London Mayor rejects permission for much needed market redevelopment
Strongly supported plans for the redevelopment of Queens Market in Upton Hall, which were to include 350 new homes, have been blocked at the last hurdle by London Mayor Boris Johnson who says the scheme does not fit into the London Plan. Following five years of consultation with local traders, residents and Newham Council, St Modwen, the plans were approved by Newham Council on 22 April and were subsequently issued to the Major for final approval.
The development, designed by PRP Architects included the construction of a 96 metre, 31 storey high residential block. The existing market, housed in a tired structure with little natural light, was to be given a new lease of life with more stall pitches, better sanitation provision, new recycling facilities and a secure car park, all housed within a building with vibrant frontage. And a library and local service center was to complete the development.
“I have carefully considered this application,"said Johnson, "However, it is obvious that a tower of this size, so much higher than any existing tall buildings in the area, is neither attractive or in proportion or suited to any of the surrounding buildings, streets or the general urban realm of Newham.
“I am not opposed to the improvements to Queen’s Market, but I am against this inappropriate tower and have, therefore, instructed Newham not to approve these current plans.”
According to the Mayor's office, the developers, St Modwen, were advised the plans 'did not conform on several counts, including the quality of the design of the proposed tower' upon submission of the plans to the Mayor in May 2008. These plans were then revised and approved by Newham Council but the 'attractiveness' of the tower design remained of particular issue to the Mayor.
"We are obviously disappointed with the Mayor's decision," said Nick Kay, Development Director at St. Modwen. "We remain confident that our plans for Queens Market will deliver the substantial regeneration of this part of Green Street in Newham. We will review the Mayor's decision and revert in due course."
Niki May Young