About Matt

SE7 resident, journalism student.

Business owner fears third Olympic upheaval

A building contractors, currently situated within the Carpenters Estate in Stratford, could be forced to move location for a third time due to the Olympic Games.

The company was initially based where the Olympic Stadium now stands. They received a compulsory purchase order in 2005 along with over 200 other businesses. This forced them to temporarily move to Beckton. Poor communications and transport links in Beckton nearly destroyed the firm, so they moved back to Stratford eight months ago. Now plans to build a university campus on the Carpenters Estate has once again thrown their future into doubt.

The director of P.A. Finlay, Nick Athienitis, told this website that despite a healthy workload, the stress of the moves has caused financial problems and has broken family ties. In the interview below, he details how the company has had to relocate and how the threat of another move is affecting the business.

PA Finlay offer a wide range of services, ranging from large construction works to general maintenance. In the audio slideshow below, Nick explains a bit more about the type of work the company does.

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Bridging the divide: Can Canning Town become one?

The A13, trunk road to the sea. Six lanes of traffic that has historically separated the northern and southern parts of Canning Town. But for how much longer? Here’s the plan:

Firstly the roundabout is to turn into a junction.

Image by Newham Council from regeneration masterplan

Both eastern slip roads disappear.

This frees up space underneath the flyover for a £600m regeneration scheme, part of a £3.7bn programme for both Canning Town and Custom House.

A Morrisons supermarket will occupy the site alongside 179 homes and 424 square metres of retail space. Pedestrian permeability is desired ensuring people can walk between the two sides of Canning Town.

Rathbone Market is to be “revitalised”. One trader told me it’ll be “private enterprise not council run”. He didn’t expect he would be able to keep his stall once redevelopment had finished and feared an influx of franchise coffee shops.

Further eastwards, a pedestrian bridge could be replacing undesirable subways. Residents consulted liked the idea of a green bridge.

Housing in the area is changing. Plans from the council include new four to six storey flats overlooking the A13, with lower densities behind it. Affordable housing will be “pepperpotted” within these developments.

All this putting an end to what’s currently next to the A13: brick walls, smelly subways, uncrossable roads and busy roundabouts. Full plans are available here.

Business blossoming despite Canning Town construction

A small business in Canning Town is flourishing despite the huge upheavals in the area. Caramel Rock make high-end fashion garments as well as being a community outreach programme.

The not-for-profit organisation is four years old. They’ve expanded each year and they now have four permanent employees. They run programmes for schools as well as adults and regularly showcase work at shows including London Fashion Week.

Image from Newham Council’s regeneration masterplan

Despite huge change in the local area they have managed to continue as normal. Newham Council planning documents show that in the future a “residential street” will cut through this area, connecting Canning Town with Custom House.

It’s thought that the building Caramel Rock currently occupies will be demolished although the church next door will remain part of any future redevelopment.

The company has lined up a move into a new home on Barking Road, a five minute journey away.

Below is a short interview with the director of Caramel Rock, Faith Johnson. She speaks about her company, how it’s run, who it’s for and how it’s been affected by the regeneration.

Donations needed to develop Cody Dock

A charity is trying to raise enough money to turn a derelict dock into a vibrant creative quarter.

The Gasworks Dock Partnership have started to welcome donations from today to help turn Cody Dock into community gardens along with a wooden swing bridge.

Initially built in 1870 on the Lower River Lea, it is currently cut off by industrial estates and has been neglected.

The charity has part-funded the project with backing from the council. However they still need £140,000 to complete their plans.

If you’re able to donate then you can do so here. In the long term they wish to create affordable studio space and even a visitor centre and a cafe.

When I visited the site the riverside path was blocked off by fencing. If this project is completed then the fences will come down and open up a continuous 26-mile pathway that stretches all the way from Hertfordshire.

New community website launched

Permission for screenshot granted by The Real Newham

Last weekend saw the launch of a brand new community website for the borough. The Real Newham is a website full to the brim with stories, videos, photos and information.

The website describes it as “a consultation for everyone in the borough to share their stories, their worries and their dreams and ask the question: How do we build the best future for Newham?”

It’s a project supported by Hacan East and Climate Rush (who recently scrubbed a message on the inside wall of the Rotherhithe Tunnel – see video below).

There’s many ways to get involved such as submitting videos, filling out a questionnaire or joining their team of volunteers. Get in touch with them today.

Developer chosen for Silvertown Quays regeneration

Derelict factory Millennium Mills on current site

The London Development Agency this week announced Chelsfield are the preferred bidder to redevelop Silvertown Quays.

The 50-acre site, which is part of the enterprise zone, is currently home to the derelict former flour factory Millennium Mills, which closed in 1984.

It’s thought it will cost £1.2bn to redevelop the site and the proposal includes 228,570 square meters of commercial and retail space, and 126,440 square metres of housing.

Design by Arup/AHHM – submitted to Newham Council

There’s also plans to include education, research and innovation centres. Work is due to start in the next two years and a completion date of 2018 has been given.

More on this story can be found here.

Data: Newham spending linked to deprivation

In an earlier post I detailed Newham’s spending as being the highest in London and the second highest per person.

Whilst this is hardly surprising as poorer boroughs need to spend more I thought I’d show this data with the aid of two heat maps.

The first is a map of the London boroughs scaled as to how much they spent per head in the tax year 2010/2011 (source: Audit Commission). You have to click on them and you’ll be taken to another site where you can zoom in and click on each borough to find out more details:

The second shows a map of the amount of people unemployed scaled against each borough. This data was produced by the GLA in 2010.