Hackney fashion hub gets green light
PUBLISHED: 18:30 10 October 2013 | UPDATED: 17:59 11 October 2013
A designer fashion hub which will change the face of Homerton was given the green light last week by Town Hall bosses.
An £100 million eight-storey fashion hub will succeed the current Aquascutum, Burberry and Pringle outlets in Chatham Place and Morning Lane and is planned to be completed in 2014.
The decision also paves the way for iconic buildings in the area to be knocked down - including the former Duke of Wellington, which dates from 1905 and the 1716 gravel-pit chapel where Joseph Priestly, who discovered oxygen, preached.
Nick Perry, of The Hackney Society and James Watson, of Churchwell Resident’s Group (CRG) spoke against the application.
Mr Watson said that the CRG, although not opposed to the idea itself, would have “preferred smaller buildings with a style much more in keeping with the area.”
The developer’s architect and agent were not able to give full details on issues such as the effect of the giant media screen on local residents and parking provision plans for visitors to the hub.
Neighbouring resident, Nick Hardingham, 35, of Mehatabel Road, said: “I’m really upset. I think it’s a shambles. They have not taken account of people’s objections during consultation. I don’t see why this is good for the community at all.
“It does not address what this will do to the area. They have not mentioned the three local schools beside it.
“If you want a retail experience you go to Stratford or Bicester Village. Hackney is about independent shops and quirky boutiques.”
Martyn Williams, an environmental campaigner from Sutton Place, said: “We are disappointed to see the historic buildings go.
“They use the edgy nature of Hackney and they then bulldoze everything down and build a shiny glass box. You could put this glass box in Westfield and it would not look out of place.”
Harry Handelsman, chief executive of Manhattan Loft Corporation said: “We are delighted that these visionary plans have been granted permission. We can now start delivering the plans that will create a new fashion destination that will provide new jobs in the area and extra footfall to existing local shops.”
Cllr Guy Nicholson, Hackney Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “This decision marks the beginning of the next stage of work to bring The Hackney Fashion Hub to life. We are working with a range of partners who share our vision of bringing this world-class development to Hackney Central for local people.”
Councillors voted overwhelmingly to support the hub - with only one councillor abstaining.