Resident backlash over ‘luxury’ home in Stoke Newington

Gibson Gardens

Gibson Gardens - Credit: Archant

More than 500 residents have signed a petition opposing plans to build a four-storey house next to some of the country’s first social homes.

The proposed site is a triangular corner of land in Gibson Gardens, home to a group of Victorian tenement flats in Stoke Newington.

But neighbouring residents who have signed the petition fear the property is “out of keeping” with the area and object to losing land they say is used communally.

The road contains one and two bedroom flats and the proposal boasts three bedrooms, parking and a roof garden.

Resident Sadia Siddiqui said: “The proposed build will be directly next to my property. Of course there will be disruption and an effect on the price of my property, but my primary concern and heartbreak is that fact that communal land – set aside for use by many – is being sold to build a luxury home for one family. That is completely at odds with the ethos and philosophy of this beautiful residential block. It really is ripping the heart out of the place.”

Amber Sinclair-Ray added: “The idea that one of the most perfectly preserved pieces of Victorian housing could withstand two world wars but be lost to one developer is very sad.”

Naomi Doran said the addition of a contemporary building adjoined to the side of the historic buildings would have “catastrophic consequences” on the overall appearance.

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But applicant Vishal Vora, also a resident of Gibson Gardens, said the house proposed was not visible from the street and that the site was “virtually derelict” and unused apart from a communal compost bin.

He continued: “Instead of being met with constructive comments, neighbours are seemingly angry that we dared to be radical. The very few people who have engaged with us personally are some of the direct neighbours to the site and they did not strongly object. We want to create the best design for the site and the street, and would welcome constructive feedback. We have taken design cues from the existing buildings and we think this would be the next chapter in this history of Gibson Gardens.”

Mr Vora added that the design is supported by the Hackney Society and benefits for other residents include cycle storage and landscaped gardens.