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Massive Ballymore Schemes Face Rejection

In a blow for developer Ballymore, the planning officers in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets have recommended the council reject two of their major proposals making it likely the planning committee will fail to approve the schemes.

The developments hit by this are both designed by architects, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill who worked on Orchard Place, located on the northern part of the Leamouth Peninsula near Poplar and Hercules Wharf sited on the southern area of the peninsula.

Orchard Place is a massive development containing 14 mostly residential buildings containing an enormous 4,000 new homes plus 25,000 square metres of exhibition space and the usual mix of retail and restaurants at ground level to try and get some local life into the project. The tallest building in this will be 81.35 metres high.

The Hercules Wharf proposal has three tower, the biggest of which will be the Union Building at 85 metres. Overlooking the River Thames it is the only one of the project that has been individually designed. Another two buildings will however stand behind it of a similar height.

The design features a rippling glass balcony screen set over a modernist slab with the aim of changing the shape of it into something more crystalline that flows in a series of vertical ripples and appears to morph into an irregular shape whilst maintaining the efficient rectangle underneath.

Described as a "transuculent veil" it also serves in partly hiding the balconies from view creating a less orthodox looking residential tower than the type that pepper the area and allowing both solar shading and noise insulation for residents.

Including the other buildings on this site, there will be a total of 101,000 square metres of new space, 90% of which will be residential and consist of between 1027 and 1227 units. It's envisaged that between 40 and 65% of the total accommodation on offer will be either studio or one bedroom flats and this is one of the major sticking points with the local council who believe that developers need to move away from the profitable smaller homes into larger more family friendly ones.

Other reasons for refusal of both Hercules Wharf and Orchard Place include the poor transport links in the area that is largely isolated from the rest of Poplar, too many parking spaces enough not enough bicycle parking and only a small amount of open space as a result of the extreme density the developer is trying to achieve.

All of this means back to the drawing board for Ballymore and SOM who will have to come up with something that less developed and better connected next time round.

Article Related buildings:

Union Building

Union Building
Building C Orchard Place

Building C Orchard Place
Building D Orchard Place

Building D Orchard Place
Hercules Wharf and Orchard Place London
Hercules Wharf and Orchard Place London