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Furious pensioners on Hoxton estate ask: ‘Where’s our pavement?’

14:59 19 October 2016

Steve Smeeth (right) with other residents of the Arden Estate next to the spot where building works have closed the pavement at the junction of Regan Way and Homefield St N1

Steve Smeeth (right) with other residents of the Arden Estate next to the spot where building works have closed the pavement at the junction of Regan Way and Homefield St N1

Archant

A group of pensioners are furious after losing a pavement and a disabled parking bay on their estate to a building site.

Building works have closed the pavement at the junction of Regan Way and Homefield St N1Building works have closed the pavement at the junction of Regan Way and Homefield St N1

Garages on the corner of Regan Way, in the Arden Estate, Hoxton, have been flattened to make way for six flats.

But neighbours feel developers have overstepped their mark by fencing off their parking spaces outside their block.

“They’ve taken it as if it’s theirs,” said Steve Smeeth, once vice-chairman of the Arden’s Tenants’ and Residents’ Association. “There’s a disabled parking bay there and a lot of old age pensioners here. Most people in the photo are over 60!

“We’ve not been told what’s going on – no one knows anything. If someone wants to put windows in we get letters, but we’ve had nothing about this huge building site.

“We’ve even got cones in the road now. Usually when this happens the council will print out notices and pin them up – there’s none of that.

“We’ve lost five bays, including the only disabled one on the road which Leslie uses. If he has a bag of shopping with him now he can’t do it.”

People on the estate are already unhappy with the development because of how it came about.

The garages used to be owned by the Greater London Council but a 2009 court case granted legal ownership to Hoxton Street market traders who had used them for storing their barrows and equipment since the 1960s.

They then sold the land and three years ago plans for the flats were submitted by Moule and Parsons.

“They were squatters,” said Steve. “They weren’t paying any rent and the council lost out to them.”

Last year the town hall had spotted a potential loop-hole in the ownership of the garages but after legal advice decided not to challenge it.

A spokeswoman said: “The section of Regan Way adjacent to the development is public highway and maintained by the council.

“The developers have closed the footway on one side of the road to allow them to construct the development because is too narrow to allow them to undertake the construction safely without its closure.

“The developer applied to the council and was granted a hoarding licence for the fencing that is currently in place.

“There is a footway on the opposite side of Regan Way, so while causing some inconvenience to residents there remains a safe pedestrian route along the road.”

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