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Hackney Council rejects London Fields ‘tower block’ plan

London Lane proposal PRP Architects

Council says no to the London Lane proposal. Image: PRP Architects

A  plan to build a ‘high-rise’ building near London Fields has been turned down by Hackney Council, following a campaign by nearby residents to oppose it.

The proposal for a ten-storey housing block at 22-44 London Lane was turned down by the council after it decided the building would have a negative impact on the surrounding area.

Southern Housing Group, which has owned the plot for over three years, submitted the proposal on 31 January this year, and planned to incorporate 58 residential units.

However, Hackney Council officers last week (Wednesday 18 April) judged that the development would not provide a high enough proportion of affordable housing and would have detrimental impact on Hackney’s housing needs.

They also deemed that the building would not suit the character of the area and would block sunlight from neighbouring buildings.

The proposal was rejected even before the council’s planning committee stage.

Campaign group No Hackney High-Rise had been opposing Southern Housing Group’s ten-storey proposal since it was first unveiled in May 2009.

After hearing news of the council’s rejection for the proposal, campaigner Maz Hayes said: “We’re elated by the news that the proposal has been rejected.”

She said the group have received a great deal of support from a number of residents living between Mare Street and Hackney Fields, and described the council’s decision as a “big success”.

“We’ve had a very strong response from the beginning,” she said. “Generally, when people have seen the proposals for the first time, the overwhelming response has been – ‘what a terrible idea.’”

After fundraising for nearly three years, the group were able to hire a planning consultant from LMPC to challenge the proposal in January this year.

Ms Hayes, who has been involved in the campaign from the start, said: “We’ve been thorough in our objections and have had to take emotion out of it and be pragmatic.”

She said members of No Hackney High-Rise now want to see Southern Housing Group make a proposal that will better suit the wants and needs of the area’s residents.

A spokesperson from Southern Housing Group said: “We are disappointed by Hackney’s decision on our application for the London Lane site.

“We are confident we have a high quality mixed-use commercial and residential scheme which includes providing affordable three and four bedroom houses for the borough. We are awaiting clarification on the reasons for refusal which will enable us to consider options for re-developing this disused site.”



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