Hackney residents tell our Council to change their plans

Recently the Council asked Hackney residents yet again for our views on their plans for Hackney Central. Although it was widely publicised by the Council including via street advertising, emails and social media, not many people took part. But if the Council listen to those who did, they will rethink their plans for the area. If they ignore the results of this consultation, itwill increase the existing distrust between the community and the council and mean even fewer people take part the next time.


Only 9 people strongly agreed that the Council’s missions for Hackney Central are clear and easy to understand, 25 agreed and 10 neither agreed nor disagreed. In comparison 42 people strongly disagreed and another 6 disagreed. That’s a majority 53% saying we don’t understand your missions.

On whether “the five missions capture what I think to be the biggest priorities in Hackney Central for the next ten years”, the results were nearly as bad, with 40 strongly disagreeing, 8 disagreeing, 22 agreeing, 17 strongly agreeing and 6 in the neither category. Again that’s over half of people who took part disagreeing, most of them strongly. People felt pretty much the same when they were asked about the individual five missions. And on the Council’s Grand Challenge for Hackney Central, whatever that is, again over half of those disagreed with it.


The consultation also included an interactive map of Hackney Central where you could add your ideas for the area and give a thumbs up to agree with someone else’s idea. 93 ideas were registered and 156 agreements – though we don’t know how many people took part as you could add as many ideas or agreements as you wanted. 14 of the ideas relate to 55 Morning Lane – that’s a lot more than for anywhere else in Hackney Central and nearly half (48%) of the thumbs ups were for one of those 14 ideas.

Here’s some of those ideas:

There has been enough development already. Leave the car park for as it is. Look how useful it has been during the initial Covid crises? I do not want to hear another so called affordable housing development taking place and changing the culture and the landscape in Hackney.

Stop gentrification. We need homes and services that we can all afford e.g. a large supermarket 2. We need community and public spaces, including non-commercial space. 3. Affordable housing that is ACTUALLY affordable for real people!

Build council homes at social rent a large supermarket and community space

You need to do more involve the community in this development. Any new housing must include at least 50% social rent and open public space for Hackney residents to enjoy. We also need affordable shopping not luxury shops or the ‘fashion hub’ (remember that?).

The Tesco site should have a large supermarket that serves the local community, at least 50% social-rent council housing, and some public space for the community.

Keep the large Tesco site and the free parking facilities. Any housing developed on the site should be exclusively council social rented housing to meet local people’s urgent needs.

I saw something on a flyer about Morning Lane People’s Space doing a consultation on what should happen to Tesco when it gets knocked down so filled in a response to their consultation. I really really hope the council takes their input seriously, and involves more people and ideas in the development of this site. The Tesco (and its carpark) are an important part of the local ecosystem – given what’s happened with Hackney Walk, just up the road – so much public money spent on supporting private business that’s now all closed, it’s going to be really important to get this right. I’m not a driver and don’t own a car, but I know some people who have to drive (or use cabs that can drop them off somewhere safe where they have time to get out) because of mobility issues – this carpark is very useful for them, for shoppers fetching big items from iceland/tesco etc and for people that need picking up (by parents, cabs etc) after a night out so they can get home safely. I hope it doesn’t all get built on, and I hope whatever block and shops that come here aren’t so fancy/exclusive/’luxury’ that they aren’t useful or welcoming to most people nearby

Finally, this is our contribution. 48 people agreed with it.

55 Morning Lane must be developed based on the needs of Hackney residents for social-rent council housing, affordable and accessible shopping and community and public space. See this report carried out by Morning Lane People’s Space for more information: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SChDd4voyXnBuZeifvwL1KeD_MfVdfnV/view?usp=sharing

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