Hackney’s mayor Jules Pipe has launched a campaign to ‘save Shoreditch’ from a £800 million scheme backed by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, for two high-rise towers containing luxury flats on the Bishopsgate Goodsyard site.
But James MacDaid, Chair of Nightingale Partnership Resident’s Association, is questioning the consistency of the mayor’s position, as the council has plans to promote a high-rise housing scheme in Hackney Downs, called Downsview, that will not include any affordable housing.
“I would like to query the Mayor’s reasons for regarding the environment between Bethnal Green Road and Commercial Street as more precious than that of Hackney Downs,” said Mr MacDaid.
In response, Mayor Pipe said: “There is no comparison between the Bishopsgate scheme and the Council proposal for Downsview.
“The Bishopsgate scheme threatens the area with high-rise luxury flats of up to 48 storeys that will do nothing to benefit local residents.
“The Council proposal for Downsview is a medium-rise scheme with a 13-storey building, the purpose of which is entirely about generating funds for the building of school places and affordable housing for which the Government will not give us sufficient funding.
“One is about lining the pockets of developers and investors, the other entirely about being able to build social infrastructure that this borough needs.”
Plans for a lower-rise, alternative design for Bishopsgate Goodsyard, commissioned by Hackney Council, see the controversial towers replaced by an employment-led development featuring ‘layers’ of workspace.