Council plans for Stamford Hill approved in face of Tory criticisms

Stamford Hill Street

Stamford Hill

The Stamford Hill Area Plan is ready to move to public consultation this spring after it was approved by councillors last week.

The plan tackles how to accommodate the area’s rapidly growing population and outlines how houses can be expanded and developed to combat overcrowding.

Stamford Hill is the only region of Hackney where population growth is driven by an increasing birth rate.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, deputy mayor and cabinet member for regeneration, said: “It is clear that there is a real demand and need for the supply of family-sized homes in Stamford Hill.”

He added: “It is also recognising the need for community infrastructure to support a growing community.”

Just under 19,000 homes fall within the council’s draft plan, which details how housing will be supported by investment into parks and green spaces, community-centred buildings, and businesses.

Cllr Nicholson clarified that the plan “is not describing turning houses into houses of multiple occupation. It is talking about delivering family-sized homes for a growing community.”

Cllr Simche Steinberger, Conservative councillor for Springfield, criticised the proposals.

He said there is an imbalance between how easy it is to open a new business and the tighter restrictions placed on opening new schools and places of worship.

His fellow Conservative, Cllr Benzion Papier, hit out at a requirement in the plan that a quarter of a road’s houses must need development for construction to begin.

“Hardly any roads will fall into this,” he said.

“If there’s a need, then deliver it.”

Cllr Steinberger wanted the Tory criticisms to become an amendment for the council to vote upon.

However, based on independent guidance, Speaker Anya Sizer said the amendment could not be debated at the meeting last week due to time constraints.

Sizer said: “It is an important discussion, I’m not pushing it away, but we cannot do an amendment this evening.”

Following public consultation, the plan will be judged independently of the council by a planning inspector, who will then make recommendations as to how these comments can be incorporated into the policy.

The Stamford Hill Area Plan has been in the making for the past decade, and is likely to be adopted next winter.