Welcome to our virtual public exhibition.

A view of the proposed scheme, with the proposed six storey project by educational charity Mary Ward Settlement to the right hand side.

Curlew is bringing forward proposals to  redevelop Poland House and an adjacent vacant site into a modern, sustainable student housing building with a new community space and improvements to public space on the ground floor along Stratford High Street.

We previously held an exhibition of our early vision for the site in February 2020, and have been working with our architects Henley Halebrown since then to create a building of architectural merit which will improve this stretch of the High Street.

Unfortunately, we are unable to carry out this public exhibition in person due to current government social distancing guidelines.

If you have any feedback, questions, or would like this information in hard copy please use the contact details below:


0800 3077 647


Henley Halebrown Projects

Chadwick Hall, University of Roehampton, Wansdworth.

Stour Road Student Housing, Tower Hamlets.


About Poland House.

The site lies within Stratford and New Town ward, on the south side of Stratford High Street in the London Borough of Newham.

Map showing significant developments and other uses around the site.

The redevelopment site includes Poland House, a car park and a vacant piece of land next door, which was previously occupied by an Esso petrol station.

Built in the 1960s as a car showroom with offices above, Poland House currently houses 100 student beds, all of which are occupied.

There are a number of excellent transport links on offer – including Stratford underground, overground and rail station, Stratford High Street (DLR), local bus services and a Cycle Superhighway.

The site sits within the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) planning area, which has seen significant regeneration since the London 2012 Olympics.

We believe the current building has reached the end of its design life, is not energy efficient, unattractive and offers little benefit to the local community and Stratford High Street.

A view of the current Poland House.


The existing building is outdated – it cannot provide high quality, modern accommodation for students and is not environmentally efficient.

Originally built as a car showroom with offices above and subsequently converted into student accommodation with an attached car park, Poland House can no longer support high quality student accommodation with the amenity space students require.

Photo of the adjacent vacant land

The blank front of the building on the High Street.

At street level the building offers a blank wall with only a small entrance door, bin storage and car park accessible from Stratford High Street. A redeveloped building will provide new space for the community to use, accessible from the High Street, alongside public space improvements.

The rear of the building is currently a paved access path for cars offering little to the building occupants. A redeveloped Poland House could use this space to create a new planted garden, improving biodiversity in the local area and providing a new space for students to enjoy.


  • A redeveloped building will be significantly more sustainable than the existing 1960s building. It will achieve a minimum of BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating for energy efficiency through green technology such as solar panels and highly efficient air source heat pumps.
  • The building currently has a car park with 27 spaces for pay & display parking. Redevelopment provides an opportunity to reduce these numbers and promote clean, green travel for students with secure bicycle parking and access directly onto the Cycle Superhighway which passes the front of the building.


Meeting the growing demand in Newham and East London.

Despite the current impact of Covid-19, we believe the demand for student accommodation in Newham and across London will remain strong in the years to come.

A map of the local area showing Higher Education Institutions.

The University of London, the Umbrella group for a number of major London and established Newhambased universities, including UCL and Queen Mary, has estimated that they currently have a shortfall of 11,500 purpose-built student rooms.

We are already in talks with the University of London who would be potentially interested in taking up the new student beds in partnership with Curlew.

Within a 2.5 mile radius of Poland House there are currently seven university campuses, with a further two being built. Student numbers at these campuses are expected to grow by almost 50% in the next five years, driven by the new Stratford campuses for UCL East and the London College of Fashion (part of the University of the Arts London).

Students attending a Higher Education Institution within a 1 mile radius of Poland House have increased by 35% in the past five years.

The local need for student housing is acute. Within a 2.5 mile radius of Poland House there are

Four students

for every available purpose built student bed

Even with future planned developments in the area, this number is expected to continue rising in future years. This means that students will continue to live in houses of mulitple occupation, taking away valuable housing stock from local families.

