Fears 20-storey tower block could “obliterate” Hoxton

A general view of buildings on Cremer Road on the corner of Hackney Road in Hoxton where a 10 storey

A general view of buildings on Cremer Road on the corner of Hackney Road in Hoxton where a 10 storey development is planned - Credit: Archant

Proposals to build a 20-storey tower block in Hoxton have prompted a warning that an invasion of high-rise city flats will “obliterate the community.”

Brad Lochore

Brad Lochore - Credit: Archant

Regal Hackney Road’s plans for the large-scale development over three sites off Cremer Street and Hackney Road were put before Hackney Council’s planning committee in a special pre-application meeting.

Introduced last year, the meetings give developers a chance to run through designs with councillors who ultimately decide on their fate.

But artist Brad Lochore from conservation group OPEN Shoreditch said it was “madness” to even consider the application as being potentially viable.

Located in a designated priority employment area close to the Grade I-listed Geffrye Museum, the scheme does not comply with policy as two thirds of the 34,000 floor space is residential.

Furthermore, the site is within the Hackney Road conservation area and is also not considered suitable for tower blocks in Hackney’s Tall Buildings Strategy.

Mr Lochore said: “To even entertain developers at this pre-application level indicates just how far corporate hegemony has taken over.

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“Buildings out of context in these areas destroy the area for many people around, forever taking away vital sunlight and destroying views of the sky which quite frankly is the only sense of wonder of the wild we have in London.

“The shadows cast by these buildings are like daggers into the heart of the community, they obliterate communities. People in tower blocks don’t talk to each other, it’s just the psychological reality of them, they are designed for young aspirational couples and single people who ferret away in their own safe rabbit warrens with a concierge downstairs.”

Regal is planning a full public consultation. A spokesman said: “The development is at a very early stage but will include much-needed new homes, affordable housing and commercial office space for the area.”

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