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St George in the East rally for Shadwell affordable housing 26th January 2024  © Brendan F

Tom Copley, GLA Deputy Mayor for Housing (second from left) joins a community action event at the Cable Street site in January 2024, with local community leaders and our Executive Director Oliver Bulleid (right) © Brendan Foster Photography

Cable Street, Shadwell, Tower Hamlets

Status: Agreement on site

Size: 41 homes (1, 2, 3 and 4-bedrooms)


The tight-knit Shadwell community is working hard to turn a disused Transport for London site into possibly our largest CLT project, with 41 homes, green spaces and a community room, incorporating low energy Passivhaus design. Working with architects at Levitt Bernstein, the Greater London Authority and Transport for London, local campaigners on the Community Steering Group are leading the way on this project, getting neighbours and nearby groups involved in making key decisions on the design and affordability of the homes.

Find more information about the designs for this project in our latest Annual Report.

What next?

After a successful planning pre-application meeting in February 2022, development funding from the Greater London Authority is in place and discussions are ongoing with Transport for London regarding the transfer of land. The Community Steering Group aims to submit for planning permission in 2023 and will be holding community meetings throughout this year to involve more local people at this important stage of the development process. If you would like to get involved here, please get in touch via email:

Left: The community vision for Cable Street by Levitt Bernstein – architects appointed by the Shadwell community. Right: Our Communities Manager Jawad Anjum presents the design at GLA's City Hall at a community event in December 2023

Jawad_CableSt designs.jpeg

Top: Local people campaigning near Tower Bridge. Bottom Left: Local clergy and schoolchildren campaigning outside the site, May 2018. Bottom Right: Neighbourhood Walk for Affordable Housing, 2016.

Campaign History

After a long locally-driven effort to increase access to genuinely affordable homes, on 22 March 2018, Shadwell campaigners joined with campaigners from Shadwell Citizens to gather at City Hall and hand in our bid for this site.

On 18 June 2018 it was announced that we were successful with the bid! Since then we've working to form an agreement with Transport for London and the Greater London Authority, and put together our design team.

"The Shadwell CLT campaign sprung from a group of local people who wanted more safe, warm, affordable homes in Shadwell – houses that would be truly affordable for people in the area, that would let us stay near our friends, our work and our families. Houses that we’d be proud to call homes.

"The journey started in 2016 with a Walk for Affordable Housing around the local area, looking for unused land. One site we identified was just a short walk from St George’s in the East Church where the group. Next to the railway was a fenced off area of scrubland on the corner of Cannon Street Rd and Cable Street, owned by Transport for London.

"Since then, we’ve worked with the London CLT to tailor a bid to build these homes, and we held a planning meeting to discuss the potential layout of the homes; and discuss people’s priorities for housing. We also held a stall in the nearby Watney Market, speaking to local people about their experiences of housing and their aspirations for a community land trust. We’re building on the success of the bid to talk with more people at our churches, our Mosque, and our schools about community land trusts, so that good quality housing is the reach of everyone in our community."


- Sarah-Emily Mutch, Cable Street Community Steering Group

Community-led Design Process

In November 2018, we held a public meeting to draw up a Community Brief together, stating our vision for the site. We used this to tender for an architect, and representatives of the group shortlisted four architects to invite to a Choose the Architect event on 17 March 2019 at St George-in-the-East Church. Nearly fifty people cast their vote for the architect they wanted to work with to design these homes and the winner was Levitt Bernstein

In the summer of 2020, we entered into a funding agreement with the Greater London Authority to develop proposals for the site.

We had a successful planning pre-application meeting in February 2022. Development funding from the Greater London Authority is in place and discussions are ongoing with Transport for London regarding the land transfer, with a planning submission targeted for 2023.


Left: Community Brief event, November 2018. Right: Community drop-in event, February 2023.


Choose the Architect event, March 2019.

"I found that the community-led design process for Cable Street was inclusive, imaginative, collaborative and really creative. It was really important to me to incorporate secure outdoor playing space, sound proofing, as well as parking. The design process and our regular meetings throughout were great, and I especially enjoyed seeing success stories. We got through challenges of understanding what was realistic, the timeline we had to work toward, and how we could use our collective power." - Cheryl Ndione, Cable Street Community Steering Group

"What was important to me about the design process was the opportunity to come together with other local people and to collectively identify and negotiate our priorities for the prospective homes. It was exciting to be able to visualise different options for how the homes might look, and to really let our imaginations go after lots of hard graft and campaigning! It was empowering to feel that our ideas had directly shaped the preplanning application we have now submitted to the local planning authority." - Miriam Brittenden, Cable Street Community Steering Group

"The normal experience of people when we talk about housing is a lack of control; decisions being made on your behalf. Many of us feel we don’t have the expertise when we’re talking about designing homes, but the really great thing about this process is local people are supported to turn their ideas and suggestions into workable designs. You can point at the design of a balcony and say I chose how that would look, which is a really unique experience!" - Rhiannon Winstanley-Sharples, Cable Street Community Steering Group
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