Residents object to high-density tower blocks planned for Shoreditch Park
Julia Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter
- Credit: Hackney Council
High-rise towers on the edge of a Hackney park will “negatively impact” nearby homes, according to an objector to council plans for the former Britannia leisure centre site.
The latest phase for the development at Shoreditch Park includes four towers ranging from four to 25 storeys high.
There will be 387 homes built, with all of them to be put up for sale to help fund the rest of the scheme.
This phase follows the demolition of the old Britannia leisure centre. Its replacement opened last year along with a new City of London Academy secondary school.
Hackney’s planning committee looked at the plans for landscaping, the designs for communal gardens, cycle stores and commercial space, and approved them.
Local resident Hilary Watchman criticised the council’s view that “the clustering of high-density developments together would define a new character area”.
She said: “The public benefit of the school, leisure centre and affordable housing cannot be objectively claimed to outweigh the physical and psychological impact of high-rise tower blocks.”
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Nearby resident Pat Turnbull from the Save Britannia Leisure Centre campaign said her objections include a lack of affordable or council homes – with all the flats to go on the open market instead.
She added: “There are many signs of over-densification."
Planning officer Nick Bovaird said the scheme is “considered to have high quality housing units” and every home has a balcony.
Turnbull pointed out that a unilateral undertaking for the whole site meant the council had to build at least 81 affordable homes.
The council said the first phase of the scheme includes 43 council homes and 33 for shared ownership and it needs to build homes for market rent to fund them.
Speaking as the applicant councillor, Robert Chapman said the latest phase of the development will help fund the whole scheme and “will allow us to deliver much-needed social housing”.
He said the earlier phase has been successful and the new leisure centre is popular.
Committee chair Cllr Vincent Stops said the scale of the development had already been agreed and the council will also have “to come back and deliver” on its commitment for social homes.