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Gazette letters: New buildings, fox poo and Britannia Leisure Centre

PUBLISHED: 09:00 11 November 2017

View from Michael Jones window. Picture:

View from Michael Jones window. Picture:

Archant

My concern is in the proposals of the redevelopment of the Britannia leisure centre, writes Michael Jones, Bridport Place, Hoxton.

They are proposing to put a 24-storey block right on the corner of Penn Street in the children’s play area of Shoreditch Park School.

My concern is that if they do this I will be fully blocked out.

I’m looking at a 20- and a 16-storey already right in front of my front room kitchen and bedroom, which is pretty dark in the mornings.

If they put this 24-storey up, I will be totally blocked out looking at three towers.

I’m really upset about this. It’s making me feel that I want to move. I shouldn’t have to do this. I can’t handle all this concrete jungle going up around me.

The redevelopment from the Britannia leisure centre comes all the way up overlooking Shoreditch Park – they would get a lovely view, with us residents completely blocked out.

I empathise with the resident who felt living with fox poo on the stairs within the Lockner Estate is intolerable; certainly for over two months, writes Charles Webber, Jeger Avenue, Shoreditch.

Imagine how it must be in private residences where folk actually have to clean it up from their own property?

Indeed writing letters and attending meetings about it probably takes much more time.

Start a go-fund-me page, I’ll chip in for a poo-bag.

On October 23, 68 people filled the Arden Estate Community Hall in Hoxton to hear about the council’s plans to knock down Britannia Leisure Centre and replace it with 400 luxury flats, including three tower blocks up to 24 storeys high, two where Britannia now stands and one in the grounds of neighbouring Shoreditch Park Primary School, writes Pat Turnbull, Handley Road, Hackney.

Plus a 1,100 pupil academy school, plus a leisure centre on the tennis courts in Shoreditch Park.

One speaker reported how she had been told ten years ago: ‘We will build tower blocks all over Shoreditch while you’re watching Eastenders!” Another said: “Why should only rich people get the beautiful view over Shoreditch Park?” There is a fuller report on our Facebook page Save Britannia Leisure Centre.

Someone at our meeting had noticed in the council’s consultation this year, only 229 people said they supported building private tower blocks to fund other things.

That’s less than half of those who responded. Our online petition at change.org - Hackney Council: Save Britannia Leisure Centre - now has 3,815 signatures and is growing all the time.

On October 26 and 31 the 35 people who attended the council’s four workshops in July were invited to view the latest updates.

A public consultation meeting on them is promised for later in November.

For the first time the drawings included one of the site as it might look once redeveloped - a concrete jungle indeed!

This update is due to go on the council’s Britannia page. As I write the most recent update is from October 17. It says among other things: “We anticipate receiving some funding from the Education Funding Agency towards the cost of building the secondary school.”

This raised questions about the council’s claim that the 400 luxury flats are necessary for this purpose.

It also says “We want to build a new leisure centre, which we expect to include, as a minimum.”

Read no further – the words “want” and “expect” confirm what we say: that nothing is certain about the replacement leisure centre. That’s why we say, let’s keep what we have!

On October 28 the mayor was interviewed by ITV in front of the fully functioning leisure pool in the fully functioning Britannia Leisure Centre.

His message was still that it needs to be knocked down.

We disagree!

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