First of all a big thank you to everyone who has helped out over the last couple of week leafleting, attending meetings, and generally alerting our neighbours to the threat that Hackney might hand control of planning policy in four wards: New River, Springfield, Cazenove and Lordship, to an unelected and unaccountable ‘forum’, whose secretary is a convicted fraudster.
Consultation on the SHNF proposal closed on Monday, and the council are now evaluating the responses to that consultation. The strong indication from the council is that they want to find a ‘compromise’ solution. It is unclear whether that compromise will include sufficient ‘checks and balances’ to prevent any Forum that is designated from being dominated by one group which simply seeks to impose its views on planning policy (or the removal of all planning restrictions) on the wider community.
A North Hackney Neighbourhod Forum Application has been submitted, but it is not yet clear how the Council will respond to this. Early indications by the Council that they intend to treat it simply as a ‘response to consultation’ do not appear to be consistent with the Council’s legal obligations (more news on this when we have it).
Hackney Planning Watch opposes the first Forum (SHNF) on the basis that its proponents have made it very clear that their intention is to remove planning regulations that prevent overdevelopment of properties Hackney Planning Watch Response to Proposed Neighbourhood Forum.
With regard the alternative Forum (NHNF) we are currently seeking our supporters views on this. There appear to be three different views:
- Planning is so divisive that it should remain under direct Council control
- The alternative proposal as a ‘least worst option’,
- With the appropriate safeguards a Neighbourhood Forum may be an appropriate way forward for the whole community of North Hackney
Let us know your views please fill in our short survey.
We hope to schedule a series of local meetings over the next couple of months, but we are also keen to hear your views on ‘what next’, so to help us with this too please complete our survey.
We have begun the process of creating a movement for change in the area. By working together as a community we can protect and enhance the built environment.
Spread the word
Please cascade this email on and post links on Twitter, blogs, and Facebook. There are still large numbers of people in our community who do not know about this threat.
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Many thanks, Planning Watch