March 13 2014 Latest news:
Blackstone Estate residents John Hunt, his wife Florence and Cliff Gully,right, stand up with a petition to stop construction traffic through their estate as part of the demolition plans for Bayton Court.
by Syma Mohammed
Friday, March 8, 2013
Residents are up in arms about proposals which could see lorries drive through their estate up to 50 times a day, six days a week.
Some 350 residents from the Blackstone Estate in Lansdowne Drive, London Fields, have signed a petition against access plans for heavy goods vehicles during the development of a new housing scheme, which will take more than a year to complete.
Nearly 50 residents attending a meeting on Monday night made clear their opposition to the plans, which would give lorries access to the estate and a narrow route normally closed to traffic during the demolition and redevelopment of Bayton Court in Lansdowne Drive into a six-storey sheltered housing block.
At the tenants’ and residents’ association (TRA) meeting at St Michael and All Angels Church, residents insisted they wanted lorries to access the building site directly from Landsdowne Drive rather than driving through the estate.
Paul Munday, director of housing programme regeneration at Hackney Council, said the developers had to get to the site through the estate rather than Lansdowne Drive as the entry point to Bayton Court was “close to pedestrian crossings and bus stops”.
Developer Hanover Homes made a presentation about the proposed routes, both of which result in lorries travelling through the estate.
Residents expressed concern that the planned access route – only for emergency use – is not big enough for both lorries and pedestrians to pass through.
Louise Derry, 38, said: “I remember a lorry tried to get through with tiles and the road was not wide enough for me to get through with my bike.”
Meanwhile Evelyn Girling, 47, expressed concerns about children not being able to play on the estate. She said: “It’s disgusting. They are railroading everyone.”
John Hunt, 73, said: “It will be like the M1 with lots of bulldozers and JCBs coming through the estate. We don’t want it.”
A Hackney Homes spokesperson said: “These are the only viable options as there is no other feasible access to that part of the estate during the construction period.
“We are doing what we can to find solutions to the issues residents have raised. Every practicable precaution will be taken to ensure the site is kept safe at all times and inconvenience is minimised.”
A spokesperson for Hanover said: “We were invited by the Blackstone Estate TRA to discuss our proposals for starting building works at Bayton Court and the access required throughout the process.”
He added: “Having heard local residents’ concerns we will continue to work with Hackney Homes and local residents to try to resolve the situation.”