Mayor of Hackney slams Bishopgate goodsyard scheme

Goodsyard CGI

Goodsyard CGI - Credit: Archant

The Mayor of Hackney has accused developers of “primarily lining their pockets” as the motivation behind a massive Shoreditch redevelopment.

It comes as a consultation about the 1,356-home development at the Bishopsgate goodsyard draws to a close.

In an open letter to the Mayor of London, Jules Pipe said while he supported the principle of “high-density redevelopment” of the goodsyard site, he was opposed to its scale and the amount of affordable housing the proposal would provide.

He claimed Hammerson and Ballymore, the joint developer, had shown “very little interest in collaboration” and produced something that “serves primarily their financial interests”.

“In no one’s eyes, provided they were not blinded by the potential profit they were making, could such an enormous height and volume of buildings be seen as appropriate to be landed in the heart of this vibrant neighbourhood,” said Mr Pipe, adding it would cast “a shadow over hundreds of homes and businesses”.

The price of homes has also been lambasted by the Mayor with nearby developments suggesting the cheapest studio flats would cost £700,000 – which “would do nothing to address the capital’s housing crisis”.

An independent viability assessment carried out by BNP Paribas found 30pc of the homes could be affordable without the developers ending up out-of-pocket.

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Last June, revised plans were criticised by campaigners for showing “little improvement”

The plans included a new office building and a reduction in the heights of three towers by up to six storeys – making them 26, 30 and 38 floors high. The tallest tower, 46 storeys, has been trimmed by one level.

As a result there will be fewer homes – 1,356 instead of from 1,464 – but more community spaces will be included.

A number of campaigning groups have been set up since the plans were submitted.

They include East London Garden Society, which is calling for an urban woodland at the Bishopsgate site, and More Light, More Power.

David Donaghue, a spokesman for More Light, More Power, has criticised the huge development for its “critical failure to provide adequate provision for affordable homes”.

The public hearing into the Bishopsgate goodsyard proposals has been fixed for March 11. The hearing for objections takes place at City Hall with London Mayor Boris Johnson.