Set the Priorities of the Local Police - 1st May 2013



The Lordship Safer Neighbourhood Team's Community Advisory Panel (CAP) is meeting on Wednesday 1st May 2013 at 6.45pm in the Lordship South Estate Community Hall, 14 Lordship Grove London N16 0QA.


The Panel meets every three months to discuss local policing and to set the priorities for the Safer Neighbourhood Team for the months ahead.

The Team's current priorities are:
1. Road safety
2. Prostitution
3. Burglary

You can find out more about your local team here.

Huge Success for Stoke Newington as Planning Committee Rejects Wilmer Place Application


Last night Hackney Council's Planning Committee voted to reject plans to redevelop Wilmer Place. 


Below is a copy of the speech Daniel gave in opposition to the proposals. 

Local residents packed the Council Chamber to observe the Committee's deliberations. Following a presentation by the Council Officer, who was recommending that the Committee approve the application, councillors Daniel Stevens (Lordship) and Louisa Thomson (Stoke Newington Central) spoke in opposition to the plans.

Daniel focused on the detrimental impact the development would have on the historic character and biodiversity of Abney Park, whereas Louisa highlighted concerns about housing, transport, noise and light, and the damaging effect a large supermarket would have on the local economy. The speech Louisa gave is available here

Our contributions were followed by speeches from Stokey Local campaigners Nick Perry, Russell Miller and Damian Duggan-Ryan, who had the difficult task of covering a wide range of objections in just five minutes between them.

Stokey Local have run a very effective campaign over the last 18 months and it's been great to see so many people across the area come together united by their enthusiasm for Stoke Newington. Labour Councillors in Lordship, Clissold and Stoke Newington Central wards have supported this campaign, and also worked tirelessly since the first proposals were revealed in August 2011 to highlight the concerns of residents, lobby for changes, and outline the real planning concerns about the proposed development

The developer have said that they will appeal the decision, so we will keep you informed of what happens next. But for now we can celebrate a great victory for Stoke Newington. 

Text of Speech

Thank you, Chair.

The Committee should refuse this proposal because it will significantly damage the historic character and biodiversity of Abney Park.

The developer’s revised application repeatedly mentions amendments as evidence that the scheme is now ‘good enough’. The officer’s report also adopts this language. 

The Committee should not be seduced. 

Paragraph 133 of the National Planning Policy Framework says that where a proposed development will lead to substantial harm of a designated heritage asset consent should be refused; "unless it can be demonstrated that the substantial harm or loss is necessary to achieve substantial public benefits that outweigh that harm or loss." 

Put simply therefore, the question to the Committee is: in planning terms, are the public benefits of the scheme before you substantial enough to outweigh the harm it will cause?

Abney Park

Abney Park is one of Hackney's most valuable assets. It is home to wealth of ecological riches from rare species to valuable trees.

It is one of only two Local Nature Reserves in the Borough and a metropolitan-level Site of Importance for Nature Conservation. This places Abney Park alongside nationally important sites such as Richmond Park and Epping Forest.

Complete with a listed lodge, gates and chapel, Abney Park is one of only two places for the burial of non-conformists in London. 

It offers a fascinating insight into the history of the capital's dissenting families, as well commemorating local people that died in two World Wars and providing a resting place for historical figures such as General Booth and a quarter of a million others.

Hackney Council has a very significant heritage and biodiversity asset in its care. Protecting it for future generations is, surely, the epitome of sustainable planning. 

Biodiversity

Last year, the Council approved its Biodiversity Action Plan, which includes a target that “all developments…within 50 metres of woodland must ensure they do not impact on the biodiversity of those habitats or associated species.”

Remarkably what's before you tonight, and recommended for approval, comes to within just 2.5 to 3.5 metres of one of London's most important wildlife sites. 

In paragraph 4.4.3 of his report, the Officer's states that the applicant "has reasoned that they cannot move the overall footprint of the building away from the boundary" of Abney Park. 

If this is this is the case, then the application should be refused. 

Such an extreme, intrusive mass immediately abutting Abney Park will significantly change the cemetery's unique woodland edge and cannot fail to impact on the habitat and its species.

Disappointingly the Biodiversity Action Plan is not mentioned in the officer’s list of policies relevant to Wilmer Place. 

This is despite page 25 of the Action Plan clearly stating that the document has the "equivalent status of a supplementary planning document." 

It also sets a target to work with planning officers to ensure they are aware of policies relating to woodland.

