The Columbia Tenants and Residents Association will soon be welcoming a new group of members as the new build ‘infill project’ on the former Baroness Road car park opens its doors to residents.
The block has been named ‘Orwell House’ after former Tower Hamlets Mayor John Orwell. Mayor Orwell was first councillor for the Borough of Bethnal Green before becoming Alderman for Tower Hamlets Council when it was formed in 1965. A charismatic figure, John was known as the ‘Singing Mayor’ and ran regular fundraising events at the Town Hall for the Labour Party in Bethnal Green as well as senior citizens’ clubs at Oxford House and at Mayfield House. He was also one of the first local politicians who stood up for the growing Bangladeshi community – lobbying and campaigning for their rights. He is survived by his centenarian wife and former councillor Beattie Orwell, famously a veteran of the Battle of Cable Street.
The new block will accommodate 20 new households in five one-bed, eight two-bed and seven three-bed flats including two adapted flats for wheelchair/disability use. Residents are due to move in from 19 October 2020 onwards.
The CTRA was invited to visit the new block during a socially distanced site visit last week. There we learned more about the block’s design and features:
- The block has been designed to echo the colour scheme as the rest of the Dorset Estate
- A roof terrace is available for all residents to use and all flats come with floor to ceiling windows to let in natural light and large balconies
- It has been designed with security in mind – access fobs only allow residents up to their own floor
- Smart-meters have been fitted to all flats and the block has high-speed internet connection capability
- The block has a secure bike store
The CTRA will be working with Tower Hamlets Homes to welcome new residents to the area.