Chatham residents are appalled with the approved designs and plans for the Hackney Fashion Hub, which involve ripping out a historic pub.
The multi-million pound development will provide new business and employment prospects for the area. They plan to create a ‘media facade’ – a seven-story high media screen showcasing installations from local artists and digital media businesses in an effort to boost employment.
The designs were approved by Hackney Councils planning committee October 10 but not all residents are convinced that the Hub will be suitable for the area.
Kaye Scott, a former resident of Chatham, said the proposed design “is architecturally ugly and vulgar. I think the development is completely inappropriate and far too high”.
To build the hub, an existing pub building from the late 1800s, The Duke of Wellington, will be demolished.
Scott said: “I have nothing against the fashion hub if it does bring business and employment to the area, but it could have been done without demolishing the pub and a more discrete building”.
Manhattan Loft Conversions, the team behind the Fashion Hub, said the pub was an acceptable loss considering the benefits of employment and business the community will receive. They have not “approached demolition lightly. Physically, structurally and functionally, the existing buildings will not work with the Fashion Hub”.
The Fashion Hub will comprise of two adjacent buildings erected at the junction between Morning Lane and Chatham Place which has “small corners and very narrow roads”. The buildings’ “height mass is way too big for the space”.
The approved designs and concepts were “unashamedly ambitious”, but the Fashion Hub needs to have “iconic buildings”.
Susan Beringer, 69, a local from Chatham, described the designs as “something from out of space” at the planning decision meeting last week.
Councillor Barry Buitekant, from the Planning Committee, questioned whether the media screen would distract passing motorists on the busy and often congested Morning Lane. The deciding panel requested this part of the design be readdressed and brought back to Council.
Beringer said the media screen was “out of place in such a small street” and would “shout and scream” at passersby.
Beringer had further concerns regarding the impact of the hub on the local area. “A Fashion Hub next to a school is not a good juxtaposition – it doesn’t teach children the value of life”.