Our Vision

These proposals will completely transform this site, creating a new modern building for 282 students delivering new jobs, boosting spending locally, and providing new spaces for the local community to meet and enjoy.

A view of the proposed scheme on Stratford High Street.

Transform and breathe life into an unattractive, outdated student accommodation building and the adjacent scrubland

Support the whole community with a new space accessible directly from Stratford High Street

Improve the appearance of Stratford High Street with a modern sustainable development of architectural merit

Create new local jobs and apprenticeships

Enhance the public realm with a new active frontage to the building, a setback entrance increasing the footpath and creating a shelter from the wind, as well as planting new trees

Increase spending locally

Provide high quality new student accommodation including affordable rooms

Create a modern, fully accessible building including accessible accommodation for the first time on this site

Improving on the current student offer

Providing new student accommodation including affordable and accessible rooms.

Redeveloping this site will provide an opportunity to vastly improve this stretch of the High Street, whilst providing modern student accommodation to cater for the growing local need.

Illustration of what the student garden could look like.

A new garden

The building will include a new garden, sunken below street level to ensure privacy for neighbours. The garden will be designed for quiet study and reflection with small pockets to sit and enjoy. It will create a nicer environment by maximising urban greening and biodiversity. Timings and access will be appropriately managed and controlled by the estate management team.

The current building was converted to student accommodation from a car showroom and offices and is no longer suitable for the standard of accommodation expected by students.

The current building houses 100 student rooms, all let for this academic year.

A redeveloped Poland House will create 282 student rooms including:

  • Affordable accommodation for the first time in this location.
  • 5% of rooms will be designed for universal access, but inclusive design has been considered throughout. Accessible bedrooms and kitchens will be spread evenly throughout the building.

A floor plan of how a typical student room could look.

A illustration of how a typical student room could look.

Community Wealth Building

New jobs, community space, and increased spending locally.

A view of the new community space with an art class happening to the rear overlooking the new garden.

Community space

On the ground floor and accessible from Stratford High Street there will be a new space for the local community to enjoy – adding vibrancy to this part of the High Street.

We want to ensure this space is occupied by a use which local residents and communities will benefit from. Curlew has been meeting with local businesses, community groups and charities to discuss what would work best here.

At our first exhibiton in February 2020 suggestions from the community included:

  • Coffee shop or snack bar
  • A place local residents could meet
  • Local supermarket
  • Library

New jobs for local people

These proposals present an opportunity to bring new jobs and apprenticeships for local people.

  • During construction approximately 230 jobs will be created (jobs for local people during the construction phase will be agreed with the council as part of a S106 agreement).
  • When the building is operational five full time jobs will be created.

We would like to hear what you think, so if you have any suggestions for this space, please include it in your feedback. Click here to submit feedback, or follow the link at the end of this exhibition.

Students living at a redeveloped Poland House will contribute approximately

£1.31 million

a year to the local economy

spending their money on food, retail, and leisure activities.

High quality design

Creating a building befitting Stratford High Street.

The scheme (highlighted in red) is in line with the heights of buildings on this side of the High Street.

A view of the current Poland House from Stratford High Street DLR.

How the building could look from the same viewpoint.

The new building will include a set back entrance, creating a new arcade which increases the size of the pavement, creates shelter from the wind and will improve the pedestrian experience.

A new ground floor with large windows will better connect the building with the street and create views through the building to the green space behind.

Creating a modern, attractive building.

Kerrison Road

These images show the potential forms of the building from Kerrison Road. The red line depicts the current building, while the brown blocks show what the scheme could look like from this perspective.

The chosen stepped terrace is designed to create an attractive building that is not simply one continuous block, or a single large tower, but a building that improves this stretch of the High Street whilst minimising the visual impact on our neighbours.

We have also been able to increase the distance between the new building and Kerrison Road homes from between three and seven meters.

