The Developer’s Plans
STOP PRESS: THE 5-YEAR DEAL BETWEEN HACKNEY COUNCIL AND THE DODGY DEVELOPER HACKNEY WALK LTD ENDED ON 31 MARCH 2022. NOW WE ARE CALLING ON THE COUNCIL TO WORK WITH US TO CREATE A PEOPLE’S PLAN FOR 55 MORNING LANE.
Here’s the history…
Dukeminster, on behalf of the developer Hackney Walk, brought initial plans to a pre-planning meeting of Hackney Council in October 2019. They proposed to develop the site in two phases. Firstly to build on the western end of the car park providing a new smaller Tesco supermarket, parking, and retail on ground and first floors. Once completed the existing Tesco building would be demolished and replaced with buildings of mixed use with retail units, offices and residential units above. The buildings would be between four and nineteen stories high.
Overall the development would be 75,000 sqm: 20,000 sqm would be office space, 10,500 sqm retail and there would be 450 residential units. Subsequent briefings put the number of residential units at 515 and then 561. Although preliminary these plans were in keeping with the Hackney Council Hackney Central Area Action Plan 2012 which identified 55 Morning Lane as a site for redevelopment and exempted it from building height restrictions applied to the rest of the borough.
You can find a version of the developer’s plans at their webpage here. There you can read summaries of their public consultation held in 2019 which only involved 138 people are where no specific proposals were presented. This was an inadequate basis for a planning application and they never came back to talk to more Hackney residents.
The developers produced no images of how their plans will look in relation to the surrounding area so we produced some and you can see them below.
Our community consultation
In Autumn 2020 we carried out our own consultation of what people do and do not want to see on the site. We reached 1384 people, more than 10 times the number reached by the developer’s in their ‘consultation’.
On 22nd November 2020 we held a public meeting to get feedback on the results of the survey before publishing these. The meeting was attended by about 70 people and had three guest speakers: Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney, Ayo Mansaray, researcher on gentrification at King’s College London, and Alice Bennett, Co-Coordinator of Hackney Green Party.
We recorded the presentation on the survey findings given by MOPS campaigners here: MOPS introduction
We recorded the 5 minute talks on the draft report given by guest speakers here: Speakers
We recorded the discussion here: Plenary
You can also read the full report of our findings here: Report
The importance of social housing is clear in this report from Shelter on the London housing crisis which identifies that the only way to address growing homelessness is to build council housing. The Pretty Vacant report by Action on Empty Homes identifies the problem as how housing has become a financial asset for the super-rich rather than a place for people to live. There are now 57,000 families in temporary accommodation in London – some will spend years there. There are 25,000 long-term empty homes in London, 46,000 so-called ‘second homes’ and over 70,000 properties rented out via Airbnb. In 2016, 100 billion pounds of illicit money was laundered via the London property market.