In recent weeks, the main local focus has been on the Sainsbury/Wilmer place development. After a great campaign, the council was persuaded to reject the planning application: proving once again, that we can have an influence on issues in our community.
Time to refocus on the Neighbourhood Forum
We have managed to get some good publicity recently for our opposition to the proposed ‘neighbourhood’ planning forum here in north Hackney.
The proposed forum which covers four or five wards would hand planning policy to an unelected and unaccountable group. Given the history of planning here in Hackney, this would be incredibly divisive, and our recent public meeting showed that it was not wanted.
The Guardian newspaper, the Sunday Programme on Radio 4 and most recently Inspirit on BBC Radio London, have all covered our concerns in the last three weeks.
Pressure is paying off
In January, councillors were telling us that if an application was made the council had no choice, but to endorse it (they were wrong). Now Jules Pipe, Mayor, has spoken publicly saying that they won’t endorse a forum if it divides the community, and the relevant Government minister has voiced similar views. In other words, we have demolished the ‘presumption’ in favour of granting a forum. We have moved the goalposts, now we need to score.
Time to act
We need to demonstrate that the neighbourhood does not want an unrepresentative forum devising planning policy for the area.
We have prepared a leaflet for distribution across the four wards most directly affected by the proposals. (Please note that the image is not the final version, but any changes will be very minor and most will relate to minor changes to the design).
The leaflet will be going to the printers tomorrow, and we will print 20,000 (enough to leaflet the area door-to-door).
Now we need your help.
We need to raise £250 for the design and printing (we are asking everyone who can afford it to make a donation of between £5 and £10 by internet or telephone banking). If you can help then please transfer a small donation to
Account name: Hackney Planning Watch
Sort code 08 92 99
Account number 65056002
Please also drop us an email to confirm that you have made a donation as we would like to thank you.
We also need help in distributing leaflets across the four wards: Clissold, Cazenove, New River and Lordship and, as we are trying to be systematic about distribution, if you can help please register how by completing a short survey.
If every one of our supporters signs up and commits to getting another ten people to add their names, we will begin to develop the momentum which can make this campaign unstoppable.
We will be planning a series of meetings across the north of the borough to discuss our concerns, and we will aim to leaflet every home in the affected wards. We will need your help to achieve this.
Please forward this email on to your friends, neighbours and family. Our objective over the next month s is to grow our petition to 5,000 names. That will only happen if everyone asks people to sign it.
If you wish to join our mailing list please sign up
Many thanks Planning Watch