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Campaigners in legal threat after Clapton Park Estate garages to homes plan is signed off

PUBLISHED: 11:38 09 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:38 09 July 2018

Campaigners outside the town hall on Wednesday night.

Campaigners outside the town hall on Wednesday night.

Archant

Plans to replace derelict garages and parking spaces in Lower Clapton with 11 “genuinely affordable” homes have been signed off – but neighbours have threatened legal action.

The project to transform the space in Daubeney Road on the Clapton Park Estate is part of the town hall’s commitment to build much-needed homes on underused land for the 13,000 people on the housing list.

Councillors approved the plans for the six council homes and five shared ownership homes last night.

But campaigners opposing the scheme – who protested on the town hall steps before the meeting – are seeking advice on whether to launch a judicial review over the decision.

They believe the new builds look like a “prison block” and will impose on their homes. They even prepared an alternative plan that would have seen eight homes built with the 25 derelict garages turned into 16 workspaces.

The group, Daubeney Fields Forever, also wanted to expand their community garden, which opened three years ago thanks to a City Hall grant. The town hall says the garden will now move to nearby Redwald Road on a permanent basis.

Chair of Daubeney Fields Forever, Gerry Tissier said: “We are disappointed. The garden is a special place for the local community. The committee disregarded the overwhelming opposition of residents to the proposals in the statutory consultation.

“It ignored the voice of over 700 people who signed petitions calling for a sustainable development.

“This application was put in by the council, supported by councillors and decided upon by councillors. There is a deep democratic deficit in the planning process which marginalises communities and loses the goodwill and expertise of residents.”

Mayor Phil Glanville said he was delighted the scheme had been given the green light.

He added: “We know the growing area has become valued by local people, which is why we’ve ensured it can now continue as a permanent facility nearby.”

Work will begin next year and be finished in 2020. The council will speak to campaigners this summer about plans for the community garden.

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