This is an update on our campaign to prevent the Council from handing over planning functions to an unelected and unaccountable ‘forum’. The formal consultation on the Stamford Hill Neighbourhood Forum (the group whose secretary is a convicted fraudster) closed on February 4th. The council are currently considering the response to the consultation, so a huge thank you to everyone who responded. From the emails that we were copied into it seems that there were lots of very good and detailed responses.
In the meantime an alternative application for a forum has been submitted to the Council. The constitution of this forum includes a commitment to consensus and seeks to prevent any one group from imposing its will on other sections of the community. However, the idea of a neighbourhood forum in an area where there are so many disputes over planning is proving very contentious. Many people feel that planning should remain a Council function because, however imperfect it is, the Council is at least an elected body.
What do you think?
Hackney Unites is currently consulting its members on their attitude to this alternative forum. It is very important to us to know your views (and we accept that there will be differing views on this an alternative forum). So please, take the opportunity to let us know your views by completing our very short survey.
The Council intends to open consultation on the alternative forum in a couple of weeks, so it is important that we have your views now.
In the meantime we are planning a series of meetings (one in each affected ward) where we hope to bring people together and consider ways in which we can bring pressure to bear as concerned citizens so as to influence the council’s decision. Dates for these meetings will be announced shortly, but if you want to help organise or help publicise one in your area, then please let us know by replying to this email.
A testimony and photographic campaign
We need your help in developing an interactive website which describes and illustrates the problems we have faced with inappropriate development over the years. You can help in two ways. First, tell us your story of failures with planning in this area, we want to collate the stories of misery that have arisen either from inappropriate planning permission being granted, or from council failure to take enforcement action against unlicensed developments.
Secondly, we want to undertake a street by street survey. If you have a camera (even if it is just on your mobile phone) can you take a couple of photos of properties in your street: the best and worst examples, and if possible a ‘streetscape’. We want to be able to illustrate how inappropriate overdevelopment can destroy the architectural integrity of our streets and illustrate just how much beauty is at risk if planning policy is abandoned.
We are currently working on a simple way for you to send us these photos and will give you an update in a couple of days, but for now, please consider getting those photos and short testimonies ready.
Please spread the word, by cascading this email on to your friends and neighbours, and posting links on Twitter, blogs, and Facebook. There are still large numbers of people in our community who do not know about the threat to hand planning policy over to an unelected and unaccountable forum.
If you have received this from a friend and want tokeep in touch please join our mailing list.