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EAST END WATERWAY GROUP
NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2019
GASHOLDER SPECIAL SEVEN: BETHNAL GREEN
 
St William Homes has issued a PROJECT UPDATE with their final proposals for the Marian Place Gasholder Site. The update shows blocks of flats inside both guide frames, which they say they are “keeping” or “retaining”. We know that this means DISMANTLING FOR OFF-SITE CONSERVATION AT AN ENGINEERING WORKS AND RE-ERECTION AROUND THE NEWLY-BUILT BLOCKS OF FLATS. We also object to the proposed block of flats inside the re-erected No.2 columnar guide frame. Especially as the guide frame is now recognised as the
 
OLDEST SURVIVING GASHOLDER GUIDE FRAME IN THE WORLD
 
(as well as being the “earliest and most ‘classical’ surviving example of its type in the world” and the most visible of the three parts making up the “second oldest surviving gasholder in the world” ONLINE PETITION TO ST WILLIAM HOMES)

No. 2 Gasholder at Bethnal Green

No ?? Bethnal Green

Photographed by Malcolm Tucker in 1973 - click for large version

Our warmest thanks to the 2,114 people who have signed our online petition to St William Homes. This may well have encouraged St William Homes to “keep” or “retain” the No.2 guide frame; and will be submitted to Tower Hamlets as part of our objection to their planning application.
 
St William has more or less completed its pre-application discussions with Tower Hamlets and is proposing to submit its planning application to Tower Hamlets Council by the middle of December (without further public consultation) AND WAS ALLOWED TO MAKE A PRESENTATION TO THE STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE ON 20 NOVEMBER 2019 (THIS COMMITTEE WILL EVENTUALLY GRANT OR REFUSE PLANNING PERMISSION).
 
EEWG has, therefore, closed the petition to St William Homes and has prepared a petition to Tower Hamlets Council (objecting to the proposed block of flats inside the No.2 guide frame and demanding in-situ conservation for both guide frames), which will probably have to be submitted during a short public consultation period over Christmas and the New Year.
 
PLEASE READ AND SIGN THIS PETITION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE (IT SUMMARISES MOST OF THE ESSENTIAL INFORMATION).
 
IF YOU SIGNED THE PETITION TO ST WILLIAM HOMES YOU MUST PLEASE ALSO SIGN THE PETITION TO TOWER HAMLETS AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO SIGN
 
Sign the NEW petition - click here

No. 5 Gasholder at Bethnal Green, built 1888-89

No 5 Bethnal Green

Photographed by The Gentle Author in 2014 - click for large version

THE CASE FOR IN SITU CONSERVATION
 
Throughout the recent LOCAL PLAN PROCESS, Tower Hamlets Council stated (without saying how and for what purpose) that the No.2 and No.5 gasholders were to be “retained and reused”. This statement was conveyed to St William Homes. Doubtless, St William Homes will claim that it is proposing to “retain and reuse the gasholders”, as required by Tower Hamlets Council.
 
EEWG commissioned The Regeneration Practice to undertake a FEASIBILITY STUDY of the EEWG’s Local Plan proposals for the in situ conservation of the No.2 guide frame for public open space and the No.5 guide frame for housing. The study included the advantages of in situ conservation from scaffolding compared to off-site conservation, and estimates by two conservation engineers that the No.2 would cost £1.4 million and the No.5 would cost £3.6 million. Whereas St William Homes and others stated throughout the Local Plan process that the “retention” (i.e. dismantling for off-site conservation at an engineering works and re-erection, possibly on new foundations) would cost £10 million for each guide frame.
 
EEWG is now pleased to report that a retired engineer who was involved in the early planning for the dismantling of the gasholders, subsequently re-erected on new foundations at King’s Cross, has kindly produced a REPORT, which supports the in situ conservation of the Bethnal Green gasholders. And an engineering historian who has made a study of historic London gasholders has kindly produced COMMENTS, which also support in situ conservation of the Bethnal Green gasholders. Both independent experts have also explained why the No.2 guide frame should be kept open, and have sent their comments to St William Homes and Tower Hamlets Council.
 


Tom Ridge
 
 
new eewg logo East End Waterway Group
PATRON JIM FITZPATRICK MP POPLAR AND LIMEHOUSE
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 © 2019 EAST END WATERWAY GROUP, All rights reserved.


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