Save large commercial unit: 538-540 Roman Road PA/16/03072

posted in: Planning & development | 0

One of Roman Road’s largest retail spaces is under threat and we need your support to help protect this large commercial unit from becoming yet another residential property on our high street.

This large commercial unit is at the heart of Roman Road Market

The owners of 538-540 are proposing to reduce the area of the retail space by nearly half in order to build a three bedroom residential maisonette, right in the heart of the Roman Road Market where vital footfall is at its greatest. The ground floor will be reduced from 125 sqm to 55 sqm, and the basement floor will be reduced from 175 sqm to 103 sqm, The proposed plan (PA/16/03072) means most of the retail space will be located in the basement with poor access and visibility from the high street.  We feel this is unacceptable in such a central high street location. Additionally the proposed plan excludes essential facilities for toilets and/or kitchen.

There is a proven need for large commercial units on Roman Road

Roman Road is dominated by small retail units and lacks the larger commercial units vital for a well balanced retail offering. Roman Road Trust has been approached by several businesses seeking a large enough space for a creche, a boxing club, a yoga centre, a cycle repair shop, a deli/health food shop, a large restaurant/bar and a performance space. This unit is one of the few premises that would be able to accommodate one of these vibrant high street services that Roman Road currently lacks.

Help us object to ensure that Roman Road retains its few larger commericial units that are essential for a healthy, diverse high street offering.

Please send the email below to dr.developmentcontrol@towerhamlets.gov.uk remembering to cc. hello@romanroadtrust.co.uk.

Please act fast – there isn’t much time left until the end of the consultation period.

Kind regards

Roman Road Trust C.I.C


Dear Planning Officer

I wish to OBJECT to application PA/16/03072 that seeks to convert A1 retail space into a residential unit at 538-540 Roman Road, at the heart of Roman Road Market.

The application, if granted, would result in the unacceptable loss of over half of the available A1 ground floor retail floorspace at the unit, from125 square metres to 55 square metres and the basement floor from 175 sqm to 103 sqm. The proposed plan means the majority of the remaining retail space will be located in the basement with poor access and visibility from the high street.  I feel this is unacceptable in such an important, central high street location.

Roman Road is dominated by small retail units and lacks the larger commercial units. This unit is one of the few premises that would be able to accommodate large retail businesses and services that Roman Road currently lacks such as a gym, creche or larger retail operator.

This building is at the heart of Roman Road Market, where footfall is at its greatest, making it an unsuitable location for ground floor residential unit.

This would have an unacceptable detrimental impact on the vitality and viability of the designated Roman Road East District Town Centre and undermine the Council’s town centre hierarchy, contrary to the principles of the National Planning Policy Framework (2012), policy 2.15 of the London Plan (2011), policy SP01 of the Core Strategy (2010) and policy DM1 of the Managing Development Document (2013).

These policies seek to safeguard and enhance the vitality and viability of town centres by protecting and promoting commercial uses, and place town centres at the heart of local communities. In particular, policy SP01(4) seeks to maintain, focus and increase the supply of retail floorspace in Roman Road and policy DM1(7) seeks to ensure adequate servicing arrangements as well as adequate depth and width of retail units.

For these reasons, and because I want the Roman Road to be a succesful, thriving high street, I request that you REFUSE this application.

Yours sincerely

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