Bulldozed Victorian cottages 'must be rebuilt brick-by-brick'

Reduced to a pile of rubble these cottages near Canary Wharf were the only ones in this block to survive the blitz on London's docks.

Last year they were bulldozed and the council says it was done without permission.

We heard a banging noise. And all of a sudden, it's gone. Our heritage, gone.

– JAHIDEL HOQUE, RESIDENT

It's a conservation area which protects historic buildings. The three cottages knocked down fall in the conservation area and the council says they were demolished illegally.

An enforcement notice has been issued ordering the owners to re-build the cottages on East Ferry Road, brick-by-brick. But they say this document shows they were given the go-ahead to demolish.

I'm part of the community myself. I speak to the residents and work with them. The people that live here will know these buildings were structurally unsafe and dangerous. There were bricks falling down they needed to come down.

– MAGNUS DAVEY, OWNER

It's a claim the council denies and says the developers knew they were acting illegally.

People feel they've been battered by all the development. It feels as if the developers are getting quite cynical when they do things like this - they're just trying to get away with bending the law. We want people to be held to account for their behaviour.

– JOHN BIGGS, MAYOR OF TOWER HAMLETS

Under the current enforcement orders the owners have 18 months to rebuild the properties but they say their fight isn't over yet.

This week the developers appealed the council's order and they will now have to take it to the Secretary of State.

Read more news of London on our site.

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