Saturday, 2 April 2011

ditch The Block

OPEN Shoreditch member Jago Action Group is taking up arms against the gross over development of the Huntingdon Estate, the light industrial estate bordered by Bethnal Green Road and Redchurch Street, next to the Tea building. Developers Londonnewcastle are so passionate about the neighbourhood that they want to bless this low-rise mixed residential quarter with a 25-storey tower block.

In a cynical bid to buy off Tower Hamlets development committee, Londonnewcastle proposes to build affordable housing squidged between two busy railway lines half a mile from the gleaming tower block. The 'fact' sheet issued in support of the development application omits just one really crucial fact: the Huntingdon Estate application is for a 25-story tower block. And neither do the pictures tell the real story, as only eight floors of the proposed tower can be seen.

In a covering email, the developers claim to be 'tremendously passionate about the location, the area and it's possibilities...' There's no doubting their passion – to dig themselves out of the large hole in their balance sheet, as a result of taking an option on the site at the height of the property boom. Faced with a site cost of double what's it's currently worth, Londonnewcastle is desperately trying to claw back potential losses by bequeathing the neighbourhood a monument to its folly.

Jago Action Group objects to the plans because:

  • A 25-STOREY TOWER BLOCK is completely out of keeping with the current scale, massing and height of the existing buildings on Redchurch, Ebor and Chance streets, which are all 2-4 storeys in height.
  • There is ZERO affordable housing proposed on the Huntingdon Estate. A gated community in the sky for City bankers will not contribute to the development of a sustainable mixed community.

JAGO Action Group can be contacted at

What you can do:

If you live, work or socialise in this part of Shoreditch, support the local community by:

1/ Joining our 'ditch The Block' group here on Facebook

2/ Printing and distributing the 'ditch The Block' poster (click on the image and drag it to your desktop)

3/ Viewing the planning application here

And if you agree with us, email Tower Hamlets' planning team/department:
and cc your email to the local councillors:
4/ Copying and pasting the letter below into your own document and sending it to the planning department:

(Remember to include your address and postcode with your objection and include the planning application reference numbers: PA/11/00460 and PA/11/00461)

Simon Ryan
Development Control – Planning Department
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Mulberry Place (AH)
PO Box 55739
5 Clove Crescent
London E14 2BE

Dear Sirs

PA/11/00460 and PA/11/00461: Huntingdon Estate on Redchurch, Chance and Ebor Streets and Bethnal Green Road

I strongly object to planning applications PA/11/00460 and PA/11/00461 as gross overdevelopment of the former Huntingdon Estate and specifically because:

(a)            the proposed 25-STOREY TOWER BLOCK is too high and completely out of keeping with current scale, massing and height of the existing buildings on Redchurch, Ebor and Chance Streets, which are all 2-4 storeys in height;

(b)            the development will cause GREAT HARM to the character of the Redchurch Street, South Shoreditch and Boundary Estate Conservation Areas;

(c)            it is unacceptable that the proposed development includes ZERO social or affordable housing on the site of the Huntingdon Estate development as this will not contribute to the development of a sustainable, mixed community; and

(d)            it is unacceptable that ALL of the social and affordable housing is located on a site surrounded by two busy railway lines, which is a large distance away from the Huntingdon Estate.

I urge the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to REFUSE the above planning applications.

Yours sincerely