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.

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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.