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The planning application to Tower Hamlets Council from St William Homes for the MARIAN PLACE GASHOLDER SITE was validated by the planners on 24 February 2020, and the 30-day public consultation runs from 27 February to 28 March.

Part of the application description refers to the No.2 and No.5 gasholder guide frames as follows:

..retention (including dismantling, refurbishment and reinstatement) of the two existing gasholder frames to facilitate redevelopment for a mixed-use development…..

However, I understand that there isn't much about the 'methodology' in the planning application as the details re dismantling etc. are being submitted for approval after planning permission has been granted, in other words, they are being 'dealt with by condition' (see January 2020 Newsletter).

As the details will not, therefore, be consulted on, more people must please sign the EEWG petition (so far signed by about 770 people, for which many thanks) preferably by 28 March: objecting to the unnecessary and very risky dismantling and to the proposed block of flats inside the re-erected/reinstated No.2 columnar guide frame

Sign the petition - click here

There is also a direct link to the more or less self-explanatory petition on for individuals and organisations to pass on and encourage others to sign asap

The application PA/19/02717/A1 may be viewed on the Council's website. There are over 190 documents and the two most useful with respect to the historic gasholders are the DESIGN & ACCESS STATEMENT and the HERITAGE STATEMENT. When I get to see these two documents and relevant drawings I will write a letter of objection on behalf of EEWG. The letter will probably concentrate on the harm to the Regent's Canal Conservation Area as the unlisted gasholders are in the conservation area and make a positive contribution to its character and appearance, and demand that the details of dismantling etc are the subject of a second planning application for public consultation so that it is an agenda item for full and proper consideration by the committee. The letter will be included with the next newsletter.

As many organisations and individuals as possible also need to please e-mail letters of objection  ( quoting the PA number) to the dismantling, off-site refurbishment and reinstatement of the two gasholder guide frames. And please include the need for their in situ conservation and the need for a grassed public open space inside the original No.2 gasholder guide frame. And perhaps demanding a second planning application as the committee, knowing that the details of dismantling etc. are being 'dealt with by condition', is unlikely to spend time giving full and proper consideration to the complex and controversial dismantling etc. along with all the other issues at one meeting.

For further information see the self-explanatory petition and January 2020 & December 2019 Newsletters.

This really is the last chance to save the WORLD'S OLDEST SURVIVING GASHOLDER GUIDE FRAME from being dismantled for off-site refurbishment and re-erection around a circular six-storey block of flats; and to demand that the cast-iron guide frame is properly conserved in situ* and the circular space laid out as a grassed public open space so that the magnificent guide frame can continue being seen against the sky and reflected in the waters of the Regent's canal.

*to ensure that the brittle cast-iron is not damaged, the cast iron columns will not need reinforcement and that the unique structure remains as bolted to the circular brick wall of its in-ground tank in 1866.

No.2 Gasholder at Bethnal Green, built 1865-66

No ?? Bethnal Green

Photographed by Malcolm Tucker in 1973 - click for large version

Tom Ridge

new eewg logo East End Waterway Group
Local residents, schools, community groups, amenity societies and businesses working with the Canal & River Trust, Tower Hamlets Council and others for the protection and beneficial use of the six mile waterway ‘ring’, its historic buildings, structures and habitats.
Copyright © 2020 EAST END WATERWAY GROUP, All rights reserved.

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