Massive towerblock bordering Shoreditch Park given outline planning permission by Hackney Council
PUBLISHED: 07:57 22 July 2011 | UPDATED: 09:17 22 July 2011
The council has approved outline planning permission for a 20-storey towerblock in Shoreditch, which would dominate the skyline and mean its neighbours would "never see the sun."
Hackney Council wants to regenerate the Colville Estate, replacing its five and six-storey 1950s brick buildings - which tenants complain provide damp and unsatisfactory living conditions.
Homes will be demolished between Regent’s Canal and Penn Street to its south, and between Bridport Place to the west and Whitmore Road to the east.
Councillors unanimously approved the masterplan at last Monday’s planning committee meeting, which includes two massive tower blocks bordering Shoreditch Park, with a maximum scale of up to 14 and up to 20 storeys.
Committee chair Vincent Stops expressed concern about the decision: “I think development outlines that describe scale are not good practice,” he said.
“I’m trying to get my head around whether we are doing the right thing approving the scale and not consulting.”
Opponents say that while the rest of the estate is underdeveloped, with new buildings merely replacing existing scale, the two towerblocks are excessive in their mass.
Nearby residents from Gainsborough Studios in Islington which would border the massive towerblock spoke out against the proposals, saying the towerblock was situated less than the recommended 21 metres away from their homes.
“We have to recognise this is a dense urban environment and it’s very difficult to always achieve those standards, we can not always ensure those distances are met,” said the council’s legal officer.
A spokesman for the agent, Karakusevic Carson Architects said they had been given a very detailed brief of what residents would like to see in their community, and the application was the result of three years’ hard work.
He explained the towerblock was the “cash generator for the whole regeneration process.”
“The only way to bring the scheme into viability would be to make everything else much bigger,” he said.
“One of the clear briefs of the residents early on was that wasn’t going to be popular.”
The proposals could see an influx of inhabitants as homes would increase from 412 to 884 - but could take up to 10 years to build in phases, to limit disruption to residents.