Hackney Council’s ‘innovative’ plan to build social housing on ‘underused land’

Hackney Town Hall in Mare Street.

Hackney Town Hall in Mare Street. - Credit: Archant

Council land which is currently taken up by derelict buildings, council depots and for the most part empty garages could be turned into around 140 new homes for social renting as part of an “innovative” scheme to help tackle London’s housing crisis.

They will be among 400 homes built on 11 sites under Hackney Council’s Housing Supply Programme, which includes a further 140 homes for shared ownership.

According to the council, the focus is on making the most of underused areas on estates, rather than demolishing existing homes or entailing the loss of green space and playgrounds.

Garages and parking in Wimbourne Street and Shaftesbury Street and garages in Murray Grove and Buckland Street, all in Hoxton, contractor depot sites in Downham Road and Balmes Road in De Beauvoir, a closed housing office in Whiston Road, Haggerston and a derelict incinerator building in Clapton Park, Kings Park are all earmarked for redevelopment.

Run-down bedsits in Gooch House, Kenninghall Road, Clapton, and Beck House, Stoke Newington, garages and parking in Mandeville Street, Kings Park, and garages in Lincoln Court, Woodberry Down are also included.

A consultation will take place on whether underground parking, garages and a community centre in Woolridge Way, South Hackney can be redeveloped too.

Licensed garage users who might be affected will be contacted individually to discuss alternative locations for storage.

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Residents on the affected estates will be offered first option to move into the new homes through a dedicated local lettings policy, and the programme aims to recruit Hackney residents for a quarter of construction jobs – including through apprenticeships.

Cllr Philip Glanville, Deputy Mayor of Hackney, said: “We’re determined to do all we can to build the homes that Hackney needs and help more families find a genuinely affordable place to live.

“We’re building thousands of new homes across our borough, including council housing, but we know we can do even more to help meet demand by making the most of underused council land for small developments that can make a big difference.

“We don’t get any government funding to build new homes, but we’ll continue to use innovative approaches like this to fund new developments ourselves.”

Work will begin next year subject to planning permission.