Mayor to put on second public session after Isle of Dogs meeting sparks lively debate

Ask the Mayor at Jack Dash House -2

More than 150 people discussed the future of the Isle of Dogs with Mayor John Biggs at a packed Ask the Mayor event.

The session at Jack Dash House, Marsh Wall, gave people who live on the island the chance to give their views on and aspirations for the area’s development. 

The Isle of Dogs and South Poplar are undergoing major change with the rapid construction of residential and commercial developments.

More than 2095 housing units were built in the Isle of Dogs/South Poplar area between April 2014 and December 2016.

The population of the Isle of Dogs is expected to be one of the fastest growing areas in the country over the next decade.

The mayor made it clear that he supports the views of residents that new developments must meet the needs of the local community including affordable housing and new social infrastructure.

The Ask the Mayor session on February 8, was an opportunity for people to put forward their views to the council and also representatives from the Greater London Authority (GLA), which has powers over the council, to grant planning permission for some larger sites.

Both bodies also gave presentations on the development of plans for the area. The council is currently creating a new Local Plan, which will provide the framework for future planning applications. The GLA did the same for its London Plan, which plans growth for the borough and the capital as a whole.  

They noted people’s comments about the need for supporting infrastructure such as transport, schools, open space, public toilets and GP surgeries, along with concerns about the level of street lighting and vehicle access to the island. 

They also outlined opportunities in the coming months where there are other opportunities for residents to further shape both plans. 

Richard Horwood, Chair of the Isle of Dogs Neighbourhood Planning Forum, a resident led body that is working with the council and GLA to produce a plan for the Isle of Dogs, also gave a presentation and answered questions.

The Ask the Mayor event was so popular that Mayor John Biggs has decided to hold a second session on Tuesday March 7, to give more people the chance to have their say.

The session, starting at 7.30pm, will take place at George Green School, 100 Manchester Road, Isle of Dogs, E14 3DW.

Mayor John Biggs said:

“With the scale of development in the Isle of Dogs, we must do all we can to ensure that new social infrastructure not only supports our new communities but our existing ones too.

“Many of these planning applications are ultimately decided by the GLA rather than the council so our Ask the Mayor event is crucial for the council and our residents to come together and voice our concerns and aspirations.

“It is plain to see how concerned people are judging by the numbers that attended this meeting. Clearly more people wanted to have their say which is why we are putting on a second Ask the Mayor event on this issue in the coming weeks.”

Richard Horwood said:  “Developments should only be approved after the infrastructure needed to support them has been identified and guaranteed.

The forum welcomes the Mayor’s commitment to the issue, which he has demonstrated by calling a second meeting.”

Further consultation on the council’s proposed Local Plan will take place in June and July.

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Posted on Monday 20th February 2017