Wilmer Place: two big wins!

Stokey Local has announced two big wins on the Wilmer Place development. Here are their headlines:-

“First an apology: it has been more than six months since our last update. However, we (or at least our very own ‘planning nerd’ Nick Perry and his team of volunteer experts) have not been idle.

We can report:-

  • An out of court settlement has provided us with the Financial Viability Assessments (and indicates that the planning committee were misinformed).
  • The developer Newmark Properties have sold the site and the new owner looks set to resell it in at least two parcels (which would preclude the original overdevelopment ever being realised).”

You can read the full report and background here.


Reminder: Public Meeting TONIGHT!

Stokey Local will be holding a public meeting at 7pm TONIGHT (Monday 11 May 2015) at St Paul’s West Hackney Church, on the High Street, at the junctions of Evering and Amhurst Roads.

Everyone is welcome and they hope to answer all your questions about what has happened and what might happen next.

Some you win, Sainsbury’s and Hackney Unites community paper

Legal Update – Sainsbury’s Out
Sadly, the court battle against the Wilmer Place development has come to an end. On Tuesday 21 April the Chancellor of the High Court, Sir Terence Etherton, decided Stokey Local’s appeal against a previous High Court judgement would be unlikely to succeed. So the legal process ends here.

Obviously it’s disappointing, and Stokey Local’s legal team were shocked that their solid arguments, although praised by the judge, were rejected.

But this isn’t a time to be downhearted. Even though we’ve lost this specific battle, our continued tenacity and vigilance could still win the war. Things have changed a lot in the four years since the campaign started, and supermarkets are no longer quite as enthusiastic about opening big stores as they used to be. Today Sainsbury’s confirmed it no longer has a lease on the site – which could mean the development is shelved after all. If we’ve waited our opponents out until they change their minds, that’s a massive victory. And the campaign has achieved a lot anyway, by bringing the community together, revealing the injustices of the planning process and giving local people, businesses and wildlife vital extra years without this harmful development on their doorstep.

For more details of the legal wrangling, including yet another shocking revelation of Hackney Council’s culture of secrecy, obfuscation, defensiveness, digging-in and capitulation with the developer, read Nick Perry’s blog on the Stokey Local website.

So what next?

If Sainsbury’s are no longer be interested in the site, the developer may be looking to sell it on – which may mean another planning application. Let’s hope our campaign has persuaded the next developer to genuinely engage the local community in their plans next time. If not, watch this space!


Time for a meeting!
The campaign raised nearly £34,000 and as a result of court orders limiting Stokey Local’s costs and their lawyers working for free or reduced cost, there should be a few hundred pounds left in the bank account, once the bills are in. No doubt they’ll need this for the next round in the battle.

Stokey Local will be holding a public meeting at 7pm on Monday 11 May 2015 at St Paul’s West Hackney Church, on the High Street, at the junctions of Evering and Amhurst Roads. All are welcome.

Hackney Unites Community Newspaper
Hackney Unites, of whom Hackney Planning Watch is associated, has its latest edition community newspaper now in print ready to be delivered.

You can preview the whole paper here
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6EOu3raR1WbdTQ3MFVEOUMzTEU/view?usp=sharing (it leads on the communities response to a proposed anti-Semitic protest in Stamford Hill).

It is important that we show how our communities can and do work together which is why we would appreciate your support in getting the newspaper out door to door.

There is a piece in the paper about the last Hackney Planning Watch meeting about the proposed area action plan, and a report on the Stokey Local campaign.

If you would like to help with distribution of these (perhaps taking a couple of hundred to do your own and a neighbouring street) that would be very much appreciated. We could do with more volunteers.

Just drop an email to Jane Holgate at planningwatch@btinternet.com with your name, phone number, how many you can take and which streets (or community outlets) you can distribute them in.

Stokey Local taking case to Court of Appeal

Following the decision at last week’s meeting to carry the fight over the proposed development of Wilmer Place to the Court of Appeal, Stokey Local have announced plans for a series of community based fund-raising events.

They are looking for good ideas and volunteers to help raise the funds to fight on. They want to save Stoke Newington from inappropriate developments, have some fun, and get to know each other along the way.

The ideas they have come up with so far include:-

  • A fun-day-cum-board-game – a cross between Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit, where the board is Stoke Newington and we are the pieces.
  • A ‘battle of the bands’ and other entertainment.
  • A systematic approach to door-to-door fundraising of local businesses, and a celebration of those who have already supported the campaign, including Hamdys, Benjamin’s Chemist, The Discount Store, Shine Holistic, Levenes Solicitors
  • An ‘auction of promises’
  • A formal dinner or supper club with entertainment
  • A series of street parties

To get involved, donate and find out more check out Stokey Local.

Sainsbury’s Campaign to appeal

At a meeting to discuss what to do next after the High Court’s rejection of Stokey Local’s application for a Judicial Review for the Sainsbury’s/Wilmer Place Development attended by fifty people there was overwhelming support for continuing the campaign.

As reported by East London Lines, the meeting learned that vital information on how the Council Officers and the developers had arrived at an agreement over the proportion of social housing in the development had been withheld, not only from the general public, but also from Councillors and the Planning Committee.

The campaign aims to get these documents made public, and will shortly be canvassing support for funding raising options.

Find out more at Stokey Local.

Urgent Public Meeting on Judicial Review 3rd November

A meeting to discuss what to do next about the High Court decision turning down Stokey Local’s application for Judicial Review over the Sainsbury’s Wilmer Place development is set for:-

7pm, Monday 3 November

St Paul’s West Hackney N16 7UY

(On the corner of Evering Road and Stoke Newington Road, where the farmers market is held on a Saturday).

& don’t forget they are trying to make up the short fall in legal costs so please donate  too.

For full details see Stokey Local

Judicial Review Turned Down

You may already have learned that the Judicial Review sought by Stokey Local has been turned down by the High Court last week. Read their full account here.

It’s very disappointing, as it has been a huge achievement made possible by a lot of hard work by many people, not least Nick Perry.

The campaign so far has raised an amazing £17,500, but the campaign is left with a bill of a little over £22,000, so they are asking for donations to cover the shortfall. All the details about how to contribute are on the Stokey Local site.

Stokey Local has announce there will be a public meeting in the week beginning 3rd November 2014 to review options and consider how to take the campaign forward.

We’ll let you know when we do.