The Britannia leisure centre is located on the edge of Shoreditch Park

The Britannia Leisure Centre

Dear Editor,

Your recent article on the future of Britannia Leisure Centre (‘Council makes a splash with Britannia Leisure Centre plans’) and the statements from the Mayor and Councillor Bramble – in fact the whole council position – turn the truth on its head.

The housing proposed for the site of Britannia Leisure Centre, plus the playground of Shoreditch Park Primary School, is not in order to build a secondary school and a leisure centre.

Instead, the secondary school and the leisure centre are the means to attempt to get public acceptance for the demolition of the Britannia Leisure Centre and the construction of the housing.

And what housing! 400 luxury flats including three tower blocks from 18 to 24 storeys high that will blight the neighbourhood and do nothing to meet the housing needs of most Hackney residents. Forty or 80 “affordable” homes in addition would only make the development even denser; and the Mayor has now clarified that these would probably be shared ownership and London Living Rent, still unaffordable to at least half of Hackney residents, especially those in most housing need.

This whole plan is simply a way of maximising the money to be made from the ground where Britannia Leisure Centre has the misfortune to sit, ground on the edge of the City and the City Fringe Opportunity Area, where penthouse flats overlooking Shoreditch Park with a lovely view to the City can be sold for a small fortune. One on nearby City Road is going for £11,500,000.

It is a disgrace that Hackney Council should be cynically selling this plan to Hackney residents as an improvement on the green Britannia site and its spacious, pleasant and popular leisure centre.

Hopefully Hackney residents and people who use Britannia Leisure Centre will respond to the consultation proposals by saying they strongly disagree.

Yours sincerely,

Save Britannia Leisure Centre

Shoreditch Park Users’ Group

Mawson Court Residents’ Association

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