Forest Gate development plans 'will be thrown out by London mayor'
Proposals for a new development at Forest Gate that include London offices are to be thrown out of the planning process by mayor of the capital Boris Johnson this evening (March 21st).

According to CoStar News, Mr Johnson will take the plans off the agenda over concerns the 19-storey housing block is too tall for the area. It has already been slashed from 27 storeys by Obsidian Regeneration, of which the chairman is Tory politician Steve Norris.

On March 6th, the development company unveiled new visuals of its revised proposals, which included the removal of the Methodist Church Hall, a reduction in height of two smaller blocks and fewer homes - down from 774 to 695.

Despite the changes, the property publication points to the fact Mr Johnson has yet to lift his objections to the plans.

Obsidian Regeneration wanted to transform Forest Gate to coincide with the scheduled arrival of a Crossrail station in 2017. New London offices formed part of the scheme. Three eight-storey buildings would have replaced 39-49 Woodgrange Road had the plans gone ahead, along with three blocks ranging between seven and 12 storeys.

Local action group Save Forest Gate was established to protest against the plans. While it has many objections, one was to the replacement of the Victorian villas at 39-49 Woodgrange Road inside the conservation area. Businesses are currently housed here and the group believes removing these would take away a part of Forest Gate's heritage.

A previous Greater London Authority (GLA) report noted: "The Mayor of London takes a different view [to the GLA] on the acceptability of the tall building in this location; he does not consider that this location is suitable for [a] tall building of this scale."

Newham Council's planning committee will tonight look at the revised plans, but the local authority suggested reasons why the Forest Gate development should be refused, including "its excessive and discordant scale and massing, and its unsatisfactory layout at this location within the Forest Gate town centre conservation area".

Posted by David Hudek

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