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Neighbours from Canning Town shelter urge council to request flats for the homeless in proposed development

PUBLISHED: 12:00 13 September 2019

Neighbours from Canning Town homeless shelter Caritas Anchor House outside Old Town Hall, Stratford, on Wednesday, September 11. Picture: Jon King

Neighbours from Canning Town homeless shelter Caritas Anchor House outside Old Town Hall, Stratford, on Wednesday, September 11. Picture: Jon King

Archant

Neighbours living in a shelter have urged the council to request 10 flats for the homeless be included in a development of 804 homes.

Newham's strategic development committee met at Old Town Hall, Stratford, on Wednesday, September 11. Picture: Jon KingNewham's strategic development committee met at Old Town Hall, Stratford, on Wednesday, September 11. Picture: Jon King

The man and woman, who live in Caritas Anchor House, made their appeal to Newham councillors at a meeting in Old Town Hall, Stratford on Wednesday, September 11.

The council's strategic development committee voted unanimously in favour of The English Cities Fund's scheme to build on both sides of Manor Road, Canning Town.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said: "All we are asking for is genuine affordable housing with a little understanding, kindness and support. Is that too much to ask?"

Her neighbour, James, added: "We understand you have to think about homeless people across Newham and the 30,000 people on the housing waiting list.

"But this development will be our neighbour. I'm excited by the plans. This has the potential to directly tackle homelessness and enable the community to thrive."

Newham Citizens, an alliance of 21 organisations including St Stephen's Parish and Caritas Anchor House, backed the pair.

However, one resident spoke against the bid saying she was totally opposed to the gentrification of Canning Town.

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"It should be local housing for local people," she told the committee.

In total 402 homes would be at "affordable" rates with 22.5 per cent London affordable rent and 27.5pc shared ownership. The rest are private.

Cllr Rachel Tripp welcomed the numbers, saying: "How surprising but welcome it is that an allocation exceeds requirements on affordable housing.

"I would like to note the compelling case made by the two residents and the really serious problems with homelessness we have in Newham."

The committee heard the call for 10 homes for the homeless could be agreed in a section 106 deal between the council and developer.

The development would also see 6,585 square metres of retail space reduced to 2,400 sqm of commercial space.

The developer's Duncan Cumberland said he was aware of the problem of under-used retail space at Rathbone Market, an earlier scheme built by The English Cities Fund.

Cllr James Beckles asked: "What guarantees are there that [the Manor Road retail] space will be well used?"

Mr Cumberland replied: "We have learnt a lot of lessons from Rathbone Market."

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