Developments in Wapping

What’s in Wapping have an interesting post from the Turks Head Company Charity summarising a discussion held in May (hopefully my latest FOI request to LBTH on section 106 will arrive more promptly!).

The meeting the Turks Head held looks to have come up with some sensible suggestions, some general, and some very specific, and only one strikes me as objectionable (the smooth cycle lane – I am a big fan of the setts in the road and I think any attacks on them should be fought off to maintain the character of the area). I’d be interested to know why they have decided not to proceed with forming a Neighbourhood Planning Forum (presumably they knew at the outset it would be resource intensive) and whether it is because Network Wapping has started their own application.

The coexistence of the two groups shouldn’t be a problem, but does suggest that there is always going to be tension and rivallry between different people – when I studied A-Level politics back in the day (not quite the age of Plato, but it increasingly feels like it), we were always told that politics is the art of conflict resolution – I’m not sure if this ironically amusing or ironically heartbreaking.

Also going on in Wapping, is the launch of Tobacco Dock as a conference/exhibition centre (new website) which is coicidentally what John Bell of Network Wapping was proposing. Of note is that in the planning application for the hotel north of the site, there was a proposal for a bridge linking the hotel to Tobacco Dock – reminds me of the Hyatt hotel in Birmingham connected to the International Conference Centre and Symphony Hall (recent host of the Conservative Party Conference – I make it clear that my knowledge is from 4 years of audit visits!).
Hopefully this new venture, which offers a variety of rooms of different sizes – some very large, will be a kickstart to the area and add some vim to getting the hotel built. Using it as a conference venue seems sensible – I don’t know quite how it’s being operated (I think WiW will have some more info online today) but it’s a canny use of space, as I imagine costs can be flexed based on demand, unli´╗┐ke a shopping centre (you can’t send home all the staff if no one comes in).
The operating company Tobacco Dock Venues Ltd was incorporated in 2012 by three of the founders/Directors of Interact Branding, a marketing/PR company, so it looks like a new direction for them, though whether actual management is being undertaken by someone else I don’t know.

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