Gazette letters: King Henry’s Walk, TfL and Shoreditch Park
PUBLISHED: 08:30 15 December 2018
Saturday marked the annual King Henry’s Walk winter fair – a wreath-making, mulled-wine drinking, non-carol singing shindig in one of Dalston’s finest community gardens, writes Will McCallum, Newington Green.
Taking a break from the marauding children, I went to inspect the beehives in Docwra’s wood in the back half of the garden. In the winter chill I didn’t come across any of their inhabitants, all safely inside keeping their queen warm.
There’s been a lot of news about bees these past couple of years, as numbers have dramatically declined and our dependence on them for our food supply becomes more widely understood.
As a result, London bee-keeping is now much more common, with local apiarists helping sustain and rebuild colonies of bees to help London’s biodiversity.
Other than the occasional swarm (don’t panic if you see one, just go inside and call the police who have a list of local beekeepers trained to deal with it) they are just about the best neighbours you could hope for – more flowers, more birds, and if you’re lucky – some honey too.
We even have them on the roof of our Islington office.
I couldn’t agree more with J E Kirby’s letter in that everything Transport for London does usually turns out to be a disaster, writes Gavin McGrath, Hackney, full address supplied.
We’ve had cycle superhighways reducing the width of the carriageway with delivery vans in the middle of the road, Overground trains unsuitable for purpose, disruptions to bus services for five months while it employs muppets to refurbish the hut at the Hackney Wick turnaround, bus lanes that haven’t solved anything, and the threat of buses into London being reduced owing to delays. The only delays I seem to recollect are those caused by fixed traffic lights which are controlled by TfL itself; talk about shooting yourself in the foot.
Also in my locality we have a £52 million rebuild of Hackney Wick station, not for the Olympics but presumably to accommodate football fans going to the London Stadium. With most daily users living north of the railway line the entrance has been placed on the side nearest to the stadium with the new route being unsuitable for wheelchair users and those with prams or trolleys. TfL has clearly not worked with the local authority to overcome this. The cold and uninviting station also has just the one ticket machine. I reckon TfL’s HQ should have a big sign above the entrance saying “Welcome to Idiotville”.
Granted, as it was, by Hackney Council’s own planning sub-committee, the recent approval for this borough’s application to redevelop Shoreditch Park was blatantly undemocratic - as all those of us in attendance can disgustedly attest, writes James Pain, Chatsworth Road, Hackney.
In a democratic country, how possibly can Hackney Council be allowed to grant themselves planning permission for such a major, and locally reviled, redevelopment?
Surely, as in the case of the planning application for the Bishopsgate Goodsyard redevelopment, the planning application for the Shoreditch Park redevelopment should, by rights, have been “called in” - under Article 7 of the Mayor of London Order, 2008 - by the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, in order that he might assume the role of the local planning authority, and thereby direct an official public hearing at City Hall?
The planning application for the environmentally vandalistic Shoreditch Park redevelopment may be considered under Article 7 of the Mayor of London Order, 2008, due to the fact that:
1) The development would have a significant impact on the implementation of the London Plan.
2) The development would have significant effects that are likely to affect more than one London borough.
3) There are sound planning reasons for intervention.
Frankly, it appears that the “Forest of Skyscrapers”, originally proposed for construction on the Bishopsgate Goodsyard - and to which former Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe, present Mayor of Hackney, Phil Glanville, and Hackney Council, themselves, all so fiercely and famously objected in 2015 - is now being illicitly transplanted onto Shoreditch Park instead - and by the selfsame Goodsyard Architects, FaulknerBrowns.
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