‘Overbearing’ London Fields block approved despite neighbour’s privacy fears

Planning officers said the 1A London Fields plans should be approved. Photograph: Heritage Collective

A three-storey apartment block in London Fields has been approved by council planning chiefs over complaints by its closest neighbour about loss of privacy and daylight.

The proposal to turn derelict garages at 1A London Fields West Side into a block of two luxury apartments with green-roof balconies received planning permission at Wednesday night’s planning sub-committee meeting.

Helen Mead, who has lived in Richmond Road next door to the site for 28 years, spoke against the plans at the meeting, arguing the scheme “represents over-development of a highly constrained site”.

“The building on first floor level is less than three metres from my front door”, she said.

“Every time I come and go from my flat would be a wall of windows watching my every move.

“I will no longer have height privacy in my garden or daylight from about 10am, and with the raised windows and an overbearing building leaving me feel squashed up and shut in.”

An artist impression of the new block at 1A London Fields. Photograph: Heritage Collective

The plans had also been criticised by the Hackney Society and the Morland Blanchard Tenants and Residents Association.

Stephen Chance, sitting next to fellow developer Wendy de Silva, spoke in favour of their application.

He said: “The project will create a range of local benefits. It will bring a derelict site back into appropriate use. It will contribute to pressing local housing need.

“The scheme will enhance the townscape and visual amenity. It will provide a high standard of residential accomodation, and it will enhance surveilance and security in this area of the borough.”

Council planning officers, who recommended that permission be granted, noted that the scheme’s balconies had been revised so that the windows were locked to prevent anyone walking out onto them.

The scheme was passed by the committee with only Labour councillor Clare Joseph of Victoria ward voting against it.

Helen Mead congratulated the applicants, who will be developing the building next to her home, after the decision, giving Stephen Chance a hug.

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