Fury at Hackney Joint Estate Charity's plan for carpark
PUBLISHED: 17:45 03 October 2012
A planning application to build three houses in an Upper Clapton car park has caused uproar amongst nearby residents, amid fears of overcrowding and losing their parking spaces.
Planning officers have recommended Hackney Joint Estate Charity’s (HJEC) plans for Vyner Court are approved by Hackney Council’s planning subcommittee.
Five garages at the rear of the block of flats in Rossington Street could be demolished and another 15 parking spaces lost to make way for a single storey building containing three two-bedroom homes.
But some tenants who have lived been there for over 20 years, one of whom drives a cab for a living, claim off-street parking is written into their contracts.
Residents of Geldeston Road which backs onto the development, fear losing access to the rear of their homes, and councillors Ian Sharer and Dawood Akhoon have voiced support.
“Here we have a Victorian charity established to alleviate the suffering of the poor of the borough that, last year, did its best to swell their ranks by presenting stall holders on Well Street Market with a massive rent hike that threatened the livelihoods of many of them,” said Geldeston Road resident Mark Westcott.
“Now they’re at it again, once more attempting to blight the lives of their own tenants with unwarranted and unwelcome development on a tiny but much valued plot of land.”
Last year 25 shopkeepers feared they could be forced out of business after the charity raised their rents by more than 100 per cent, saying it needed to bring them in line with market rates.
The charity acts as a landlord, letting out commercial and residential properties, and distributes the income to three charities
“It is the duty of the trustees of the HJEC to maintain and develop the estate that has been entrusted to them for the long-term benefit of the three charities HJEC supports,” said the board of trustees, which includes Cllr Geoff Taylor, in a joint statement.
“The Trustees are listening to the concerns raised by tenants and have attempted to balance all of these issues whilst recognising that the planning process will be the final arbiter.
“HJEC aims to maintain good relations with its tenants while recognising that the interests and concerns of tenants and of HJEC may occasionally diverge.”
A similar application received considerable opposition a year ago and was refused to protect established trees.