L&Q’s Silvertown homes scheme approved in spite of concerns from neighbour Tate & Lyle
PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 March 2020
Plans to build homes next to a golden syrup factory are a step closer in spite of doubts from one of the borough’s oldest employers.
Housing association L&Q wants to build 252 flats across three tower blocks rising 12 to 20 storeys on land next to Tate & Lyle Sugars' golden syrup factory in Plaistow Wharf, Knights Road, Silvertown.
But the 140 year old company fears the homes' closeness to their 24-hour, daily operation would risk enforcement action with future neighbours complaining about noise. One block would be nine metres away.
Air quality would be a risk, Tate & Lyle say, with 150 lorries delivering loads day and night. The firm urged Newham's strategic development committee members either to introduce a condition that the development's windows be sealed shut or to reject the bid at a meeting at Old Town Hall, Stratford, on Tuesday, March 10.
Gerald Mason, Tate & Lyle's senior vice president, said to members: 'If this application goes through, in five to 10 years' time the neighbours will complain, the noise will be too much for them and your environmental health will take us to court and have our factory closed.
'You are our only line of defence.'
He urged Newham to apply the agent of change principle, meaning L&Q would be responsible for managing the impact of any land use changes on its plot in what he described as a 'test case' for the borough.
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However, the council's legal officer warned councillors not to take future noise complaints into account when deciding.
James Bolt, Newham's senior development manager, denied it was a test case, adding planning officers recommended refusal for a different scheme nearby in part thanks to the agent of change principle.
L&Q argued council officers support the firm's proposal windows should be openable adding it appreciated Tate & Lyle's desire to ensure their facility succeeded in the future.
Its representative said L&Q was committed to tackling the housing crisis, managed 14,000 homes in Newham and would transform a vacant site.
In total, 35 per cent of the homes would be 'affordable', breaking down into 63pc at London affordable rent and the rest shared ownership.
The committee was split 50/50 on deferring the decision and on approving the scheme.
It passed after committee chairman, Cllr Daniel Blaney, gave the casting vote.
The bid now goes to City Hall.