Hackney mayor criticises plans to demolish Hoxton’s Iceland supermarket as planning decision looms

Iceland in Hoxton Street is staying for the time being. Picture: Google Maps

Iceland in Hoxton Street is staying for the time being. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

The mayor of Hackney has waded into the controversy over Hoxton Street’s Iceland, as the developer seeks the green light tomorrow night to knock it down to make way for 25 flats.

Philip Glanville has objected in a letter to Hackney Council's planning sub-committee, stating he believes the existing store makes "a valuable contribution to the area", and that its loss "would result in the loss of ground floor retail space that's affordable and important to the community".

He also criticised Blair Estates' failure to provide affordable housing in the proposed part-four, part-five storey block as "disappointing".

Hackney has a 50pc target for affordable housing, and the London plan sets out a minimum of 35pc.

Two petitions have been submitted against the plans; one with 230 signatures called on the developer to engage with the community, while another with 127 signatures complains the building will block out light because it's too tall, and that its overbearing design isn't in keeping with the conservation area.

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But planning officer Barry Coughlan has recommended the scheme is approved by councillors on the planning sub-committee, saying the planning system does not generally restrict a developer to one particular occupier. However he noted another low-cost supermarket Lidl is currently lined up to take on the lease for the proposed ground floor retail unit.

The flats above would be private rented sector (PRS) housing which has been recognised in the London plan as "beneficial in addressing housing need and housing delivery".

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Only 20pc of the units will be family sized compared to policy requiring 33pc to be family sized in new developments

But considering there will be five family sized units, Mr Coughlan deemed the proposed housing mix to be "acceptable".

"The [London] mayor notes the benefits of PRS in terms of offering longer term tenancies, and providing more certainty over long term availability and ensuring high quality management through single ownership," he said.

A decision is due to be made by councillors sitting on the planning sub-committee tomorrow night.

Blair Estates has been approached for comment.

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