A draft response to my queries on the evidence submitted by the planning officers to support the planning application for railings
I can assure you that all views and objections were taken into full consideration in the assessment of this proposal and officers and Members believe that a railing of 30cm in height will not cause any significant harm in terms of views to the river, or to Tower Bridge; impact on the Conservation Area; or issues relating to accessibility and safety.
To answer some of your questions:
1. “How did you assess the impact of the railing on the ability to enjoy an uninterrupted view of the river. Specifically, at what height did you assume eye level to be, such that, did you consider the impact on wheelchair users and children’s access to the river view”
I would advise you to refer to my committee report, however to answer such a specific question – as we know something such as ‘eye level’ is different for adults and for children depending on age and height and also different for those in wheelchairs. As the railing is only 30cm above an existing 1.1m wall approx, it will still be possible to look either above or below the railing over the river and therefore will not block any views.
2. In the update report issued on incidents of ASB, it states the statistics are: ‘Capital Wharf and the nearby vicinity’. What is the boundary of ‘nearby vicinity’?
I have attached for you the report issued by the Met Police, who we find to be the most reliable of sources in relation to crime related incidents and anti-social behaviour. This map was presented to the committee. The area is highlighted in red and relates to the general vicinity.
3. Did planning officers seek confirmation of whether these incidents were on a) the riverside or b) on the Wapping High Street side of Capital Wharf. I note that there is a convenience store immediately opposite Capital Wharf where I have often encountered children seeking adults to buy alcohol or tobacco for them and I seek reassurance that any reports of ASB from this location were not used inappropriately.
The issues of crime and antisocial behaviour is one of many considerations officers and Members took into account regarding the proposal. No specific crime or nuisance incidents were expanded upon or requested by officers.
4. Of the 144 properties contacted, what number were in Capital Wharf and what number were in Cinnabar Wharf.
Our records indicate that 33 flats in Cinnabar Wharf East were consulted and 85 flats in Capital Wharf were consulted.
5. I have not received a copy of East End Life for at least 12 months – does the planning department consider that East End Life remains a suitable vehicle for statutory planning notices.
Yes, as set out in our adopted Statement of Community Involvement, the Planning Service considers the East End Life to be the suitable medium to advertise our press notices for all relevant planning applications. As you have not received a copy in over 12 months, I can raise this with our communication/distribution officers, if you wish?
6. If LBTH does not hold information on the nature of ASB, please can you state on what basis an informed decision was able to be made on the impact of ASB.
As outlined in the committee report, ASB was one of many issues taken into account as a material consideration. It must be pointed out that if ASB was not raised by the applicant or his agent, the merits of this application would still have been made with regards to matters such as the design and appearance of the proposed railings, impact on the conservation area and views, as well as any impacts in terms of access along this walkway.
Finally, I must stress that all relevant planning matters relating to this proposal were taken in to account and presented to our Planning Committee on 10 October. I trust however that this answers some of your questions. If you are not happy with this response or the Council’s decision, I suggest you take matters up formally with Corporate Complaints Team, details of which are set out below: