Planners expected to reject application for Stratford development

Newham planners are expected recommend that an application for 600 units of student accommodation in Stratford be rejected.

The application, submitted by Catalyst Capital, owners of the Stratford Centre, are expected to be considered by the council’s Strategic Development Committee on September 17.

It outlines proposals for a mixed use development on the site of Morgan House, next to Stratford Centre. It would include a 27 storey block consisting of 648 student accommodation units, a supermarket plus café, three retail units and a car park.

To build this development, Morgan House and its existing buildings would be demolished along with the associated car park, market traders’ storage premises and a number of retail units within Stratford Centre, plus an entrance ramp to the existing multi-storey car park.

Council officers have considered the application and agree with some parts of it in principle, welcoming the potential additional 200 jobs the new supermarket and retail units could bring and the improvements to the public realm proposed.

However, they have recommended the application is rejected because of the high quantity of student accommodation which they believe will have a detrimental affect on the area and the lack of residential housing included in the proposals.

These proposals represent an overprovision of student accommodation by 116 per cent according to the Stratford Metropolitan Masterplan, which outlines the council’s vision for a vibrant town centre and mixed and balanced community in line with the Local Plan. This sets out that the proportion of student housing in the area should be around 300 units compared to 800 to 1,200 new residential homes.

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A spokesperson for Catalyst Capital said: “We have worked with Newham Council and others on this application for nearly two years and we are disappointed by the recommendation to refuse.

“This application would underpin the viability of the Stratford Centre, which is at the heart of the local community. It would create around 250 new jobs and protect the 530 or so jobs that already exist on site.

“Our architects, AHMM, have produced a high quality design that would dramatically improve both the visitor welcome to Stratford and the public realm around Great Eastern Road.

“We consulted widely on the plans late last year and 89 per cent of the comments we received from the public were supportive of our proposals.”

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