A Commission of Architecture
& Built Environment (CABE) report in September 2008, detailed out some
serious holes in the developers plans. Here are some sections of it: Summary: “Our primary concern is with the
architectural expression of the market
which lacks presence on Green Street. We also have concerns regarding
permeability expected to be achieved through the retail diagram and its impact
on the character of Queens Road and Rochester Avenue.”
Urban design: “The lockable shops on these
streets block the edges to give it an undesirable
the demands of the brief, we feel that the aspirations for the level of
animation on Queens Road and Rochester Avenue may be hampered by the current arrangement of retail units and entrances.
Whilst there is potential to enliven Rochester Avenue with the introduction of
town houses with individual entrances, we wonder if the entrances to
residential cores will sufficiently populate Queens Road or encourage natural
surveillance. Further analysis is required
to ensure that the proposed character, design and treatment of both streets are
based on a realistic understanding of the level of activity and movement
pattern that is likely to be generated with the organisation of uses.” Central block - Queens Market, open space and
parking: “Queens Market is the key destination and ...
we feel that it has not been celebrated enough in the form or architectural
expression of this building. We think that the presence of the market on Green
Street should be enhanced to give it more prominence.”
question if the proposed number of car
parking spaces is perhaps too high for a town centre site. There could be
additional benefits from reducing the size of both the parking floor plate and
the open space in order to allow natural light through to the market below. The light wells, as drawn, may not bring in
the amount of daylight that has been shown in some internal images.”
Tall buildings: Tower “block one appears bulky and overbearing”
Sustainability: “As a large scale scheme including a mixture of
uses, we would hope to see more
ambitious sustainability targets. CABE's view is that tall buildings, given
their high profile and impact, should
set exemplary standards with regard to sustainability. We would expect a
project of this size and significance to improve considerably on current
Below are sections from an independent architect's report from Glass House, Community-Led Design:
7.2 Consultation Procedures: The plans were submitted in May 2008 and some 307 submitted documents are listed on the Council’s website, many of which are very large downloads and technical in nature. Clearly this represents a substantial and complex amount of information for the public to access, understand and comment on. It appears also from discussion with others that the documents themselves have not been capable of being viewed on many occasions. I encountered repeated problems myself when trying to view them and made several calls to Newham to try to remedy this. Following a call, I was able to access some documents briefly but a few days later they were again inaccessible. Only after I raised the matter with Newham’s ICT Services Manager was the underlying technical problem properly addressed and, as far as I can tell, they are now fully accessible. This does, however, raise issues regarding the effectiveness of Newham’s consultation procedures.
7.3 Affordable housing provision: The development fails to deliver the quantity of affordable housing that would normally be required by the Council’s planning policies for a scheme of this scale. Any increase in the quantum of affordable housing would be likely to affect the design as it would be likely to require additional larger family units. This is an important issue that FoQM may wish to exploit in discussions with or representations to the Council.
7.4 Sustainability issues: The development does not deliver on sustainability through features that are integrated into the building’s design, materials and services to the standard that might reasonably be expected for a scheme of this importance and scale at a time when standards are being raised. It seems likely that, within ten years or so, it will not be viewed as a good example of sustainable modern design and it does not set any example of excellence today.
09.03.2009- From the Greater London Authority, following London Mayor's visit to Queen's Market:
One of the things that the Mayor has been very impressed by is the range and vibrancy of the food sector across the city, and he was pleased to be able to see at first-hand what a fantastic job Queens Market does for all of its loyal customers. The Mayor believes it is precisely the kind of market that makes London a world food city.
Food is and will remain one of the Mayor's priorities for making London healthier and more exciting. The Mayor is working with Rosie Boycott, whom he appointed as Chair of London Food, to take forward work to make sure that people in London continue to have access to a full range of healthy, sustainable and culturally-appropriate food. The Mayor believes that street and covered markets have a crucial role to play in improving food access and in providing all Londoners with affordable food, as well as being powerful forces for economic vibrancy in their neighbourhoods.
Thank you again for writing and we would like to take the opportunity to wish you well for the future.