Boris says Forest Gate tower block ‘unsuitable’

London Mayor Boris Johnson has rejected plans for a 27 storey tower block in Forest Gate in a report published by the Greater London Authority.

In a letter written on behalf of the Mayor, Colin Wilson, senior manager of planning decisions, said: “The Mayor considers that the application does not comply with the London Plan.”

It continues: “Having considered the report, the Mayor takes a different view on the acceptability of the tall building in this location.

“He does not consider that this location is suitable for a tall building of this scale.”

The news has delighted the Save Forest Gate Action Group who have been campaigning against the regeneration application by developer Obsidian.

Local resident Paul Holloway said: “This is fantastic news for the community in Forest Gate, which has been overwhelmingly opposed to this development since it first became public knowledge in the summer.”

Dr Opara-Mottoh, a council member of the Methodist Church on Woodgrange Road, said: “We are very glad that Boris Johnson has seen sense in rejecting the planning application and we hope that Newham Council will also see sense by rejecting the planning application in February.”

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Responding to concerns that the tower block will not suit the “historic character” of the Victorian conservation area, Obsidian development director Richard Cutler said: “We want Forest Gate to grow the way other parts of London have done and the tall building is not designed to overpower Forest Gate but to enhance it.”

The report by the Development and Environment Directorate says that, if Newham Council approves the application on February 21, they must consult the Mayor again allowing him 14 days to decide what action to take.

The Mayor then has the power to allow the decision to go ahead unchanged, direct the Council to refuse the application or act as the local planning authority himself. The report also asked for further detail in various areas.

and work needed to be carried out in the areas of retail strategy, community facilities, the impact on ethnic minorities, affordable housing policy and climate change.