Local residents have criticised a new housing scheme in Salcombe Road, just off Kingsland Road in Dalston, that’s been approved by Hackney council. Campaigner David Spurring complains that the only concession the developers had given them was ‘bricks.’ He said the new building was “incredibly ugly and institutional looking” and that local residents were appalled by its ‘semi-industrial’ design.
The new building, designed by developers Bellway Homes will consist of 30 new apartments, three of which will be luxury flats on the top floor.
It will be taller than the surrounding buildings and its height and closeness to existing homes has angered the local residents association. They have been mobilising the community on the internet and by going door to door.
East London Lines spoke to campaigner and local resident, David Spurring, 63, on why he opposed the new scheme. He stressed that the local residents welcome development of the site, a former children’s home, but strongly object to how it looks on the outside:
Part-time teacher and local resident Judy Owen, 72, is also concerned by the prospect of the new building. She lives in a ground floor flat on Pellerin Road and fears that she will loose the daylight in her living room. She says the residents association believes in positive communication and is going out of its way to feedback good and constructive ideas to Hackney’s Planning Department:
East London Lines has contacted Planning Officer, Steve Fraser-Lin, who recommended the new development for approval. He referred to the report prepared for the planning sub-committee in which the planning department state say they do not find the height of the proposed building out of context in “an area that already has a variety of building heights, forms and styles.” The planning department also said that the height and mass of the proposal has already been reduced from previous designs that had been discussed at the previous meetings.
The scheme was finally approved at a council planning sub-committee meeting on Wednesday May 1.
At the meeting, the planning committee approved the plans for the building on the grounds that “the proposals are considered to help to meet housing needs in the borough.” The council also said the proposals “would not detract from the appearance of the surrounding area or the amenity of adjoining occupier.”
However, according to resident spokesperson, Lex Bamforth, 39, the councillors lacked the context to properly understand the application and their objections. “They just didn’t know enough about the applications. At the same meeting, they approved a development plan for a different building that included a wall only 3 metres from a resident’s window.”
On the matter of whether the plans presented to the councillors were accurate, the report from the meeting states “Comments with regard to the accuracy of the drawings are noted. However they are considered to be sufficiently accurate to consider the proposals.”
Reporting by Benedikte Granvig.