Residents getting ready to fight EastendHomes – in front of the car park destined for a 6-storey development
Some pictures from the campaign click here
Well the meeting is over and the car park will remain while EastendHomes go away to reconsider their plans.
At the meeting Thursday night members of the committee voted in our favour so EastendHomes’ plans for the estate have been put on hold for the second time. A packed public gallery heard the arguments from the Committee who had truly taken on board our points, comments and objections submitted over the past few weeks.
The vote was 2 against and 2 for the plans, one member abstained – the chair then used his second casting vote against the application – final result 3 against 2 for and 1 abstention.
The struggle for recognition continues. Stand by for further information & news via our regular channels. Keep your ideas coming…
See what we can do working together.
3 thoughts on “Results of the Planning Meeting – 25th June 2009”
Development & Renewal
Mulberry Place (Anchorage House)
PO Box 55739
5 Clove Crescent
LONDON E14 1BY
25 June 2009
Dear Jerry Bell (case officer, Development & Renewal)
and all Members of the Strategic Development Committee
Objections to EastendHomes’ Plans for Eric & Treby estates
From a personal perspective I must say that this whole project makes me feel very sad; from my window I will be able to see FIVE new developments. I am on the 12th floor and actually not concerned about my private view, but I am VERY concerned about the future of the estate. On the ground there will be the same claustrophobic feel as on the British Street estate after the in-fill.
That is why I have dedicated so much of my time and energy in the last couple of months to informing neighbours of the issues of the plans, none of which are explained by EastendHomes in their literature, at their few meetings or by the Council on their website or anywhere else.
I would like to point out some more material points as the above will be disregarded in the decision of granting planning permission; which is also rather sad as the project will affect PEOPLE: People who have lives, feelings, the right to space and air, some light through their windows and lastly an opinion. All will be bulldozed if the plans get the go-ahead.
Demolition (p.24 Agenda Item 8.1, point 3.4 Conditions) – “No demolition until permission granted for replacement buildings.”
How come two blocks have already been demolished (Hamlets Way and Burdett Road) and now the inside of 1-14 Brokesley Street?
The estate is in dire need of homes for families but the proposals are mainly for 1 and 2 bedroom units: 132 studio, one & two-bed and 49 three & five-bed, no four-bed units.
What is affordable?? According to the latest Scrutiny Meeting the Council has no definition of what is affordable. There is no such thing as affordable!
Lack of consultation:
According to the latest EastendHomes newsletter (Issue eleven: June 2009, front page) “a series of public meetings will be arranged for residents” – once the plans get granted permission! Why not now? Why are EastendHomes so afraid of bringing residents together in a big meeting? I was part organiser of a public meeting for the estate last week; 70 people attended and all were against the plans – except the vice chair of the MECHT board (predictable of course as board members by contract must firstly serve EastendHomes and not residents). In spite of being invited, EastendHomes did not show; it would have been the perfect opportunity for them to explain their good intentions! Instead their style of ‘meetings’ is one-to-one open days taking the format of “you ask – we answer” and no discussion.
Agenda Item 8.1, p.25 point 5.10: In the plans the “level of Children’s playspace meets the LBTH policy minimum” – why the minimum?? The children are our future and there should not be compromises in this area especially when the London Plan asks for 10sqm per child, these plans will provide 3sqm per child – a significantly lower figure.
The response in Agenda Item 8.1, p. 24-25 points 5.4 – 5.12 is ludicrous. Basically it says that we should be happy that at least we will get some playspace for children since there is none at the moment.
We are referred to Mile End Park as a play area and an open space we should go to but we would have to cross a dangerous road to get there, not suitable for little children.
Loss of open space
The same points state that any open space left will be landscaped (5.11) – and the letter/email to Richard Murrell 2 June 2009 from Leaside Regeneration’s Juliet Heap (‘Eric & treby comments’. Attachment: comments on reasons for deferral.doc) states: “Currently, the open spaces throughout the estate are poorly organised and ill defined. They suffer from a lack of investment…”
Landscaping is the bare minimum I would expect of a regeneration project; the under used space should have been made usable the moment EastendHomes took over the estate, such as the hard-standing to the side of Ennerdale House along Southern Grove. I do believe it would not have required more creative planning or money than the painting of the inside of the block which has taken place THREE times since the take over in 2004.
Ill-definition, “no demarcation” and under use are NOT justifications for building on a space.
There are STILL TOO MANY ISSUES relating to these proposals and I urge the members to vote against them in their present form. True, more housing is needed and there is room for SOME development in the area but not at this ridiculous level – and please not at the expense of us who live here.
In anticipation of a positive outcome for all my neighbours, my daughter and myself.
I am writing to object to the proposed planning application for the Eric,
Treby and Brokesley Estates (PA/08/02239)
The claimed consultation carried out by the applicant was flawed and
clearly did not engage with residents in an open, effective and transparent
manner and did not involve residents in a manner that promoted empowerment.
