Plans for £180m redevelopment around Stratford Centre site approved
PUBLISHED: 17:00 16 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:11 16 September 2019
The council has approved £180million plans to demolish buildings next to the Stratford Centre to make way for 423 homes, a hotel, office block and shops.
The development sees tower blocks rising 42 and 21 storeys replace the vacant Morgan House office block and a multi-storey car park on Stratford Island opposite the bus station in Great Eastern Road.
The renewed bid from the Stratford Centre's new owner - real estate fund manager, Frogmore - would see a 299-bed hotel rising 17 storeys next to a public square.
Frogmore's Honne Puttonen, speaking at a Newham Council meeting on Wednesday, September 11, said: "We were interested in delivering a scheme with a greater town centre focus."
Members of the strategic development committee heard the bid boosts the number of affordable homes from 19 per cent of 439 flats in a 2014 scheme to 35pc of 423, providing "genuinely affordable" housing.
However, Cllr Mas Patel attacked the height of the buildings as a departure from a council push not to have "really tall" buildings.
Chief planning officer Amanda Reid replied it was on a site that can take tall buildings.
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Cllr James Beckles shot back describing the heights as "imposing" before saying Newham needed more four bedroom social rent homes. The bid has one to three bedroom flats.
Cllr Rachel Tripp asked how market traders, whose storage area is to be replaced, would be safeguarded and managed. Ms Puttonen said management was the council's responsibility.
After Cllr Patel's call for more time to consider was rejected, the council's climate change chief called for more details on how the scheme would impact air quality.
Rachel Crick, a planner and Frogmore's agent, said it was a car-free development with compensation paid to offset carbon emissions.
On how Frogmore would help the homeless people who bed down around the centre, Ms Puttonen offered to work with Newham.
"It's an incredibly difficult problem. We can't come up with a solution on our own," she said.
Cllr Patel replied: "I'm not comfortable with that answer. There's a homeless camp on that land. How are you going to deal with that?"
To which Ms Puttonen replied: "We don't have any answers to give you today."
The plan now goes to the mayor of London.