Aberfeldy Estate, Tower Hamlets

Client: Wilmott Dixon

Poplar HARCA selected Willmott Dixon Homes as their development partner for regenerating the Aberfeldy Estate, East London. The proposals include the demolition of 297 existing homes and providing 1176 new dwellings in six phases. A planning application had been submitted prior to Willmott Dixon’s appointment, but had stalled and was not supported by officers.

Tibbalds, Levitt Bernstein and the Willmott Dixon design and planning team, were charged with overcoming the issues with the existing planning application.  Key challenges were:

  • devising a consultation strategy that gave residents sufficient time and met the project programme;
  • developing a phasing strategy to mimimise the cost of leaseholder acquisitions and CPOs;
  • managing the risk of potential call-in from the HSE in relation to the two gas holders adjacent to the estate;
  • devising a strategy to optimise the delivery of affordable housing over the life of the scheme and retain sufficient flexibility for the scheme to remain viable in changing market conditions; and
  • developing a strategy to deliver an early phase of development.

A planning strategy was developed that tested and successfully managed the various challenges and risks through the planning process.

A working relationship was established with LB Tower Hamlets, London Thames Gateway and the GLA to enable a masterplan to be developed and tested in collaboration, so that all parties were able to support the proposals prior to submission.

New planning applications (detailed Phase 1 and outline for the remainder) were submitted, underpinned by a detailed viability and delivery strategy. Planning consents were secured following the withdrawal of the HSE’s call in request.