Developers of luxury housing told to honour their plans for public space at St John at Hackney Church

Hackney Town Hall. Picture: Ken Mears

Hackney Town Hall. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

Hackney Council has forced developers to keep to their word and not install a gate between St John at Hackney’s churchyard and Mare Street.

Thornsett, creators of luxury development Hackney Gardens, had agreed to a public square and pedestrian link between the church and the Narrow Way, and have now had plans thrown out for a gate which would have been locked overnight.

The builders used warnings by police over anti-social behaviour as justification for the gate proposals, but Cllr Sophie Conway (Lab, Hackney Central) told a committee meeting last week that a gate did not match with the town hall's vision for the town centre.

Cllr Conway said: "I simply do not think that replacing part of the wall with a gate is in keeping with our aspirations for our town centre."

Thornsett director Bernadette Cunningham tried argue that discussions had been ongoing for five months as elements of the project neared completion, but the committee remained unmoved.

Cllr Stops added: "You shouldn't be coming up with stuff that didn't fit what we were asking for. Whose fault is that? You need to go back and look at the spirit of the thing, and come back with something that matches closer to what we were expecting."