We propose that the redeveloped Poland House will be four connected buildings of 8, 9, 11 and 12 storeys. The tallest element of the scheme (standing at 12 storeys) is much lower than other new developments along Stratford High Street and is very much in keeping with the current height of Poland House.

A view from Kerrison road of the chosen building

This view shows the proposed new building as seen from Kerrison Road. The existing building outline is shown in a thin red line.

Exploration of massing options

This shows the existing Poland House building looking northwest towards Stratford High Street from Kerrison Road.

Though localised, the tower and podium option was discounted due to the overbearing scale of the tower on the southside of Stratford High Street.

On balance, the two mid-rise towers and central public space was deemed less successful in terms of townscape and its relationship to its immediate neighbours on the south side of Stratford High Street.

Improving the High Street with new public spaces and a more modern building.

A view showing the public realm and new arcade style front of the building on the High Street.

A diagram of the landscape and public realm improvements.

Public realm and landscaping

The proposals will vastly improve the public realm on this stretch of the High Street:

  • A modern ‘arcade’ style front of the building will act as an entrance to the accommodation and community space. It will create a new area pavement and will enliven this underused section of the High Street.
  • Delivering urban greening through new avenue trees on the High Street and a planted, biodiverse garden to the rear.


The architects have taken inspiration from the surrounding buildings:

  • Traditional brickwork façades
  • Arches
  • Arcades

Arcade entrances.

Traditional brickwork.


Typical floor plan of the building showing a floor with student bedrooms and kitchens.

A plan of the ground floor showing the community space to the left, entrance foyer and new garden to the rear.

A plan of the ground floor showing student social spaces, amenity space, garden and bicycle parking.


The site is only a short walk from a wide variety of public transport options.

Promoting the use of green, cleaner transport


  • Two fully accessible parking spaces will be provided – a reduction of 25 spaces from the current site
  • Students will be encouraged to use the excellent public transport links and cycling opportunities on offer.
  • The site is close to a wide variety of public transport options including Stratford underground, overground and rail station, Stratford High Street (DLR), Stratford International train station and a bus station.
  • A redeveloped Poland House will remove the existing car park attached to the building and provide 212 bicycle storage spaces for students. There will be direct access to the cycle storage from the cycle Super Highway which passes the front of the building.
  • Students will not be granted parking permits for the local area by Newham Council and will not be able to park private cars in or around a redeveloped Poland House.

Servicing arrangements


  • We are in discussions with LLDC and Newham planning officers regarding a servicing strategy.
  • Currently, refuse vehicles unload and load informally on the pedestrian footway opposite Poland House. Our initial plans will formalise the current operations at Poland House as shown in this diagram. Vehicles will be able to unload and load on the marked servicing area and pedestrians will be able to use it when not occupied by vehicles.
  • The onsite team at Poland House will liaise with regular couriers, who tend to visit the site once a day to deliver during working hours. This arrangement ensures few quick drop offs per courier per day instead of countless drop offs.


Please submit any questions or feedback using the contact details below.

Thank you for visiting this virtual public exhibition in these unprecedented circumstances.
We hope it provides a good understanding of our proposals.

Our proposals seek to:

Transform an outdated building creating modern, sustainable and attractive student housing.

Meet the local need for an increase in student accommodation, including accessible and affordable rooms.

Support the whole community with a new accessible space on the ground floor.

Create new local jobs and apprenticeships.

Environmentally friendly building.

Share your views:

We would like to hear your feedback on our plans before we submit a planning application in Summer 2020. Please get in touch if you would like a hard copy of the materials presented here, or if you know of a neighbour who is unable to access this online.

If you would like to speak to the project team or arrange a virtual meeting to discuss your comments in more detail please submit your details and we will find a time that suits you.

The consultation line will remain open till 26 July.

Please send in your comments before then. You can still get in touch with the team following this if you have any queries about the scheme using the email, freephone and online contact form provided.

Online feedback form:

Click here to submit your feedback



0800 3077 647