Hackney Council’s plan to build social housing on underused land meets contention once again
PUBLISHED: 14:32 05 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:26 05 March 2018
Hackney Council’s grand plan to build more than 400 new council homes on underused land has been met with opposition once again.
In January the Gazette reported how 165 objections had been lodged about plans to flatten 10 dilapidated garages in Mandeville Street, Lower Clapton, to build 11 new homes – including five council houses.
The plan is part of the “housing supply programme” to turn crumbling and underused garages, car parks and depots into houses to help tackle the housing crisis, and was given the green light by the planning committee.
Now some 400 people have signed a petition opposing a scheme to build 11 new shared ownership homes and houses for social rent on the site of a car park in Daubeney Road.
Campaigners want the council to go back to the drawing board, and have even come up with their own alternative proposals for a “community hub”. They have factored in eight smaller homes, and would rather see the 25 derelict garages turned into 16 workspaces. They also want to expand the community garden, which was established three years ago with a grant from City Hall. Ben Metz, who lives next to the proposed development, said it would “blight the neighbourhood” and “damage everyone’s quality of life”.
“The new housing looks like a prison block,” he said. “The site is boxed in with existing houses and the space is too small. Our homes will be overlooked, light will be cut and noise levels will grow.”
Gerry Tissier, chair of Daubeney Fields Forever – which runs the community garden – added: “We’ve spent three years building a beautiful, natural growing space and the council now wants to destroy it.”
The council said the site was only supposed to be temporary and has promised to find an alternative permanent location.
Mayor of Hackney Phil Glanville said: “We have fully explored the possibility of creating affordable workspace on this site but, due to the location and the condition of the buildings, this option has been found to be impractical and unviable. “With Hackney facing an unprecedented housing crisis this will make a vital contribution to the genuinely affordable new homes the borough desperately needs.”
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