The case officer’s report recommended approval and the chair and vice-chair, together with all three members present, voted to approve the report: after a long debate about transport issues and the fact that there are no agreed proposals for a foot bridge (or footbridges) across the River Lea to LB Newham.
A senior planner produced draft wording for the permission, which included references to the bridge and the conditions to be agreed for the re-erection of the two salvaged bays from the No. 1 gasholder at the former Poplar Gasworks.
TEXT OF TOM RIDGE’S 3-MINUTE SPEECH
I represent the East End Waterway Group and am objecting to the revised version for the re-erection of the two salvaged bays from the guide frame of the No. 1 gasholder at Poplar Gasworks.
The unique guide frame was designed by the engineers of the East End’s own gas company (based at Stepney Gasworks) and built 1876 – 78 by the world-renowned local firm of Samuel Cutler & Sons of Millwall. And, as explained in my recent illustrated letter to Cllr Pierce (not included in the update report), the three salvaged standards and the two box-lattice girders are the only surviving examples in England.
EEWG, therefore, thank former Cllr. Dave Chesterton for negotiating the salvage of the two bays; and St William Homes for arranging and funding the salvage and refurbishment of the salvaged parts.
All the more reason, therefore, to make a good job of putting them back together and displaying them as a representative portion of the 19-bay guide frame in the Green Link – so that present and future generations can understand how the gasholder worked, and its local and national significance.
To help achieve this, my letter of 30 April proposes six conditions (in connection with an attached plan by Malcolm Tucker of GLIAS – letter and plan not included in update report). Fortunately, they have been summarised by Simon Lewis of St William Homes*. EEWG asks the committee to approve the summary and the six conditions as a basis for further discussions to agree the conditions.
Obviously, the final wording of the conditions will be decided by officers. However, whilst we understand the importance of the Green Link, we are concerned that officers will continue to regard the Green Link as more important than the two bays and agreed alterations to the southern part of the Green Link to provide a suitable site for the display and interpretation of the two bays (such as the extent of the gravel on the levelled area) may not be allowed by officers.
We therefore hope that in approving the summary and six conditions, the Committee will also provide a steer for officers to recognise the importance and value of the two bays (despite their lack of statutory protection); and regard the Green Link and the two bays as of equal importance.
*DRAFT INDICATIVE WORDING FOR CONDITIONS drawn up by Simon Lewis of St William Homes, and agreed by EEWG and GLIAS
“Prior to the commencement of above-ground works for Phase 1, details of the proposed installation of the retained elements of Gasholder no. 1 will be submitted for approval to the Local Planning Authority. This will include the proposed methodology for its installation in addition to relevant plans, elevations, cross-sections and materials and should cover the following:
- Foundation and curved base structure design;
- Site levels including how the curved base can be accommodated on a levelled area.
- How the guide frame standards will be fixed to the base structure including the potential use of exposed holding-down bolts;
- Landscaping scheme to include details on how the interior of the original gasholder tank will be referenced; and
- Position and text for Interpretation Board (to include specific information on Gasholder no. 1)
The submitted details will be subject to further consultation with EEWG and GLIAS."