Area Action Plan Workshop Monday October 12th 2015

Hackney Council is preparing a key planning document (called an Area Action Plan, AAP) that will guide decision-making about development in Stamford Hill.

As part of the process there will be a “Boosting health and well-being planning” workshop from 6-8pm on Monday October 12th 2015 at the  Oak Tree Community Centre, 77 Bethune Rd, London N16 5ED.
The wellbeing workshop will discuss what ‘a good, productive life’ means to people in Stamford Hill and the extent to which they are able to live this dream.

Important issues will be on the agenda, such as public health and people’s sense of security. The AAP has the potential to make a real and positive difference to these vital aspects of community life.

The event will also seek ideas from residents as to how the community itself could get involved in promoting physical and mental health in the neighbourhood.

Join Ward Councillors, the Hackney Planning Team and fellow residents to hear more about the AAP and discuss how we can promote mental and physical well-being in Stamford Hill.

If you have any questions before the meeting, please call Ivan Tennant on 020 7739 3007, or email him at

Area Plan Consultation Meeting

Stamford Hill gateway

As you may know Hackney Council is currently in the process of consulting with residents about a proposed ‘Area Action Plan’ for Stamford Hill.

More details can be found on the Council site
Unfortunately the opportunities to participate in this consultation have not always been widely publicised.

There will however be a workshop session on ‘Our Streets and Public Spaces’ at 6pm at the Stamford Hill Estate Community Centre N16 6RS, on Tuesday July 21st.

The event will be facilitated by the Council’s Consultant and local ward councillors will be present.

We would encourage residents to get along and both find out more about the process, and contribute their ideas.

Some you win, Sainsbury’s and Hackney Unites community paper

Legal Update – Sainsbury’s Out
Sadly, the court battle against the Wilmer Place development has come to an end. On Tuesday 21 April the Chancellor of the High Court, Sir Terence Etherton, decided Stokey Local’s appeal against a previous High Court judgement would be unlikely to succeed. So the legal process ends here.

Obviously it’s disappointing, and Stokey Local’s legal team were shocked that their solid arguments, although praised by the judge, were rejected.

But this isn’t a time to be downhearted. Even though we’ve lost this specific battle, our continued tenacity and vigilance could still win the war. Things have changed a lot in the four years since the campaign started, and supermarkets are no longer quite as enthusiastic about opening big stores as they used to be. Today Sainsbury’s confirmed it no longer has a lease on the site – which could mean the development is shelved after all. If we’ve waited our opponents out until they change their minds, that’s a massive victory. And the campaign has achieved a lot anyway, by bringing the community together, revealing the injustices of the planning process and giving local people, businesses and wildlife vital extra years without this harmful development on their doorstep.

For more details of the legal wrangling, including yet another shocking revelation of Hackney Council’s culture of secrecy, obfuscation, defensiveness, digging-in and capitulation with the developer, read Nick Perry’s blog on the Stokey Local website.

So what next?

If Sainsbury’s are no longer be interested in the site, the developer may be looking to sell it on – which may mean another planning application. Let’s hope our campaign has persuaded the next developer to genuinely engage the local community in their plans next time. If not, watch this space!


Time for a meeting!
The campaign raised nearly £34,000 and as a result of court orders limiting Stokey Local’s costs and their lawyers working for free or reduced cost, there should be a few hundred pounds left in the bank account, once the bills are in. No doubt they’ll need this for the next round in the battle.

Stokey Local will be holding a public meeting at 7pm on Monday 11 May 2015 at St Paul’s West Hackney Church, on the High Street, at the junctions of Evering and Amhurst Roads. All are welcome.

Hackney Unites Community Newspaper
Hackney Unites, of whom Hackney Planning Watch is associated, has its latest edition community newspaper now in print ready to be delivered.

You can preview the whole paper here (it leads on the communities response to a proposed anti-Semitic protest in Stamford Hill).

It is important that we show how our communities can and do work together which is why we would appreciate your support in getting the newspaper out door to door.

There is a piece in the paper about the last Hackney Planning Watch meeting about the proposed area action plan, and a report on the Stokey Local campaign.

If you would like to help with distribution of these (perhaps taking a couple of hundred to do your own and a neighbouring street) that would be very much appreciated. We could do with more volunteers.

