London Fields pensioners forced out?Posted: May 31, 2007
OPEN (Organisation for Promotion of Environmental Needs Ltd) in association with London Fields User Group
MEETING ABOUT BAYTON COURT DEMOLITION & REDEVELOPMENT
On Thursday 7th June 2007 at 7.30pm at St Michael and All Angels Church Hall (junction of Lavender Grove and Lansdowne Drive E8)
The purpose of the meeting is to hear a presentation and to discuss a planning application made by Hanover in Hackney to demolish Bayton Court, sheltered housing accommodation on London Fields, and to redevelop the site to provide 16 x 4-bedroom houses and 2 x 4-bedroomed maisonettes for private sale. Although the redevelopment proposal does not satisfy the Council’s planning policies, Hanover have asked that it should be considered “holistically” in the context of 11 other planning applications made simultaneously.
Bayton Court is on the west side of, and overlooks, London Fields. The developer proposes todemolish a 2-storey development and build houses at higher density up to 4 and 5 storeys.
The redevelopment will impact on the frail and elderly residents, who will need to be relocated, and on residents of neighbouring Blackstone Estate and create significant changes to the setting and streetscape of London Fields. Blackstone Estate TRA have put in strong objections to the proposal.
Bayton Court is one of 29 sheltered housing schemes which were transferred by Hackney Council to newly formed Hanover in Hackney in October 2002. At that time it was made clear to tenants that the Council had no money to improve the properties but it was promised that, if the transfer proceeded, £41 million would be invested with every flat to be refurbished within 5 years and that their Sheltered Housing Officers and the services provided would remain the same. In view of these promises tenants voted in favour.
However, in 2003 Hanover undertook a review of its former Council assets and identified development and sale opportunities to raise capital from its 29 properties. It commissioned architects to help realise these opportunities. Then, in March 2006, it advised its tenants that, due to Hackney Council requirements, it would be replacing residential sheltered housing officers with “floating support” workers. This scheme is likely to be introduced in November 2007. The demolition and redevelopment plans, and the loss of their residential sheltered housing officers, will not be the subject of a tenants’ ballot.
The planning application drawings for Bayton Court have only recently been published on the Council’s web site although the official consultation period expired on 15 May. The Council’s planning officer has confirmed that comments received prior to the Planning Committee meeting will be considered.
Hanover in Hackney’s architects have agreed to attend and present the scheme at the meeting but with the proviso that, following a “high level” meeting with planners to take place this week, their attendance may become “inappropriate”.
To see planning application go to www.hackney.gov.uk (search planning applications – 2007/0286)
Public meeting:7.30pm, Thursday June 7, St Michael and All Angels Church Hall (junction of Lavender Grove and Lansdowne Drive E8)
For more information contact
www.opendalston.net or contact OPEN c/o Dowse & Co. 23-25 Dalston Lane E8 3DF