Campaigners have called on the council to rethink its plans to build housing on the plot of an old car park in Clapton.
The Daubeney Road site is currently home to a community garden, but the Town Hall has earmarked it for 11 affordable homes as part of its Housing Supply Programme.
Local groups Daubeney Fields Forever (DFF) and the Clapton Improvement Society presented an alternative vision at a public meeting last week (28 February), at which the council exhibited its own plans.
Campaigners want to expand the garden, build 65 per cent of the council homes, and convert the 25 derelict garages into workspace.
But Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville says the condition of the buildings means this proposal is “unviable”.
DFF chair Gerry Tissier said: “Residents overwhelmingly favoured the alternative proposals over the official plans. We call on Hackney Council to listen to local people now and co-design this special space together with us.”
More than 450 people have signed DFF’s petition opposing the council’s plans.
Ben Metz, who lives next to the proposed development, said: “The new housing looks like a prison block. The site is boxed in with existing houses and the space is too small.
“Our homes will be overlooked, light will be cut and noise levels will grow. This will blight the neighbourhood and damage everyone’s quality of life.”
The council says it allowed the community to use the car park on the understanding that the agreement was temporary.
It now wants to build on the site as part of a scheme to create 400 new homes for social rent or shared ownership on underused council-owned land at 15 locations across the borough.
Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville said: “We have fully explored the possibility of creating affordable workspace on this site but, due to the location and the condition of the buildings, this option has been found to be impractical and unviable.
“We are therefore working closely with the local community on proposals that keep the site in council ownership and creates 11 high quality new council homes – all for social rent or shared ownership and prioritised for local people – as well as a new community growing space.”