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Mayor of Hackney launches ‘Save Shoreditch’ campaign

PUBLISHED: 11:23 24 February 2015 | UPDATED: 13:14 24 February 2015

An artist's impression of the Bishopsgate Goodsyard scheme.

An artist's impression of the Bishopsgate Goodsyard scheme.

Archant

The Mayor of Hackney has launched a campaign to “Save Shoreditch” because of a proposed 48-storey luxury development, which he claims threatens to “plunge Tech City into darkness”.

Elected Mayor Jules Pipe has waded into the row over Ballymore and Hammerson’s proposal for two high-rise towers on the Bishopsgate Goodsyard site, which has lain as waste ground for years.

Mayor Pipe is concerned their height will have a detrimental effect on neighbouring businesses and the unique character of the City-fringe area, and has started a petition on Change.org calling on the Mayor of London Boris Johnson to withdraw his support for the scheme.

He said: “These towers would stand almost as tall as One Canada Place at Canary Wharf - that might be OK for the City, but it is completely out of scale for Shoreditch.

“These luxury flats, which are well beyond the reach of ordinary Londoners, will cast a shadow over the whole of Tech City, and threaten to damage the local, creative economy.

“The repercussions of this development could be so severe that they lead to the fragmentation of the local cluster of design and tech firms, leading to the loss of thousands of local jobs, and damage to London’s reputation as a global leader in these industries.

“Luxury accommodation does nothing to help London’s housing crisis and brings no value to Tech City, and we fear that such a major development will strip the area of its character, potentially leading to the dissipation of this growing cluster.”

Hackney Council has commissioned a local architect’s firm to produce an alternative, viable scheme, which they claim would be “more in keeping” with the area and provide employment space.

In a joint statement, Robert Allan assistant director of development at Hammerson, and Jon Weston senior development manager at Ballymore, said they will present revised plans to the community once they are ready.

They said “Since we took on the challenging task of regenerating the Bishopsgate Goodsyard site, we have been speaking extensively to local residents, businesses, community groups and politicians.

“Our team are already working on revised plans that, where possible, address the issues raised by various stakeholders and, more recently the Mayor of Hackney, to ensure the development preserves the heritage of the site whilst creating the new homes, offices and shops that will keep the area growing and vibrant long into the future.”

Both Hackney and Tower Hamlets councils will scrutinise the proposals before deciding whether to grant planning permission.

To view the petition go to www.change.org/p/boris-johnson-withdraw-your-support-for-two-luxury-skyscrapers-in-hackney-2.

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