Thank you to everyone who helped make the bug parade on Saturday such a great success. Estimates vary, but there was definitely over 300 people, the majority in costume as reported in East London Lines.
There’s also a nice short video on YouTube.
Of course the bug parade was fun, and it was a way of raising the profile of our concerns, but the real work will take place on Wednesday at the council’s Planning sub-committee.
However, don’t throw your costume away, because we still have use for it (see below).
Despite all the reasons why this development is inappropriate (the impact on the character of the area, the overshadowing of Abney Park, the sheer bulk of the development, the traffic issues, the environmental issues, and the adverse impact on the conservation area, etc.) the Council officers are recommending, as they did in April, that the committee approve the application. They seem to believe that ‘on balance’ the development’s merits outweigh its conflicts with various planning policies.
This is despite the fact that the renewed application is almost identical to the one the council rejected in April (and therefore if the Council does grant permission now, it could face a legal challenge based on its inconsistency of approach).
The good news is that we will have two councillors: Daniel Stevens and Louisa Thompson using their speaking rights to oppose the application. We will also have a further the five minutes for community objectors to put their case. We will be relying on our team of Nick and Russell to put our case (please do not register to speak on Wednesday, as there is only five minutes for the community, however many register to speak). The developer will then have 15 minutes to respond.
However, as this is a matter of ‘judgement’ (do the almost negligible benefits outweigh the considerable adverse impacts) the councillors can quite properly come to the view that this development is inappropriate and that is what we need them to do.
To show our support to the Councillors we are asking people to attend and observe the proceedings of the committee. This is not a ‘lobby’ or a protest, but citizens showing an active interest in the committee. We are seeking to encourage the Councillors to exercise their own judgement, it will be easier for them to do that if they know the community cares deeply about the issues.
The committee will be held in the council chambers and so long as we are orderly, there is room for a large public presence.
Given the nature of the hearing, we will need to sit in dignified silence as the developer and the officers give their views to the committee. If you can do that, then please come along. The committee starts at 6.30pm prompt, so it would be good to get to the town hall for 6.15pm.
While we must observe the formality of the occasion, and allow the committee to reach its decision without seeking to pressure them, we can still make our point in an imaginative and non-disruptive manner. We can each highlight our concerns over the impact on bio-diversity by attending in our ‘bug’ costumes.
Many thanks for your support to date.
We have had a brilliant campaign, and have won widespread support from across almost every section of the local community.
Let’s turn out in numbers on Wednesday to show our continued resolve:
Did you not hear us: Stokey says NO