Residents' Hub in Whitechapel Town Hall: Accessible on the ground floor. Photo courtesy of Tower Hamlets Council.
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Explainer: The consultation process for Tower Hamlets Council’s Local Plan 2025

The consultation process for the 2025 Local Plan will give East Enders a say on key decisions in our borough. This includes where affordable homes are built, liveable streets plans and how to protect green spaces. We take a look at and clarify Council measures.

The new Local Plan, which Tower Hamlets Council will adopt in 2025, will establish policies for how and where you can develop in a particular area. This will affect key aspects of our neighbourhood including new buildings, parks and roads.

If you would like the Council to read your concerns, the Local Plan consultation process gives you that chance.

East Enders were invited to share their views in an ‘early engagement’ call-out from 25 January until 8 March. Questions such as ‘what makes Tower Hamlets special?’ and ‘How could concerns about poor air quality be addressed through policy?’ were posed in an online survey.

You will have a second opportunity to register your views this summer in a consultation on possible locations for new developments such as affordable housing.

Following that there will be a final consultation next summer where you can give the Council feedback on the plan’s final draft.

It will then be submitted to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in the winter of 2024 and examined by an independent planning inspector early in 2025.

Tower Hamlets Council will finally adopt the plan towards the end of 2025 and use it for all decisions on planning applications borough-wide.

Affordable housing, education and tackling overcrowding were some key issues identified by the Council, hence its 2022 manifesto promise to build 1,000 social homes each year.

Lutfur Rahman, Tower Hamlets mayor, said: ‘The Local Plan is important as it impacts things like where new homes are built, the height of new buildings, the amount of office space provided.’

‘It will ensure that through planning, we find ways to help tackle impacts of the cost-of-living, such as overcrowding, delivering new, affordable homes,’ he added.

It was found that more than half of East Enders did not know what a Local Plan was, according to a Council-run Instagram poll.

Rahman’s 2025 Local Plan will replace the current one, adopted in 2020 by former Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs, that established policies until 2031.

The change was made after Rahman’s administration deemed certain policies outdated.

We asked the Council what policies from the old plan needed updating, the date for the public consultation and who will be the independent planning inspector but these details were not provided.

You can email localplan@towerhamlets.gov.uk to register your interest in updates ahead of this summer’s public consultation.

Follow progress via Tower Hamlets Council’s interactive StoryMap.

You can also write a letter to the Strategic Planning Team at Tower Hamlets Town Hall, 160 Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1BJ.

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