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Clapton community campaigns against grey-washing of famous pink tower block Landmark Heights

PUBLISHED: 14:29 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:29 15 March 2019

Landmark Heights. Picture: Alistair Siddons

Landmark Heights. Picture: Alistair Siddons

Archant

A Clapton man is rallying the community in a campaign against the whitewashing, or make that grey-washing, of the storied pink tower block Landmark Heights.

The 18-story former council tower in Daubeney Road, where rocker Pete Doherty once lived, is slated to have its iconic pink exterior painted grey. It comes almost two years after plans to re-clad the building were shelved due to the Grenfell Tower blaze.

Alistair Siddons started the campaign against the colour change of the building because “it will affect the lived experience of many.”

Leaseholders in the building were the only ones allowed to vote and tenants and neighbours were not consulted regarding the decision.

Mr Siddons, who has lived in Hackney for 20 years, said: “On a clear day we can see its pink structure from miles away. And at sunset, the colour intensifies, to deep gold. The building lights up its environment.”

One owner who asked not to be named, thought the voting should’ve been open to everyone in the building. She told the Gazette: “You’ve got a lot of landlords that don’t necessarily live here and for them it’s just an investment. Whereas if the vote went out to everyone living here their choice would be pink.”

Solomon Mozes, director at KMP Solutions which manages the building, defended the voting procedure and said voter turnout was high, with more than 80 per cent of leaseholders participating.

Mr Mozes said: “As with all democratic voting, there will always be some people who are unhappy with the result – just look at the Brexit vote! – but we have to accept the results.”

Mr Mozes didn’t think renters should have an equal say as they don’t contribute to the costs of the work but said a formal planning application had been submitted and the council would likely consult neighbours.

A few owners were also unhappy about the change, however, and thought the building would lose its charm. One said: “There’s so much grey around, what’s so bad about being different?”

Mary Oge Chuks felt the voting should have been open to the community with priority given to people living in the building. She said: “It would’ve been a very good opportunity for community cohesion and cooperation.

An owner who participated in the voting but didn’t want to be named was disappointed in how it turned out.

She said: “I think if we blend in the 50 shades of grey, which is where we seem to be going, it’s going to be disappointing really.”

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