Decision Maker Response
Sadiq Khan’s response
Nov 15, 2019 — Dear Petitioner
Thank you for the petition submitted on the Change.org website about Bow East Goods Yard.
The previous applications for concrete batching on this site were refused unanimously by the London Legacy Development Corporation’s (LLDC) Planning Decision Committee on 26 September 2017. The applicants challenged this decision and appealed. The case was to be heard at a Public Inquiry chaired by an independent Planning Inspector in February 2019 and the LLDC was preparing to defend the decision of the Planning Decisions Committee. However, the applicant withdrew its appeal.
We understand that the applicants have formed a joint venture and have recently undertaken some community consultation on revised proposals and an application is expected later this year. Like any other planning application made to the LLDC, this will be considered against planning policy and local people will be able to have their say on any proposals through the statutory planning consultation. This will include any controls which could reasonably be placed on any operations that are proposed to be continued at the site.
There are currently no plans for the LLDC to acquire this site, but we understand the Corporation is in conversation with Network Rail about the long-term future use of both the Bow East and Bow West sites. These are identified and listed as Strategic Industrial Locations (Fish Island/Marshgate Lane) within the New London Plan Table 6.3. The Plan – and its supporting evidence – are clear that there is a strategic need to protect the capacity of this land for industrial, logistics and related uses and any future proposals requiring planning permission will need to take this into account.
The current uses are historic and are not covered by any planning permission. The use of the site for storage of materials transported by rail cannot be controlled by the Corporation as the Local Planning Authority. For instance, the amount of vehicle trips to the site or the heights of the materials stored on site cannot be controlled by the LLDC. We understand that LLDC’s chief executive, Lyn Garner, has written to both the owners (Network Rail) and the operators (DB Cargo) raising concerns about nuisance caused by the site and the LLDC continues to seek improvements from both parties.
Any environmental concerns about the current operation of the site are a matter for the Environment Agency and the London Boroughs of Newham and Tower Hamlets. If anyone has concerns about operations on the site affecting them (such as dust coming from the site), these should be reported to the relevant Borough Environmental Health Office (where the complainant is experiencing the pollution). For complaints in the London Borough of Newham the contact is: firstname.lastname@example.org. For complaints in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets the contact is: Environmental.Protection@towerhamlets.gov.uk.
It is also important to clarify Sir Peter Hendy’s role. As the Chair of both LLDC and Network Rail, he has declared his conflict of interest to both organisations and is taking no part in decision making regarding this site at either body. It should also be noted that DB Cargo, which has a lease of the land, is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the site. The LLDC’s role is as the local planning authority and it has a statutory duty to determine any planning applications made to the Corporation. Sir Peter has no role on the LLDC’s Planning Decisions Committee, which takes decisions on applications for significant development within the Corporation’s area.
Public Liaison Unit
Greater London Authority