Committee members should seriously question whether the recommendation to approve was reached in full awareness of the tremendous wealth of biodiversity in Abney Park and the policies in place to protect it.

Heritage

Planning policy is clear about the protection of heritage assets.

Policy 25 of the Core Strategy states that “All development should make a positive contribution to the character of Hackney’s historic and built environment”.

This is underpinned by the Stoke Newington Conservation Area Appraisal, which states that 'in future, new development should be kept as far as possible away from the walls of the cemetery to preserve its setting and unique sense of privacy and peace.' 

Paragraph 132 of the National Planning Policy Framework states that "as heritage assets are irreplaceable, any harm or loss should require clear and convincing justification."

Therefore, the Committee must be confident there is a "clear and convincing justification" to approve what's before them. 

What I see in front of me is a visually dominant, overpowering, intrusive mass that cannot fail but to diminish Stoke Newington's invaluable natural, built and historic environment.

English Heritage do not support it.

The Conservation Area Advisory Committee say there will be “substantial detriment” to the cemetery. 

And Abney Park Trust objects to the scheme as substantially intrusive and overbearing.

Conclusion

Chair, there is danger that if this goes ahead it will cause substantial and irreparable harm to one of Hackney's most valuable wildlife and heritage assets.

And for what? 

Fifty-four mostly unaffordable homes that will, realistically, be beyond the reach of most Hackney residents; diminishing our ability to create the "mixed, sustainable communities and neighbourhoods" we value so highly.

And a supermarket that cannot fail but to have an impact on the retail character of Stoke Newington, which, it must be noted, forms a significant part of the heritage enshrined in the Conservation Area.

In conclusion, I return to the question I posed at the start of my speech: 

In planning terms, do the benefits of the scheme before you outweigh the substantial harm it will cause?

The answer to this is "no."

I therefore urge the Committee to refuse the application.

Thank you. 

Don't Forget to Have Your Say on the Application for a Stamford Hill Neighbourhood Forum


The deadline to comment on an application received by the Council to formally designate a neighbourhood forum for Stamford Hill and set the boundary of a neighbourhood area is tomorrow.

You can see a copy of the application along with details of how to have your say here. A short summary of the Localism Act, which introduced a new right for communities to come together to shape development in their local area, is available here.

I would encourage as many of you as possible to respond to the consultation. 

When responding it would be very helpful if you could think about how inclusive and representative the current proposals are, particularly in relation to the makeup of the Forum and the area it proposes to cover.

If you have any questions about the application or your response, please do not hesitate to email daniel.stevens@hackney.gov.uk. 

Stoke Newington Sport for Social Change Network - 31 January 2013


The Stoke Newington Sport for Social Change Network is meeting tomorrow at 6pm in the Hawksley Court Resource Centre.

Since the network last met Sport England has made available a small amount of funding to support members of network. The meeting will a good opportunity to discuss how best to utilise this in Stoke Newington. In addition, I am pleased to say that the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust will be joining us at the meeting to discuss how we can work together in Stoke Newington. 

The Sport for Social Change website is also being re-designed. We will soon have our own page with specific information about the Stoke Newington Sport for Social Change Network. This will form part of our plans, as agreed at the last meeting, to better utilise social media to promote our work in the area.

If you would like to join us tomorrow, please email daniel.stevens@hackney.gov.uk

Lordship Ward Forum Meeting on Neighbourhood Planning - 21st January 2013

The next meeting of the Lordship Ward Forum will take place on 21st January 2013 from 7pm at the Lordship South Community Centre on Lordship Grove. 

The main substantive item for discussion is Hackney Council’s consultation on the application it recently received to formally designate a neighbourhood forum for Stamford Hill and set the boundary of a neighbourhood area. The application covers the whole of Lordship and could have significant implications for future planning and development in the area. 

You can see a copy of the application here. 

We will be joined at the meeting by a senior Planning Officer from Hackney Council who will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about the application. We will also have an opportunity to discuss the points you may wish consider raising in response to the consultation.

Before the meeting it would be very helpful if you could think about how inclusive and representative you think the current proposals are, particularly in relation to the makeup of the Forum and the area it proposes to cover. You may also wish to consider whether the proposed neighbourhood area (the wards of Lordship, New River, Cazenove and Springfield) makes sense in planning terms. 

If you have any questions about the Forum, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Clissold Park User Group - 12 January 2013



The next meeting of the Clissold Park Users' Group takes places this Saturday from 11am - 12pm in the House in the park (enter by the glass door to the left of the cafe). 