In the plans submitted claims are made that there will net gain of 4 sq metres
of open space – this is an illusion – over 800 sq metres of existing open
space has been added to the “gained public open space” figure on a pure
technicality as although it is an open space it is not classified for planning
purposes a “public” open space.
The plans proposed create a claustrophobic feel to the estate. Loss of green
space and parking areas. Lack of social housing – only 19 new affordable flats
after the build – EEH calculations for additional units are based on a
“habitable rooms” calculation which like the “gained open space” figures is a
smoke and mirrors approach and misleading.
The plans shown to us during the “Housing Choice” program from LBTH on which
residents decisions were based for the Mile End East estate wide ballot have
change significantly since the vote and current plans do not reflect the plans
put forward during the pre ballot consultation. You will find no reference to
sites 2a, 2b or 11. This is the document we received from LBTH via the Housing
Choice programme to assist us in making the correct choice for our estates.
Also the impression given by later newsletters distributed to residents show a
plan far different from the one presented.
The application the committee is considering now whilst superficially correct
in its logic and slickly presented is built on the erroneous premise that the
applicant has won a mandate through the Housing Choice programme and
subsequent ballot to regenerate our homes and environment in what manner it
deems fit and bears little relation to the plans set out in the original
proposal document presented to us.
I ask the committee to take into consideration the points I have raised above
and refuse permission for this application in order to:-
1) Allow EastendHomes and their partners the opportunity to re-engage with
residents and amend the regeneration programme to take into account the views
of the majority of people effected.
2) Dissolve the growing disillusionment with local democracy within the
electorate at large and get local government back on track to play the part it
was elected for.
*Note – attached to email were several documents to illustrate the points raised
– one being the original proposal document – downloadable from this link
(WARNING – VERY LARGE PDF FILE 50MB) => http://bit.ly/3eYo1N
Public Open Space – Loss & Gain:
The claims of this map are disingenuous to say the least. There are numerous losses of open space, most notably between Wentworth Mews & the East London Tabernacle (12), Derwent & Ennerdale Houses (7), junction of Eric Street & Hamlets Way (21) and junction of Hamlets Way & Southern Grove (20), but to claim that the so called gains are in anyway an increase in public open space is a lie, most notably land behind Derwent House (8) which has been open space for more than 25 years to my knowledge, and despite a small fence (of more recent years) remains accessible with little difficulty. The assertion of February 18th 2009 that this is private open space is nonsensical, who privately owns it? The plan does not address any of the issues which may have lead to the erection of said fence. The other so called ‘gains’ may infer so qualitative improvement of the land in question, but it is nonetheless currently open space, so there can be no ‘gain’.
There would be an opportunity to make a gain at the junction of Eric Street & Ropery Street (14) but this does not seem to have been considered. I would question whether the land actually belonged to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in order for them to transfer it to East End Homes, a matter which might prudently bear further investigation. My understanding has always been that the site (which has always been securely fenced for at least the last 25 years) contains an unexploded bomb from the Second World War, at such a depth as to make it impractical to recover.
Statement of Community Involvement:
Whilst attempts may have been made, with varying levels of success to engage the residents of the Eric Street & Treby Estates no effort has been made to engage those living around the estates on whom any redevelopment will have an impact.
Furthermore, despite being aware of the impending development and having a general interest in planning matters in the area I have had difficulty in locating any information about this development. I eventually found the planning application indexed on the LBTH website under ‘Treby Street’, not Eric Street; I don’t think this is good enough.
I am not aware of any attempts to solicit the views of other interest groups within the area – for example the Friends of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, despite policy of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets from the Poplar Neighbourhood Standing Committee that they should be notified by the Planning Department of any major developments in the vicinity of the cemetery park. It should be added that the cemetery park is the Borough’s first Local Nature Reserve, a Site of Metropolitan Significance for Nature Conservation, a Conservation Area and Metropolitan Open Space – in short a fragile environment, but due consideration of the impact of the development upon it does not appear to have been made. I would grateful if you would advise me on these matters.
This planning application, as it stands amounts to a comprehensive over-development of the Mile End East Ward. It should be referred back to the developer and substantially scaled down. Planning consent has recently been granted for 239 dwellings on the already densely housed Bede Estate, in the face I should add of almost total opposition for residents. A similar number of dwellings is planned by HARCA on the Leopold Estate and they have already in filled most of the open space on the Burdett Estate. Add to this East End Homes own developments on the British Street Estate and the development of the old bus depot in Bow Common Lane & Ropery Street and the shameful sacrifice of Furze Green.
Set against this, no new schools have been built in the area and even before some of these developments have taken effect local schools are being forced to take in extra forms of entry in temporary huts. One has to ask of course where they might be built?
Some consideration has to be given to the overall quality of life within the area. Perhaps councillors and planners are unaware of the impact of the extent of their decisions over the last few years?