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The Changing Face of the Isle of Dogs


Walking around Canary Wharf and Marsh Wall gives the impression that the top of the Isle of Dogs is one big building site.


Heron Quays

The work on Heron Quays and Wood Wharf are part of the Canary Wharf group masterplan that will include the first residential housing on the estate.


Wood Wharf

On Marsh Wall , there are already a couple of tall residential buildings with the Landmark and Pan Peninsula developments, other construction is being carried out at the new Novotel hotel on Marsh Wall and the Baltimore Tower in Millwall Dock area.


A report last week by an Architecture survey indicates this is just the beginning of a move to build tall buildings all over London but particularly in Tower Hamlets and the South of the river.

The New London Architecture (NLA) and GL Hearn released the results of their annual London Tall Buildings Survey. The survey highlighted  12 months ago , 236 tall buildings were planned for the capital. However the new data finds 263 tall buildings over 20-storeys proposed, approved or under construction within Greater London. This figure includes 76 proposed or in the planning system, 117 with planning approval , and 70 under construction.

62 of the 70 towers currently under construction are residential and 80% of all 263 towers in the pipeline have a primary residential use.

Tower Hamlets was at the centre of the tower boom last year and will see the most activity this year, with 18 tall buildings under construction, 27 with planning approval and 14 in planning.

The dominance of Tower Hamlets is reflected in the status of tall building proposals  the borough has the most approved towers (27 or 23%) and the most proposed towers (22 or 29%).  Tower Hamlets also has the highest number development projects under construction with 18 proposals (26%).


Riverside development

Regular readers will know that I often relate how often these big schemes never get off the ground and are often mothballed for years,the Riverside development is one such example.

However, even if only a percentage  are built it is going to drastically change the face and the character of the Island. It is fair to say that the building of Canary Wharf and the large apartments around the edge of the Island were generally built on old industrial sites. The new developments are still clustered around the top of the Island but there is evidence of steady encroachment into the centre which will impinge on the many residential areas.

With a planning stage of generally eight months and then  around six years for completion, the full picture of these developments will not really been seen for 6 to 10 years. By that time this once neglected piece of London will have some of the most expensive property in London.

A quick survey of some of the schemes on the Island shows the state of play for many of the developments.



Designed by Horden Cherry Lee Architects and developed by Canary Wharf Group.

This 60-storey tower is currently In planning.

Quay House, 2 Admiral Way

Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and developed by Investin.

This 68-storey tower is currently Refused.
Cuba Street Tower 2

Designed by 3D Reid / Gultekin Architecture and developed by Talya (was Agaoglu Group).

This 57-storey tower is currently Proposed.
City Pride

Designed by Squire and Partners and developed by Chalegrove Properties.

This 75-storey tower is currently Approved.


Novotel Canary Wharf ,40 Marsh Wall,

Height: 124m | Floors: 39 | Architect: BUJ Architects | Developer: Accor

Current status: Under Construction

Millharbour Village

Designed by Rolfe Judd and developed by Docklands Centre Ltd .

This 50-storey tower is currently In planning.

Angel House, 225 Marsh Wall

Designed by Jacobs Webber and developed by The Angel Group.

This 43-storey tower is currently Approved.

1-18 Dollar Bay Court

Designed by Ian Simpson Architects and developed by Mount Anvil.

This 31-storey tower is currently Under construction.

Lincoln Plaza (previously Indescon Court Phase 2)

Designed by BFLS and developed by Galliard Homes (was Oracle).

This 32-storey tower is currently Approved.

Glengall Bridge

Designed by and developed by Tameric Investments.

This 45-storey tower is currently Proposed.

1 Park Place

Designed by Horden Cherry Lea Architects and developed by Canary Wharf Group Plc.

This 33-storey tower is currently In planning.

151 East Ferry Road

Designed by Town and Beach and developed by Asda Stores Ltd/Ashbourne Beech.

This 21-storey tower is currently Approved.


Designed by TP Bennett and developed by Telford Homes .

This 23-storey tower is currently Approved.



  1. There will keep on destroying the Island until it sinks under the pressure. The money moved in and the old Islanders were buried

    • Hi Patricia,

      Thanks for the comment, I think one of the problems is there does not seem to be an overall plan for future development. But as I have said before , not that many actually tend to get built in the end.

