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Clapton tram sheds to be demolished in favour of flats

PUBLISHED: 14:03 05 April 2011 | UPDATED: 14:43 05 April 2011

(l-r) Lana Smyth, 5, Isla Smyth, 2, Jimmie Brotherhood, 3, & Joshua Ashby-O'Brien, 8, join in the Save Hackney Youth Services protest against cuts to Hackney youth services and to save the Clapton Tram Depot. Hackney Town Hall 4th April 2011

(l-r) Lana Smyth, 5, Isla Smyth, 2, Jimmie Brotherhood, 3, & Joshua Ashby-O'Brien, 8, join in the Save Hackney Youth Services protest against cuts to Hackney youth services and to save the Clapton Tram Depot. Hackney Town Hall 4th April 2011

Copyright Peter Gettins

Town hall bosses gave developers permission to knock down business premises inside a historic Hackney tram depot this week, despite fierce protest from residents and traders.

Artist's impression of the proposed development in Upper Clapton Road

Town hall bosses gave developers permission to knock down business premises inside a historic Hackney tram depot this week, despite fierce protest from residents and traders.

Hackney Council’s planning sub-committee gave the go-ahead for the transformation of Clapton tram sheds – home to horse-drawn trams in the 19th century - into five blocks of flats up to seven storeys high.

Sean Meadows, of Clapton LLP, now plans to build 85 homes along with industrial units and car parking on the site in Upper Clapton Road, after his fourth application was agreed.

Angry residents and traders held a demonstration outside Monday’s meeting (April 4), claiming the development would cause widespread jobs losses and put schools and health services under severe strain. The council had received more than 840 objections from residents.

And plans were afoot to refurbish the existing depot to create an arts centre, with workshops, studios and a café.

David White, secretary of Beecholme Tenants and Residents Association and Clapton Arts Trust, said: “Clapton suffered a major loss with this decision. Fast disappearing manufacturing jobs, heritage and the creative heart of Clapton - hoped to be regenerated at the centre of a new cultural quarter in Clapton - has been lost, the local neighbourhood’s identity diminished and population density increased dramatically.”

And Cllr Ian Rathbone, on behalf of Leabridge ward councillors, said: “The decision taken last night by the planning committee on the slimmest of majorities – one vote – shows how close the argument was to being won.

“We hope the developer will take this on board and be willing to work with the local community and the artists working in the depot to preserve it as a cultural hub.”

Mr Meadows said he looked forward to completing the project following the council’s approval of his plans.”

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