Comprehensive Development Areas: Stepney / Poplar

Scope and Content

Comprehensive development areas: Stepney / Poplar consists of:

  • general papers, (1940-1961 )
  • Lansbury Comprehensive Development Area, (1940s-1950s )
  • other areas, (1950s )
  • plans, (1946-1950s )

Administrative / Biographical History

Prior to bombing during World War II, the adjacent boroughs of Stepney and Poplar, in London's East End, had suffered from urban blight in the forms of overcrowding, obsolescent buildings and lack of open space. 2000 acres were designated as a Comprehensive Development Area no 2 by London County Council. This was replanned as a series of eleven neighbourhoods in 1948-1949 . Residential density was set at 136 persons per acre, for a planned population of 100,000 in total. Each neighbourhood had its own community, educational and shopping facilities. Industry was zoned along the canal and by the docks, a new road pattern established and large new public open spaces laid out. Neighbourhoods included Lansbury, which featured in the "Live Architecture" Exhibition, as part of the Festival of Britain in 1951 , and the completely new neighbourhood of St Anne's, at Limehouse.

Conditions Governing Access

Material relating to living individuals may be restricted under the Data Protection Act, 1998.


List of sources for the biographical history:

Jordan, Robert Furneaux, New standards in official architecture, Architectural Review vol 120, no 718 pp 303-324(November 1965 )

Johnson-Marshall, Percy, Rebuilding cities, (Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press , 1966 )