  2. Sean says:

    30 Marsh Wall is actually 39 floors.

    You missed quite a few more towers, see the list here: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1790094

    • Hi Sean,

      Thanks for pointing out about 30 Marsh Wall, I actually meant the Novotel tower which is I think 40 Marsh Wall.
      I did only a few of the towers to give some idea of future development, as you quite rightly point out, there are a few more.
      Thanks also for the link, the skyscraper site is really useful to see what they will look like.(if they ever get built of course.) The Riverside development seems to be on hold.

  3. Dan says:

    After living in one of the new developments on Marsh Wall for 18 months as a renter and now 2 months as an owner, I did some Googling on the developments listed in the South Quay Master Plan over Xmas… I was interested to find the number of new dwelling (mainly flats) was close to 10,000 if everything is built… Results below.

    As a newbie to the island, technically one of the ‘Canary Wharf’ lot it’s a shame there aren’t more places that are centres of the community where locals can mix… I’ve been trying some of the local pubs, the Gun is a favorite so far, although it’s changed to cater for the CanaryWharf gastropub fans, not got to the George yet and the Great Eastern was a disappointment as it seemed like it was probably once a great place that could tell a story or too…


    50 Marsh Wall / Alpha Grove – 700
    City Pride, 822
    2 Millharbour, 990
    Dollar Bay, 111
    40 Marsh Wall – Novotel
    30 marsh wall, 410
    Arrowhead Quay, 756
    Quay House, 498
    South Quay Plaza, 900
    Meridian Gate, 400
    Heron Quays West, office space
    Wood Wharf, 3610
    20 Millharbour (Lincoln plaza) 380 plus hotel
    45 Millharbour, 138

    Island quay – no details
    Cuba street – no details
    Britannia Quay – no details
    68-74 Manila street – no details
    54 Marsh Wall, 240

    56-58 marsh wall, 90
    Admiral estate – no details
    Mastmaker court – built and filled
    Millharbour village, 1550
    Thames quay – lycamobile hq plus 4 residential towers tbc

    Baltimore Wharf, 473

    • Hi Dan,

      Thanks for the further information and your comments. Your comment on places for anyone to enjoy on the Island is a most important one. It would be a shame if the Island with amazing history becomes a mini manhattan with no character of its own. However I don’t this will happen if Islanders and newcomers keep the history alive.

  4. Mark says:

    However much we may lament the construction of tall towers, London is in the midst of a housing crisis, with tens of thousands of families in desperate need of housing, If we want to protect our parks and public spaces, if we want to preserve the Green Belt, then we need to built up, not out. What is the alternative? Should we build over Mudchute Park, simply because we don’t like high rise building?

    All this construction will no doubt change the character of Isle of Dogs, but a city that cannot house its population, and has 72,000 children is completely inappropriate temporary accommodation, is badly in need of change. We cannot continue to build more homes in zone six and beyond the greenbelt. Crossrail 1 has already cost £15 billion to build, and Crossrail 2 is likely to cost another £12 billion to £20 to billion. With 600,000 people retiring every single year, and an NHS that is barely able to cope with current demand, never mind the additional pressure that an ageing population will put on it, can we really continue to build more homes tens of miles away from central London, and spend billions of pounds building trains to transport people to work everyday? And this doesn’t even consider the social costs of requiring parents to spend several hours commuting instead of caring for their children, or local residents spending so much time on the train getting to and from work everyday that they have no time left to support local causes, volunteer at local schools or contribute to the fabric of their communities.

    Are high rise towers really that bad? Are they worth a crippled NHS and so much useful time wasted?

    • Hi Mark,

      You make a lot of interesting and important points. Of course tall buildings are not bad in themselves but surely it would be better to have a more balanced approach with consideration for Urban space and Green spaces within the city.

      • Mark says:

        I absolutely agree that development needs to be planned properly, and proper infrastructure, social services and green spaces need to be included in that plan. Developments that stretch up, instead of out, will leave more room for parks, recreational facilities, schools, and council flats for lower income residents. This is why I think it is so important that we encourage more such developments, however much this may change the nature of the area.

      • Hi Mark,

        One of the constants of the Isle of Dogs in the last 200 years is change, it is impossible to stand still. However whilst I cannot fault your argument, I am perhaps more cynical about how the planning aspect works. But as with most things we must wait and see.

        Thanks for your interesting thoughts on the subject.

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