Last chance: Neighbourhood Plan for Bow

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After five years of community development and consultation, Tower Hamlets Council has validated a draft Neighbourhood Plan for Bow and has launched a public consultation. Local people are encouraged to show their support for the plan by 7th February 2022. 

For the first time, the Neighbourhood Plan would give local residents the power to shape the planning decisions, economic development and growth in the Roman Road Bow area. The Plan would set neighbourhood priorities that Tower Hamlets Council must take into account when making planning and funding decisions.

The Neighbourhood Plan area covers key local landmarks including Roman Road Market, parts of Mile End Park and Bow House Business Centre, as well as tens of thousands of local residents. 

How was the Neighbourhood Plan developed?

The Neighbourhood Plan has been developed by the Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum following its establishment by Roman Road Trust in 2016. Over the last five years, the Forum has sought to engage as many different groups and individuals as possible to shape the community’s priorities for local planning and community development. 


The key themes and policies in the plan are as follows:

  • A thriving high street and local economy – encouraging the flexible use of premises

  • Green streets that encourage walking and cycling – improving safe walking and cycling routes

  • Beautiful public spaces – enhancing public spaces and designating local green spaces

  • New life for our local heritage – conserving and enhancing Bow Wharf and designating unprotected local pubs as heritage assets

  • High quality affordable housing – supporting affordable, high quality, low-carbon community-led housing

  • A resilient and well-networked community infrastructure – supporting new and improved sports and play facilities, and improving existing community facilities

If the Plan is successfully adopted, it will give local residents significant power over the local area up to 2031. This includes the ability to choose where residents want new homes, shops and offices to be built and what those new buildings should look like. 


Where can I read the Neighbourhood Plan for Bow?

You can read the Neighbourhood Plan and find out more by visiting the Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum’s website.

You can view the full set of consultation documents on Tower Hamlets Council website.


How can I have my say?

Responses to the consultation should be submitted by 5.00pm on 7th February 2022 via email to

Please speak up! This is a key time to respond. After this latest consultation, the Forum will be reviewing and updating the plan in the light of feedback received.


What happens next?

After the consultation, the plan then goes to an independent examiner to consider if it meets certain basic conditions and other legal requirements. The examiner can ask for changes to be made, but if the examiner agrees the plan meets legal requirements, it will then go to a local referendum. Everyone in the plan area who is entitled to vote in local elections will be able to vote to approve or reject the plan.

If approved, the Neighbourhood Plan will be used when the Council consider planning applications. It will form part of the planning framework, sitting under the Local Plan 2031 for Tower Hamlets, which is under the London Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework.


Interested in getting involved?

  • You can join the Roman Road Neighbourhood Forum on the website.

  1. Tony J Simpson

    Love the plan. Hope it’s approved in full, will be great for the area.

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