Sainsbury’s D-Day Today: Wednesday 11th December!

Hackney’s Planning Subcommittee will decide tonight on the latest Sainsbury’s/Wilmer Place application. Everyone is welcome to come along to the Town Hall on Mare Street from 6pm. Stokey Local  will be there with a ‘Stokey Claus’ some presents and some variations on traditional carols.

Stkey Claus

The One and Only Stokey Claus

The developer is hoping to bounce the council into approving this, the third, application before the decision on our current judicial review.

The application should be rejected because it adversely impacts on a conservation area, on traffic, on the local independent stores (the character of the area) and on the biodiversity of Abney Park.

As this is an identical application to one the Council have already approved, they have the power to:

  • Decide not to determine it,
  • To reject it, or (as we fear, and the developer hopes)
  • Merely rubber stamp their previous decision while seeking to address some of the procedural failings of the previous decision.

You can help

  • Come along to the Town Hall at 6pm on Wednesday 11 December, to support the Stokey Local campaign.
  • If you are on Facebook or Twitter, then post the following message:Please act now and help us stop the Sainsbury/Wilmer place development please RT #stokeylocal
  • If you have not signed the petition please do, and please do urge friends and neighbours to do the same
  • Finally, if you have not already made a donation to our fighting fund, then it would be very helpful if you could (details below). We may need to launch a second legal challenge.

Next steps

Whatever the outcome on Wednesday, we have booked a room in the town hall so we can meet immediately after the decision, and discuss together the next steps for our campaign.

Can we would also urge people, in the event that the decision is not the right one: please do not vent your anger at the councillors, the officers or the developers.  We are an organised group and have plans in place to deal constructively with any set backs that occur. We don’t want to waste our energy, or give ammunition to our detractors. As the saying goes: ‘don’t get mad, get even!’

If the Council do vote to approve, we are still hopeful that the Secretary of State will ‘call in the decision’ (i.e. take responsibility from the Council and refer it to the planning inspectorate). Our petition now has 5,787 signatures. It would be nice to get that up to 6,000 before Wednesday, so please circulate this message and ask friends and neighbours to sign up.

Finally, if all else fails, we will seek further legal advice about a second judicial review.

We’re hopeful that we’ll get the right decision on Wednesday – but we are also prepared in case we don’t.

Diane Abbott: it’s make your mind up time

We are still encouraging Diana Abbott to join us in asking the Secretary of State to ‘call in’ the latest application. While she has put an ‘Early Day Motion’ (EDM, a form of petition for MPs) down in parliament, she has not added her voice to the demand for on the Secretary of State to ‘call in’ the latest application.

Unfortunately, her EDM will have no impact on the current application, and frankly will almost certainly have no impact on anything whatsoever. Parliament’s own website explains how EDMs work (or don’t): ‘An EDM is not likely to be debated even if it gains a large number of signatures.’

Diane’s EDM currently has two MPs signed up (and one of those is Diane), so we can be certain it will have no effect. Adding her voice to the nearly 6,000 that have already urged the Secretary of State to call in the application could lead to the matter being looked at by planning professionals who will not be intimidated by the developer.

Diane needs to make her mind up before Wednesday; is she is going to support the ‘call in’, or stay silent. If she chooses to stay silent her inaction will not be ‘neutral’, it will undermine the impact of the nearly 6,000 local people who have signed the petition.

Come on Diane, show your support, help us persuade the Secretary of State to Call in this application.

Our detailed reasoning for why the application should be called in is in our letter.

Diane’s office email is: she is also on Twitter: @hackneyabbott (so a few constructive comments and questions over the next few days, may help to influence her decision).

With the possibility of having to launch a second judicial review we do need to keep fundraising. We are specifically not asking people who have already donated to ‘dig deeper’, but we are urging those supporters who have not yet given, please consider making a donation now. The average donation has been in the region of £50, but people have given more, and everyone has given what they can afford and there have been many smaller donations. If you can the details are below.

Account name: Stokey Local Community Fund
Sort code: 08-60-01
Account number: 20316473

Let people know about our campaign
Please consider emailing friends and neighbours, posting on Twitter and Facebook, or you can do the old fashioned thing and talk to people and encourage them to come along and support us on Wednesday.

Don’t forget

Abney Park is hosting a Winter Fun Day from 10am to 3pm on Saturday 14 December.

A big thank you.
As ever, a big thank-you to everyone who has supported this campaign.


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