Gazette letters: Gillett Square, gym only, pensioners travel cards and Thirlmere House

The Bradbury Street office building and market pods. Picture: EMMA BARTHOLOMEW

The Bradbury Street office building and market pods. Picture: EMMA BARTHOLOMEW - Credit: Emma Bartholomew

The drama surrounding the threat to Gillett Square continues apace with over 1,500 new signatories in the past month to the petition to Save Gillett Square, writes Adam Hart FRSA, chief executive officer Hackney Co-operative Developments (HCD) 1996-2012, co-director Vortex Foundation, resident and parent for over 35 years.

In particular there have now been some additions to the current planning application which concede that the plan involves the demolition of the market pods.

To justify this act of vandalism it is now being claimed by the applicant Hackney Co-operative Developments (HCD) agents that the market pods were only built as a temporary measure and that they are in bad condition.

This is all completely untrue, but further reveals the disrespect and ignorance that permeates this current planning application.

The current plan is against LB Hackney’s own planning principles and its commitment of accountability to the views and needs of the local community.

This plan can easily be replaced by a much simpler non-damaging scheme that meets the LDA and HCD’s objectives for some increased affordable workspace and environmental improvements on this site. There is still time to object to LB Hackney as the committee hearing will not be before July 4.

I have lived in the Clissold Park area for over 50 years, as a child I learned to swim in the old pool that was on the site of the current Clissold Leisure Centre, writes Aaron Graubart, full address supplied.

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I have been trying (and failing) to buy a membership there that allows me to use the gym without paying a large premium for other activities in the centre that I will never use.

All other Hackney leisure centers have a gym only membership but not Clissold. They do however have a racquet sports only, or a swim only, but not gym only. Why the bias against using the gym?

It makes absolutely no sense to offer single sport memberships for everything but not the gym?

They want me to pay £60 a month, while at other facilities (that are too far away for me) they offer gym only and charge less than half that.

Clearly this is unfair and should be addressed.

Thank you again for publishing my recent letters regarding the 106 bus route. Sadly, the service has continued to worsen, writes Geoff Twist, Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Stoke Newington.

However when I finally catch this or other services, I notice that a large number of suitably aged people are using paid for Oyster cards when they are entitled to an Over 60’s card, which for an initial fee of £10 effectively provides up to five years of free travel on all TfL services. This may a matter of choice of course, but might also be lack of knowledge or computer skills to apply.

Residents of Thirlmere House, Howard Road, were informed some years ago their car park to the rear had been sold to a private developer, writes Ron Houghton, Thirlmere House, Newington Green.

Fair enough; brown field sites should be developed.

The project for six houses, described as “affordable” received planning approval in 2013. Site work started in 2016, and last year the site manager told us that work would be finished by September of that year. Work is still going on.

During this time we have had no access to our designated car spaces; work has gone on outside the legal time limits; protests about this have been met with hostility; builders’ material has been dumped ouside the boundaries; the building itself varies from the approved drawings: higher walls, rooms added, different cladding material, plan boxes replaced by railing.

Church Walk, because of the high hoarding has become unsafe at night. For more than two weeks now there has been no external activity. We were promised a finish by the end of May. Last week the site manager said the hoarding would come down this week. Now we hear a further house has been applied for, so we can look forward to the nightmare continuing.