We have submitted feedback on the consultation process itself, on what we think is missing from the vision, and on housing and retail because these link directly to the Morning Lane People’s Space campaign and we have evidence of what Hackney residents want from our consultation.
This feedback is given below under the headings from the online consultation. We encourage everyone in Hackney to add their voice. You can do this by clicking on the links in the headings (be patient – the pages load slowly). If you agree with any of our comments, you are welcome to submit them too. We also encourage people to get involved in the Save Ridley Road Campaign.
At the beginning of 2021, we joined London Renters Union, Labour Campaign for Council Housing and other housing campaigners in opposing Hackney Council’s proposals to remove an estimated 7,000 people from the Council’s housing register (‘the housing waiting list’) that then stood at over 13,000.
We understand that the current financial settlement and legislation make it difficult to build council and social housing. However, the proposed changes did nothing to address the problem and instead would make a terrible situation worse.
On 12 August 2020, Morning Lane People’s Space submitted a Freedom of Information request to Hackney Council. We asked for all communication about 55 Morning Lane between our Council and private developers (“pre-application exchanges (January 2017-present) between Hackney Planning Department and the prospective developers of the 55 Morning Lane (Tesco) site”)
Public authorities have 20 working days to respond to such requests. Hackney Council took over 8 months. Such delays make it harder for residents to get involved and for grassroots campaigns like ours. On 22 April 2021, they replied, refusing to release any information. The Council asked their chosen developer Hackney Walk Ltd “to agree to the release of the information. They have responded saying that releasing the material into the public domain would be highly prejudicial to their client for commercial reasons”.
It is not surprising that a private developer does not want this information released. Hackney Walk Ltd have said nothing about their plans for the site in over a year and a half and their previous development in Hackney, the ‘Fashion Hub’ is a total disaster.
It is disappointing to see Hackney Council once again prioritising the interests of a private developer over those of Hackney citizens.