City Hall move to The Crystal given thumbs-up

View of The Crystal from above

The Crystal covers more than 6,300 square metres. - Credit: Rosalind Butt

Newham has approved plans for City Hall to move to The Crystal in a step expected to save £61million.

But members of the council's strategic development committee clashed with the team behind the move which insisted the mayor of London needed two parking spaces at the venue in Royal Victoria Dock.

A bid to remove the controversial bays put forward by Cllr Rachel Tripp was voted down by four out of seven committee members.

It followed a heated exchange over the example the spaces set to developers who are expected to make sure their own schemes are car-free.

Cllr Tripp said: "Given how hard we push developers on reducing parking spaces and given how resolute we are around transport, I'm a bit surprised to see an application with two out of five spaces for this position, particularly in the context of the mayor of London's transport plan. It just seems completely antithetical to what we're all trying to do."

Cllr Daniel Blaney, who chairs the committee, added: "We've had three mayors of London so far. Ken Livingstone was particularly notorious in saying he was not going to travel around in a car; Boris Johnson famously going around by bike and we've seen Sadiq doing that recently, which seems like the right approach. It's completely baffling."

The committee heard policy was "pretty clear" that developments should be car-free with only blue badge spaces allowed, but the bays were considered "a special case".

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Cllr Tripp shot back: "How can this possibly be a special case? It's outrageous."

Rickardo Hyatt, City Hall's assistant director of housing, said the bays were needed for security and were on the advice of "appropriate authorities".

Boosting capacity at Royal Victoria DLR station is among the plans too.

strategic development committee meeting 08/12/2020

City Hall's move to The Crystal was agreed by members of the council's strategic development committee on Tuesday (December 8). - Credit: LBN

Of 4,849 neighbours consulted, 17 responded. Eight objected and five favoured the move.

Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz

Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, welcomed City Hall's move to Newham. - Credit: R. Fiaz

Following the meeting, mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz said: “I’m thrilled that the Mayor of London and the London Assembly will be moving to the stunning Royal Docks, and making Newham its home."

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the move would "turbo charge" the neighbourhood's regeneration. - Credit: PA

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The Royal Docks really is an amazing place, and relocating City Hall will help us to turbo-charge the regeneration of the area."