Just drop an email to Jane Holgate at with your name, phone number, how many you can take and which streets (or community outlets) you can distribute them in.

Hackney Unites against anti-semitism

Hackney Planning Watch fully endorses the following statement by Hackney Unites. 

As a Hackney group working to unite the borough’s communities, we are disgusted that a virulent, and criminal anti-Semite (from Yeovil) has proposed a protest targeting the Jewish community of Stamford Hill.

We have launched a petition calling on the police and the local authority to respect the wishes of every section of the community and use their powers to prevent this deliberate attempt to incite racial hatred. We are also calling on the police to investigate whether a criminal offence has been committed in the disgusting promotional material he has produced for this event.

We recognise that the individual concerned hopes to promote confrontation. We are therefore determined that we will not provide him with that satisfaction, but will instead bring our whole community together to celebrate multicultural Stamford Hill.

Please sign the petition and encourage others to do the same.

Great Meeting: What’s Next?

This was the scene when over 100 people attended a meeting to hear about the proposed Area Action Plan in Stamford Hill and how the community could engage with the consultation 


The event was addressed by Councillor Guy Nicholson (Cabinet member for Regeneration), as well as staff from the Planning Department and the Council’s contractor who is undertaking the consultation exercise.

While this was a terrific turn out, it was clear that the meeting did not fully reflect the diversity of the area. Only one member of the local Charedi community attended the meeting (this does not include the maverick former councillor Isaac Leibowitz who leafleted outside asking people not to attend) and a key discussion on the evening was how we create inter-communal dialogues.

The meeting itself broke into workshops to discuss what our vision of Stamford Hill is, what needs to change and how we can effect that change. A detailed report of those discussions will be contained in our next newsletter. However, among the key issues that arose were:

  • a lack of affordable housing in the area,
  • inconsistency with the Council’s approach to enforcement when inappropriate development takes place,
  • a failure by the Council to ‘zone’ areas for the development of infrastructure (i.e. schools)
  • issues relating to disabled access to pubic buildings, and
  • the lack of a ‘town centre’ for Stamford Hill.

It was agreed that we should produce a newsletter, and that this should be translated into Yiddish, as this would help to demonstrate our commitment to engaging with the full community.

We will be looking for help to distribute this newsletter across the area and we will need to fundraise to pay for the cost of leaflets, room hire and the newsletter (more details to follow)

However, the main issue at the moment is to increase the number of people in the area taking part in our on-line survey (we are concerned that the Council’s contractors are simply not reaching enough people to have a full understanding of the diverse views of the community).

If you have not done so, please do fill in the on-line survey and ask your friends and neighbours to do the same. 

Planning Watch
Planning Watch is an independent community organisation that arose in response to concerns that the Council was failing to meet the needs of the community in the north of the borough.

If you would like to join Hackney Planning Watch’s email list, please sign up here.

Thank you for your interest.

Area Action Plan Survey: tell the Council what you

As you hopefully already know Hackney Council has decided to declare an Area Action Plan for Stamford Hill. It is currently in the process of gathering an ‘evidence base’ from the community. The only problem is that it has failed to make it easy for the community to participate. We have therefore produced an on-line version of their consultant’s questionnaire. We believe that the more people who contribute to the evidence base, the better the final action plan will be.

The area for the Area Action Plan is the area contained within the blue line below. If you live in this area, please contribute your views by following the link.

We will forward the responses to the Council.
Don’t forget we are holding a meeting on Tuesday 20 January Stamford Hill Library 7pm till 9pm

If you are not sure if you are in the designated area, a map is available here

We need help to make the meeting on 20 January a success

  • We will need people to distribute a leaflet door-to-door in the streets of the proposed Area Action Plan
  • We will need people to help facilitate smaller group discussions on the evening
  • We will need some ‘stewards’  on the evening, and
  • We will need volunteers to attend a planning meeting.

If you can help in any of these ways, please drop an email to

In the meantime: 
Please spread the word to your friends and neighbours in the area.

If you would like to join Hackney Planning Watch’s email list, please sign up here.

Many thanks for your continued support and please do fill in the on-line survey

Planning Watch