Exclusive City Road tower block scheme ‘shows how affordable housing is being moved into ghettos’

PUBLISHED: 10:56 14 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:54 06 July 2017

The City Road development. Picture: AHMM Architects

The City Road development. Picture: AHMM Architects


A 22-storey building straddling the Hackney and Islington border could provide six floors of office space and 100 private-rented flats – but no on-site “affordable” housing.

The City Road development. Picture: AHMM Architects The City Road development. Picture: AHMM Architects

The City Road development, designed by architects AHMM, is set to take the place of a car park on the site of the old St Luke’s Workhouse and St Matthew’s Hospital.

Initially, unnamed developers said the huge cost of the scheme meant they couldn’t afford to make even one of the homes affordable, despite policy requiring 50 per cent of them to be just that.

Greater London Authority (GLA) officers questioned the assessment, saying some of the assumptions the developers had made about the costs were “difficult to understand”, and ordered Hackney to consult independently.

A £6.25million surplus was then found from somewhere, meaning 56 affordable properties will now be included in the project, but not in the same development.

Before approving the scheme at a town hall meeting last week, Hackney planners decided having 56 affordable homes elsewhere in the borough was better than having 21 affordable flats on site. GLA policy says a scheme’s affordable housing should only be built off-site under exceptional circumstances.

But chair of the Hackney Society planning group Nick Perry, who was at the meeting, said there was nothing exceptional about the plans, adding the decision did nothing to stop exclusivity.

He said: “What about mixed communities? Ghettoising affordable housing merely inflates house prices further because the private developments become exclusive.

“There could have been 20 to 25 genuinely affordable one-bed flats in the heart of Shoreditch. But Hackney chose 56 flats in a distant land.”

Nick also took issue with Hackney officers saying the scheme provided a lot of affordable homes, when at 36 per cent and not on site it falls some way below the 50pc on-site policy.

The scheme will now be referred to GLA planners before final approval.

1 comment

  • "Up and down the City Road, In and out the Eagle, That's the way the money goes, Pop! goes the weasel."

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Latest Hackney Stories

Contract speculation seems to be never ending at Arsenal – and with Mesut Ozil’s improved new deal completed in January, attention now turns to Jack Wilshere.


A day after we revealed an Arsenal Legends side would take on a Real Madrid side at the Bernabeu this summer it has been confirmed there will be a return match later this year at the Emirates.


The latest news from the local boxing scene

The Argentine wants his players to remain focused despite reaching the last four of the competition on Saturday

A four-metre statue designed by street artist Stik will be unveiled in Hoxton Square later in the year after being granted planning permission by Hackney Council.

Radici is the perfect spot to while away the weekend hours finds Emma Bartholomew - especially with bottomless prosecco at £15.

The 20-year-old Clark and 19-year-old Ochieng both made over 10 appearances each for the Brisbane Road club

Tottenham’s planned Premier League fixture at Brighton on Friday April 20 has now been postponed


To celebrate LGBT history month, Hackney resident Amanda talks about her journey to becoming a foster carer, with the council’s support and training.

Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists