Friday, 7 March 2008

One man, two opinions

When recommending that The Light should not be protected from demolition by its inclusion in the Shoreditch Conservation Area, Hackney Council's Conservation Officer advised its Cabinet on 25 February 2008 that "it does not form an integral part of the pattern of Victorian commercial buildings and small scale workshops to the rear that have been identified as forming a significant characteristic of this part of the conservation area".

The Light before redevelopment

Curiously this uniform pattern of building type appears to have entirely disappeared from the Conservation Officer's view five days later when, in a memo dated 30 February (sic), he advised the Council’s Planning Officer that the context of the proposed 51-storey Bishops Place development, which would involve demolition of The Light, " is one of extremely varied streetscapes, contrasting massing and dramatic changes of scale...different types of urban fabric"

The Light extinguished after redevelopment

The Conservation Officer's two contrasting views of the area can, of course, have nothing to do with the fact that his employer, Hackney Council, stands to make a small fortune as the landowner of part of the site if it gives planning permission for the demolition of The Light and its redevelopment as Bishop's Place.

Council documents show that its windfall is not to be spent on improvements for Shoreditch people - it's earmarked for a swanky new Town Hall extension in Mare Street. One hopes that when residents emerge from the shadows of Shoreditch, to go and pay their Council Tax in Hackney, they will feel a sense of civic pride in what the Council has created.

1 comment:

cecilia&modesto said...

If you go on and clik on NEWS you can read an article I wrote about the same thing.