Unlucky for some: Campaigners’ bid to block Hackney Road bingo hall development fails

Protesters outside the bingo hall in Hackney Road.

Protesters outside the bingo hall in Hackney Road. - Credit: Archant

A last-ditch protest to stop luxury flats being built at the iconic Hackney Road bingo hall site has proved unsuccessful.

The controversial plans were passed by councillors at a town hall meeting on Monday.

It comes as a blow to the Hackney Road Residents’ Group (HRRG), who have been fighting plans to develop the site since it was bought by Jersey-based Hackney Property Holdings LLP (HPH) for £4.5million in 2014.

Some 123 neighbours objected to the proposals, and there was hope after a decision was deferred in April. But the scheme will go ahead after all.

The HRRG are still angry the council has agreed to only 20 per cent of affordable housing, despite its own target of 50pc.

Member Simon Chambers said: “It is an outrage that the council are not making more effort to meet their own affordable housing targets and are

helping the owners of the development, who avoid paying tax by being registered overseas, to get away with making a

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huge profit.

“Hackney has a huge homelessness problem which the council is turning its back on.”

The group also took issue with the lack of consultation and said the usual 21-day period had not finished by the time of the meeting.

Simon added: “The planning department have not conducted the public consultation in a democratic or transparent way.

“They recommended the committee pass the planning application before the end date of the consultation period. This makes a mockery of the public consultation as they are not taking our views in to account.

“They have also failed to inform the public about the consultation and made it difficult for us to get hold of the relevant documents. We have made an official complaint about the way the planning department have behaved.”

Town hall neighbourhoods boss Kim Wright said the town hall was under no obligation to even have the consultation, because it had already held one.

“A full consultation was undertaken in October,” she said. “The Local Planning Authority continued to accept and review any further comments received ahead of the meeting, in advance of any decision being made.”

The plans have now been referred to the Greater London Authority for final approval.