Transport Planning Workshop Tuesday 1st March

Area Action:Transport Workshop, 1st March Oak Tree Community Centre

We have received very late notice of a planning workshop to discuss how the transport arrangements in Stamford Hill could improve this Tuesday 1st March at the the Oak Tree Community Centre Ltd, 77 Bethune Rd, London N16 5ED starting at 6.30pm and finishing at 8.00pm.

People from Hackney’s transport team will be present and it will be an ideal opportunity to discuss local transport needs with key officers.  This is part of the Area Action Plan consultation process and will also involve ward councillors.

It will discuss local transport issues and how to improve them.

It is organised by Plan Projects on behalf of the council. For more information contact Ivan Tennant on 020 7739 207 or



New Housing Need Workshop Tuesday 24th November 2015

As part of the consultation process to build what it calls an “evidence base” for the area Action Plan Hackney Council is conducting a series of public workshops open to all with residents, Ward councillors and the Hackney Planning team.

The next workshop looking at housing need in Stamford Hill is on

Tuesday 24th November

At Stamford Hill Community Centre,

Stamford Hill Estate,

London N16 6RS.

On account of the high anticipated demand, there will be two sessions. They are timetabled as follows:

Session one –     5.30pm for refreshments

6pm workshop start (and will last 1hr)

Session two –     7.30pm for refreshments

8pm workshop start (and will last 1hr)

A second a week later will be on Housing our growing community on Tuesday 1st December 2015.

If you have any questions before the meeting, please call Ivan Tennant from the consultants running the workshops on 020 7739 3007, or email him at

You can find out more about the area the Action Plan process, reports from previous workshops and the overall timetable here.


Area Action Plan Community Workshop Tuesday 20th October

As part of the consultation process to build what it calls an “evidence base” for the area Action Plan Hackney Council is conducting a series of public workshops open to all with residents, Ward councillors and the Hackney Planning team. The next is on Building Stronger Communities and will be held on

Tuesday 20 October 2015 6pm-8pm at the

Oak Tree Community Centre Ltd, 77 Bethune Rd, N16 5ED

The Council say that the Area Action Plan aims to build on one of the borough’s greatest strengths – its diversity; the workshop will therefore focus on how people can work together in Stamford Hill to achieve balanced, sustainable communities and neighbourhoods which celebrate diversity, improve quality of life and enable everyone to share in London’s growing prosperity.

If you have any questions before the meeting, please call Ivan Tennant from the consultants running the workshops on 020 7739 3007, or email him at

You can find out more about the area the Action Plan process, reports from previous workshops and the overall timetable here.

Area Action Plan Workshop Monday October 12th 2015

Hackney Council is preparing a key planning document (called an Area Action Plan, AAP) that will guide decision-making about development in Stamford Hill.

As part of the process there will be a “Boosting health and well-being planning” workshop from 6-8pm on Monday October 12th 2015 at the  Oak Tree Community Centre, 77 Bethune Rd, London N16 5ED.
The wellbeing workshop will discuss what ‘a good, productive life’ means to people in Stamford Hill and the extent to which they are able to live this dream.

Important issues will be on the agenda, such as public health and people’s sense of security. The AAP has the potential to make a real and positive difference to these vital aspects of community life.

The event will also seek ideas from residents as to how the community itself could get involved in promoting physical and mental health in the neighbourhood.

Join Ward Councillors, the Hackney Planning Team and fellow residents to hear more about the AAP and discuss how we can promote mental and physical well-being in Stamford Hill.

If you have any questions before the meeting, please call Ivan Tennant on 020 7739 3007, or email him at

Area Plan Consultation Meeting

Stamford Hill gateway

As you may know Hackney Council is currently in the process of consulting with residents about a proposed ‘Area Action Plan’ for Stamford Hill.

More details can be found on the Council site
Unfortunately the opportunities to participate in this consultation have not always been widely publicised.

There will however be a workshop session on ‘Our Streets and Public Spaces’ at 6pm at the Stamford Hill Estate Community Centre N16 6RS, on Tuesday July 21st.

The event will be facilitated by the Council’s Consultant and local ward councillors will be present.

We would encourage residents to get along and both find out more about the process, and contribute their ideas.

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 (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 with your name, phone number, how many you can take and which streets (or community outlets) you can distribute them in.

Great Meeting: What’s Next?

This was the scene when over 100 people attended a meeting to hear about the proposed Area Action Plan in Stamford Hill and how the community could engage with the consultation 


The event was addressed by Councillor Guy Nicholson (Cabinet member for Regeneration), as well as staff from the Planning Department and the Council’s contractor who is undertaking the consultation exercise.

While this was a terrific turn out, it was clear that the meeting did not fully reflect the diversity of the area. Only one member of the local Charedi community attended the meeting (this does not include the maverick former councillor Isaac Leibowitz who leafleted outside asking people not to attend) and a key discussion on the evening was how we create inter-communal dialogues.

The meeting itself broke into workshops to discuss what our vision of Stamford Hill is, what needs to change and how we can effect that change. A detailed report of those discussions will be contained in our next newsletter. However, among the key issues that arose were:

  • a lack of affordable housing in the area,
  • inconsistency with the Council’s approach to enforcement when inappropriate development takes place,
  • a failure by the Council to ‘zone’ areas for the development of infrastructure (i.e. schools)
  • issues relating to disabled access to pubic buildings, and
  • the lack of a ‘town centre’ for Stamford Hill.

It was agreed that we should produce a newsletter, and that this should be translated into Yiddish, as this would help to demonstrate our commitment to engaging with the full community.

We will be looking for help to distribute this newsletter across the area and we will need to fundraise to pay for the cost of leaflets, room hire and the newsletter (more details to follow)

However, the main issue at the moment is to increase the number of people in the area taking part in our on-line survey (we are concerned that the Council’s contractors are simply not reaching enough people to have a full understanding of the diverse views of the community).

If you have not done so, please do fill in the on-line survey and ask your friends and neighbours to do the same. 

Planning Watch
Planning Watch is an independent community organisation that arose in response to concerns that the Council was failing to meet the needs of the community in the north of the borough.

If you would like to join Hackney Planning Watch’s email list, please sign up here.

Thank you for your interest.