Swan’s building plans mean swan song for our green, open space
Dear Ed, I AM WORRIED about Swan Housing Association’s plans to build on two of the 40,000sq ft open space on the Exmouth Estate in Stepney, along Commercial Road. If this goes ahead, it will mean the loss of much-needed green, open space, as well as the destruction of 40 mature trees.
I AM WORRIED about Swan Housing Association's plans to build on two of the 40,000sq ft open space on the Exmouth Estate in Stepney, along Commercial Road (East London Advertiser, March 19).
If this plan goes ahead, it will mean the loss of much-needed green, open space, as well as the destruction of more than 40 mature trees. Trees are our lungs, our lifeline in East London, as they absorb poisonous dioxins from the air and convert them into oxygen.
Swan Housing's original offer document (when it took over the estate from Tower Hamlets council) said it would not build on any open green space unless it could replace it.
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So far, the only replacement offered is minimal, compared to what it proposes to take away, not to mention the mature trees it would destroy. Swan Housing also talks about creating green spaces on rooftops, as if these could adequately replace ground-level public open spaces.
Unfortunately, the Exmouth Estate Residents Board (which claims to represent residents), has approved this scheme, despite the fact that so far 300 of us have said 'no' to Swan's proposed development!
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The reasons given by the board for its approval are that the development will "secure the estate against outsiders" and bring more money in for improvements.
But, if security was really an issue, a good wall or fence would be sufficient, rather than a six-story block of flats!
Our green, open spaces help humanise the-already bleak Commercial Road.
Exmouth Estate, Stepney
(full name and address supplied)