Mayor overturns refusal for Levitt Bernstein and Morris+Co Poplar estate regen

It is expected the next stage of the plans will take another 10 years to deliver.


The design team – which also includes LDA Design and ZCD Architects – subsequently submitted amendments to the proposals, which feature a number of towers, including a 28 storey high-rise residential block. The revisions introduced second staircases, increasing the ‘greening factor’ and a reduction in the number of homes – an overall drop of 17 to 1,539.

The overhaul of the existing estate (1956-1977) next to the approach to the Blackwall Tunnel will also include 2,300m² of commercial space, 2,600m² of workspace and 3,550m² of new public realm, together with improvements to existing open spaces at Millennium Green, Leven Road, Braithwaite Park and Jolly’s Green.

Councillors also said they were worried about the level of affordable housing on the 9.1ha site near Ernö Goldfinger’s Balfron Tower– about 39 per cent – and the height of the development outside a designated tall building zone.

‘It has been an honour to work with the community so closely to get this over the line, hearing why, although they are so happy to call Aberfeldy home, it is important to them for the change to continue.’

The application, backed by housing association Poplar Harca and Malaysian developer EcoWorld, was later called in by the London Mayor’s team to take over the decision-making.

The development is set to replace 330 existing homes, 250 of which are designated for social rent. The new scheme will provide 363 homes for social or affordable rent, 77 for intermediate rent and 1,099 private homes.

In a response to a consultation on the revised proposals in November, the Greater London Authority received 936 objections and 1,427 responses in support.

Following recommendations to approve by GLA officers, London Mayor Sadiq Khan gave the green light to the scheme at a call-in hearing at City Hall on Friday (26 January).

At the time, the borough’s planning officers, who had recommended approval, warned these were not valid reasons for rejecting the proposals, as the scheme complied with local planning guidelines on both counts. Speaking after the vote in February, a planning officer informed councillors there were ‘some issues that, if we were in an appeal situation, would be very, very difficult to defend’.

The project is part of a wider regeneration of the Aberfeldy Estate, masterplanned by Levitt Bernstein. Over the past 10 years the partnership between Poplar Harca and EcoWorld has already delivered more than 900 homes on the southern portion of the estate.

Lisa Gledhill, managing director of development at EcoWorld London said: ‘We’re so pleased with the Mayor of London’s decision to proceed with this next phase, as we know what this will mean to the people of Aberfeldy.

Last year permission for the second part of the Aberfeldy Estate regeneration in Poplar was refused in an 8-0 vote by local councillors due to concerns about increased traffic and reduced sunlight to neighbouring buildings caused by the scheme’s ‘overly dense and overbearing form’.