and listened to many other community groups and campaigns who have experienced phony ‘consultation’ processes and encourage ‘community groups and activists to decide upon their strategies in dealing with ‘consultation’ professionals parachuting into their neighbourhoods’

The Council claims above it has already carried out a ‘Preliminary consultation’. Through the TRA we heard that only 2 of 126 flats on the estate had received any information about the 2018 plans. As a TRA we requested the full plans and consultation documents. As you will see below, these tell us almost nothing about the process. It is as if the planners of this process do not want us to know anything about it in advance of it being decided for us.

A more or less blank map indicating a few street names sent to us when the TRA requested the full consultation documents


Letter stating that these are indeed ‘hard copies of the consultation documents’


Complete Package

Since residents were withheld information about the project, several realised we would need to keep a keen eye out for opportunities to find out about the project and have our views heard.

Tower Hamlets Council’s Cable Street proposed street improvements consultation. Our next opportunity came this last weekend when PCL Consultants to Tower Hamlets Council organised a Walkabout for locals to ‘attend to walk and talk through the proposals and suggest your own improvement ideas.’  When: Saturday 27 January, 10am. Where: Meet at Shadwell Overground Station. Register at:  More information: 

Several Tarling West TRA members attended. Whilst the PCL Consultants who led the walk were able to offer very little insight into the process, and very little knowledge of the local area, what was useful was that through the walkabout we were able to meet many members of the local community, particularly residents of Cable Street and friends of St Georges Gardens. This provided a wonderful opportunity for residents and interest groups of Tarling West, Chapman Street, Shadwell Gardens, Bigland Street and Cable Street to meet and share their views, this addressed and went a long way beyond matters of only traffic management. Moreover, some members of the group had done their research and were able to explain previously confusing aspects of the proposed traffic changes. Local residents  are currently preparing the publication and circulation of a document which puts across local residents and pedestrian, cyclist and motorists’ views of the current plan, the walkabout was an excellent opportunity to gather these.

Walkabout 30 January 2018



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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 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).


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





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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


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.’

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, June 2014

3B/ Tarling West green space privatised and misused


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).


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 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.


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.
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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. Known in the Victorian period as Bluegate Fields, 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. Former Chapman Street School, now Darrul Ummah School, was designed by Edward Robert Robson (1836-1917) in the first half of 1873, and built 1874-75, with a major extension in 1885-86 by T. J.Bailey (1843-1910) and later additions. The exterior carries a relief depicting Knowledge Strangling Ignorance (more like face-planting), by Spencer Stanhope. It was given its Grade II listing only in 2010, in a bid to preserve it from demolition. On a more modern note, three early modernist buildings designed by architect Joseph Emberton and mostly built around 1934 (two blocks of flats) are located on Chapman Street, Walburgh Street and (an office building) Commercial Road. Also, in more contemporary Winterton House (originally called Winterton Point), one of the highest buildings in Tower Hamlets and the highest brick residential building in Europe when it was built in 1968 towers over Commercial Road right next to Watney Market. It was originally dressed in light grey fibreglass cladding; inside, residents complained about a lack of privacy due to the flimsiness of the internal partitions. Tower Hamlets Council took the decision to strip it down and rebuild with heavier floors and partitions, along with a load-bearing brick exterior to accommodate them. Its twin Gelston Point wasn’t so fortunate, it was demolished in the late ’90s, whilst the acclaimed rebuild of Winterton was completed in 1999. The purpose of the steel structure on its roof was to pre-stress the new brickwork by generating more than a million pounds of downward pressure. Our own estate, Tarling West was built by a contractor called M.J. Gleeson for Stepney Metropolitan Borough Council between 1952-1954 as part of the ‘Bigland Street Scheme‘, below is a view of one of the three blocks Newton House taken in in 1988 prior to cladding.

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 past few summers (2016 onwards) 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 future.

Further reading about the history of Shadwell, St Georges and Cable Street



















1988_View_of_Newton_Housetower-hamlets-glamis-adventure-playground-12OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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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:


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

Announcement of scheduled date for Summer BBQ and funding news

Leaseholder Service Charge concerns.

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

Small point for absent leaseholders.

Update on network rail commercial tenants.

Drug dealing on the estate and other ASB

▪ HyperOptic discussion

+ Any other business.

Hope to see you there
Keep in touch:

Twitter: @TarlingWestTRA | email: |


Bulb Planting on Tarling West Estate

With a generous gift of over 100 hundred flower bulbs from THH Environmental Services Officer, Veronica Suwara, residents of Tarling West Estate ventured out into the frosty morning air on 9 December 2017 to improve the appearance of the grounds of our estate. Residents planted kaufmanniana and greigii mixed tulip bulbs on some of the less-than-green spaces abutting the railway arches and car park of the estate.


*Update March 2018: Bulbs springing up!


Next TRA Meeting 7 November 7PM

Tarling West is YOUR Estate!

Tarling West TRA is YOUR Tenants and Residents Association!

Next meeting Tuesday 7 November 7pm

Held At 1A Newton House

(Entrance from Cornwall Street)

Keep in touch:

Twitter: @TarlingWestTRA | email: |


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:

***Update 26/01/2018***

With assistance from the Film Office the film crew above is in the process of being identified and fined. A second film crew, this time from the BBC, was discovered operating on the estate in January, mistakenly believing they only needed permission from the business premises the filming was due to take place in. Unfortunately, as the crew was informed, the business, its access and all access to the estate is via a private road. There should be no deliveries, film screenings, weddings, funerals or anything else without express permission of THH who manage the estate on the behalf of its residents. This film crew made an apology and a settlement with the TRA which we will be using to fund an annual summer BBQ for residents. In the process we have learnt that TRA’s on estates where filming takes place are entitled for 10% of the location shooting fee paid to the film office. Tarling West TRA will be continuing to stop, identify and report crews filming without permission on our estate and collecting the fees for the future enjoyment of our residents.

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
E1 5HU
0208 980 8771
t: @thefilmoffice

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