On Wednesday to the alarm of local residents contractors started erecting hoardings between the new Beatrice Tate School site and the disused council office on Southern Grove around the area of grass in front of the South Grove Workhouse built in 1871 for for the Whitechapel Union from plans by the architect Richard Robert Long.
A search of the LBTH planning website produced no planning application that slipped through our net. So what was going on?
According to the site manager they have arranged with the Council to use the empty council offices. When asked if they will be doing anything to the open space the response was “trim a few trees”
It is our understanding that any “trimming” of the trees will need permission. This was confirmed today by Tower Hamlets planning who said that a proportion of the trees in the open space had tree preservation orders (TPOs).
Mile End Residents have fought a long battle to gain improvements in the area which finally started to affect LBTH strategic planning when the Managing Development Document (submission version May 2012) was produced after consultation. It contains the following concerning Southern Grove:-
- Development should protect and enhance heritage assets on site and in the surrounding areas, including the workhouse building and the Tower Hamlets Cemetery Conservation Area.
- The Green Grid route should be integrated within the site along Southern Grove.
- The public realm should be improved at active site edges, specifically along Southern Grove.
Read more about the history of the South Grove Workhouse here.