Residents angered over inclusion of ‘industrial’ Clapton area in waste plan


The Woodmill Road Estate in Clapton . Photograph: Susan Downing

Plans identifying a plot of land in Clapton as a potentially suitable area for a waste facility have angered local residents who fear their homes will be “turned into a dustbin”.

The North London Waste Plan (NLWP) is an initiative by seven north London boroughs, including Hackney, which proposes locations for waste management facilities.

Theydon Road in Clapton has been identified as a possible “area” for a future recycling and waste transfer facility.

In the document, “areas” comprise a number of individual plots of land, such as an industrial estate or an employment area. Theydon Road is an existing designated Preferred Employment Area (PEA).

Petition launched

But residents argue the area mapped out in the plan consists of a GP surgery, many live-work and residential warehouse units, and is bordered by residential estates.

A petition launched by a resident from the neighbouring Woodmill Road Estate has gathered over 400 signatures.

Labour councillors in Lea Bridge Ward have said they will work to remove the area from the NLWP list.

It is only the existing PEA – which is the industrial strip that runs alongside the railway line to the north from Mount Pleasant Hill – that has been allocated for small-scale waste management facilities.

But Councillor Ian Rathbone told the Hackney Citizen that the Preferred Employment Area (PEA) has been incorrectly marked out on the map.

He said: “Someone drawing up the document has drawn in that wider area so it looks like all the surrounding buildings are included in! The consultation should be withdrawn with such a serious flaw and started again.”

“We still want this area taken off any future proposals – our homes, businesses, jobs, shops, doctor’s surgery and school are not up for grabs – ever!”


‘Poorly handled’: Lea Bridge councillors are unimpressed

Local resident James MacKay, of Woodmill Road Estate, said the area mapped in the plan was not an “industrial site” but a “densely populated residential area”.

Susan Downing, who launched the petition said: “I am very concerned that we may lose all of our local amenities and bus route as they are indicated within the proposed site area.

“I don’t want life here to be disrupted by additional noise from trash trucks and machinery, bad smells, trash, vermin, or pollutants,” Downing said.

Another resident, Kate Webb, said the plan made no mention of residents and that the council had “alarmed people” by including their homes within the designated area.

Webb said: “Reading between the lines they are saying they are going to put you down as an area, and if you’re lucky we’ll never have to build. As a local, that’s hanging over your head.”

Rhian Beynon said she was concerned about the impact of the proposals on “vulnerable families” living inside the designated area and that the plan might have an adverse effect on the value of her property.

No homes at risk

Residents also complained they had not been properly informed, claiming that those living within the area had not been notified of the proposals and those outside it only sent a ‘letter to the occupier’.

Hackney Council has sought to reassure residents by responding to the petition and urging them to attend consultation meetings.

A council spokesman said: “No homes, doctors surgeries or other community facilities are at risk of being lost to waste management facilities.”

“Any new facility would have to be of a similar scale, form and character to the existing industrial units in the area”.

The council has announced a separate consultation event to be held specifically on the Theydon Road area.

But Susan Downing said: “If this consultation is not to garner feedback to a proposal, if there is no intention to put waste on this site, and if the map is not intended to be a representation of the land intended for a site, then what are we actually being consulted about?”