Everyone is welcome so please do come along. 

Advice Surgery for Lordship Residents - 13th January 2013


Cllr Daniel Stevens will be holding the next monthly surgery for Lordship residents this coming Sunday from 1 - 2pm at Stoke Newington Library. Please come along if you live in Lordship and have any concerns you would like to discuss.

If you cannot attend on Sunday, please do not hesitate to contact us by email (daniel.stevens@hackney.gov.uk) or phone (0208 356 3373).

Have your say on proposals for a Stamford Hill Neighbourhood Forum

Hackney Council is currently consulting on an application to formally designate a neighbourhood forum for Stamford Hill and set the boundary of a neighbourhood area. 

You can see a copy of the application along with details of how to have your say here. 

The deadline for comments is 4th February 2013 and I would encourage as many of you as possible to respond. 

The Localism Act 2011 introduced a new right for communities to come together to shape development in their local area through neighbourhood plans. These plans can set general planning policies for the development and use of land in a designated neighbourhood area. 

Under the new laws neighbourhood planning can be taken forward by two types of body - town and parish councils or neighbourhood forums. A neighbourhood forum is a community group designated by the local authority to take forward neighbourhood planning in areas without parishes. 

This particular consultation concerns an application to the Council to formally designate a neighbourhood forum for Stamford Hill and the surrounding area. If approved, the forum would begin work preparing a neighbourhood plan for the area. 

Any neighbourhood plan, however expressed, requires the support of a majority of voters in a referendum of the area before it can be formally introduced. Furthermore, neighbourhood plans must have regard to national planning policy and must be in general conformity with strategic policies in the development plan for the local area. 

It is important to note that Hackney Council is required by legislation to consult for at least 6 weeks on any application it receives for a neighbourhood forum or area, so long as the application meets minimum conditions set out in law. It is very important therefore that you take the opportunity to have your say. 

When responding it would be very helpful if you could think about how inclusive and representative the current proposals are, particularly in relation to the makeup of the Forum and the area it proposes to cover. Furthermore, you should consider whether the proposed neighbourhood area (the wards of Lordship, New River, Cazenove and Springfield) makes sense in planning terms.

If you have any questions about the application or your response, please do not hesitate to email daniel.stevens@hackney.gov.uk

Set the priorities of the local police - 9th January 2013


The Lordship Safer Neighbourhood Team's Community Advisory Panel (CAP) is meeting on Wednesday 9th January at 6.45pm in the Lordship South Estate Community Hall, 14 Lordship Grove London N16 0QA.

The Panel meets every three months to discuss local policing and to set the priorities for the Safer Neighbourhood Team for the months ahead.

The Team's current priorities are:
1. Dangerous Cycling
2. Prostitution
3. Burglary

Below is a short summary from the Team about their work on these issues over the last three months:

1. Dangerous Cycling - the team have been working with colleagues from Clissold and Stoke Newington Central wards to address dangerous and inconsiderate cycling. From November 5th until 8th December the team issued 38 fixed penalty notices to cyclists riding on the pavement or jumping red lights around the Church Street / Stoke Newington High Street area. In addition to this community officers organised a training day for cyclists outside the Fire Station on Church Street where cyclists were taught basic safety tips around heavy goods vehicles, and the dangers to pedestrians when they cycle on footways. About 200 cyclists attended in November.

2. Prostitution - the team have done 3 sets of night duties, targeting sex workers (1 per month), since our last community meeting. We have issued 21 prostitute cautions and 3 referrals to the outreach group; NHS OPENDOORS. Sex worker activity was situated on Lordship Park near the junction of Green lanes, although in December, not one sex worker was logged on Lordship ward. We shall now continue this monthly activity into 2013 and endeavour to reduce the sex workers on the ward.

3. Burglary - was reduced significantly in the last three months, with only 3 incidents reported in the last 6 weeks. Lordship ward has recorded the lowest incidents of theft related crime in Hackney borough for the last quarterly figures. 

You can find out more about your local team here.

Clissold Park Users Group - 3rd November


The next bimonthly meeting of the Clissold Park Users' Group takes places this Saturday from 11am - 12pm in the House in the park. 

Paul Roberts from Hackney Council will be joining the meeting to tell park users about the tree survey he has been doing and plans for future planting and maintenance of the tree stock. 

Everyone is welcome so please do come along. 

Published and promoted by Luke Akehurst for Hackney Labour Party on behalf of Edward Brown and Daniel Stevens, all at 52 Aden Grove, London, N16 9NJ.