Plans to be build 72 new homes in Newham next to DLR station rejected for a third time

This was the third time plans had been submitted by Finebeam Ltd for a development in West Ham, Newham
-Credit: (Image: Newham Council documents)

Plans to build dozens of new homes in East London have been rejected by councillors for the third time. Finebeam Ltd had submitted plans to build 72 new homes right next to Abbey Road Docklands Light Railway (DLR) station in West Ham.

The application was submitted just a few months after Finebeam's previous application was rejected by Newham Council's strategic development committee in October 2023. The committee previously rejected plans to bulldoze 12 flats in Abbey House to make way for 74 homes ranging from 4 to 14 storeys high because no 'affordable' homes were set to be built.

Finebeam has appealed the council's decision from October and that was received by the Planning Inspectorate in April 2024. In 2018, Finebeam wanted to build 100 homes on the same site in tower blocks up to 17 storeys tall, however the plans were rejected by the council because the height of the buildings were considered 'overbearing, bulky and incongruous'.

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How the development could have looked if it was approved
How the development could have looked if it was approved -Credit:Newham Council

Finebeam's most recent application consisted of 72 homes in buildings up to 9 storeys high and would involve the bulldozing of 12 existing flats at Abbey House. According to council documents, Abbey House is owned by Finebeam and the flats are rented out privately.

Of the 72 new homes, 32 would be one-beds, 18 would be two-beds and 22 would be three-beds and all of them would be private housing. Planning officers had advised the council to refuse Finebeam's most recent plans because no affordable housing was included, which also contributed to the council's refusal in October of last year.

Officers said the plans should also be refused because of the height and scale of the development and the impact it could have on the heritage and character of nearby Grade II listed buildings such as those in Abbey Lane. During a meeting with the council's strategic development committee last week, Labour's Cllr Rachel Tripp said it was 'always so distressing' to see planning applications with zero affordable housing.

She said: "Homes in London are so expensive now and new homes and the kind of prices that we see are just entirely out of reach for many of our residents and it just means proposals like this one... effectively offer no accommodation to the people we see in our surgeries."

Cllr Susan Masters of the Labour Party said: "In short this application provides no affordable housing let alone homes for social rent, and there's insufficient family housing." Cllr Masters went on to ask: "I'm just wondering are there any positives at all to this application?"

A planning officer who was presenting the application said the only positive would be the provision of residential units, but other aspects of the scheme did not comply with planning policies. Cllr Madeleine Sarley Pontin from the Labour Party called the plans 'appalling'.

She said: "...we have to complain to somebody about this because there is no way we ever want something - and I'm not going to even say of this quality, because there's no quality from what I can see - ever presented back to us. I am appalled that whoever is the owner of this site has come back to us frequently with terrible, terrible designs and plans."

Neither representatives of Finebeam or its agent, Centro Planning Consultancy, were present at the meeting. When it came to the vote, the committee unanimously refused the application, meaning the plans were rejected. The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) contacted Finebeam's agent for comment but did not receive a response by time of publication.

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