Off-licence and home above it no longer at risk being bulldozed for new flats after plans rejected

The off licence in Plaistow, Newham has people living above it
-Credit: (Image: Newham Council planning documents)

Plans to bulldoze an off licence and the home above it to make way for new flats in East London were unanimously rejected by councillors last night (May 29). The applicant, Monce Vamadevan had submitted plans to Newham Council that if approved, would see the demolition of Thiriza Off Licence and the residential home above it at 142 New City Road so a two-storey building could be built in its place.

Four flats, made up of one-beds and two-beds, would be built however there were no plans to replace the family-sized house that currently exists above the shop in Plaistow. The plans did not go unnoticed by local residents, with 31 objections to the public consultation while a petition was handed into the council with 800 signatures from people mainly living in Newham.

According to council documents, only one resident was in support of the plans. During the public consultation, residents were in support of the shop and feared the shop owner could would lose his livelihood if the plans were to go ahead.

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They also said the area does not need more flats, and would contribute to "urban gentrification". Meanwhile a second petition called 'Save our corner shop from demolition' received 742 signatures from online supporters. The online petition partly read: "This will have a devastating impact on the owner and his family, who will lose their livelihood which they have worked so hard to build for 20 years.

"This will have an impact on us as a community because we will be losing a key part of our daily lives." The petition went on to warn that a "deep sense of community will be lost" if the shop was knocked down to make way for the development. During a meeting with the council's local development committee on Wednesday evening, a planning officer explained that a number of objections from the public did not relate to material planning considerations, including the loss of a commercial shop.

'Design excessive, bulky and had an awkward roof design'

However planning officers had recommended the plans be refused for other reasons, including that it would result in the loss of a family-sized house, which is something the council is desperately seeking to protect. Officers also said the design of the two-storey building was excessive, bulky and had an awkward roof design.

The meeting then moved on to questions, though the committee didn't have any. When it came to the vote, the committee unanimously voted in refusal of the plans meaning the development won't go ahead. Cllr James Beckles, who was chairing the meeting, said: "...It's a shame that the applicant couldn't be present and has fallen short on a number of different council policies. If they were present today, members would have a number of questions about why they've fallen short."

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