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Major riverside development approved by London planners
19th October 2023

Proposals for a new riverside community designed by Broadway Malyan in one of London’s most historic districts have been approved by planners.

Ailsa Wharf is set to deliver almost 1,000 new homes, more than a third of which will be classified as affordable, and more than 1,500sqm of commercial space on former industrial land alongside the River Lea in the Poplar district of Tower Hamlets.

As well as benefiting from its riverside location, the new development will include a range of green public spaces across the 2.4ha site including a riverside park and a new square.

In line with the Tower Hamlets Local Plan, the new scheme forms part of the borough’s desire to revitalise and regenerate Poplar along the River Lea and is one of a number of large scale residential-led mixed use schemes that have recently been granted approval.

The first phase of Ailsa Wharf is already under development with this newly approved second phase consisting of three riverside towers with two adjoining podium buildings and a new gateway building along the edge of the site.

The new phase of development includes three different building typologies, each with a clear design influence taken from the surrounding context.

The waterside towers respond to the district’s textile industry with a weaved element within the façade treatment. Each of the towers will also have chamfered corners, creating a more dynamic diamond shape plan layout and increasing permeability through the scheme.

The adjoining podiums are more classic wharf architecture with formal framing, regular fenestrations and simple robust materials. The new gateway building is a also a response to traditional wharf architecture with simple volumes and forms, interrupted with a memorable broken roofline.