Thursday, June 27, 2013

June update

Councillors Report – June 2013

Kings Crescent regeneration

Initial consultation on the planning application for the detailed design of the north side of the estate ended on 20th May. Go here and search for 2013/1128. It included both the final stages of refurbishment of the existing blocks, and substantial new build.

We hope to get it to a planning committee in July, and to start work in the late autumn. It will achieve 101 refurbished flats for current residents, 107 new affordable units (79 for rent, 28 for shared ownership), and 155 new units for private sale.

The procurement process to appoint a developer is also well underway and we hope to announce the outcome on 25th July.

The second stage of the refurbishment is almost complete. New windows are being installed at Therfield, Datchworth and Theobalds courts. Teething problems with the fobs and door entry systems are being sorted out but on the whole residents report feeling a lot safer. We are also proposing to install a new and more accessible temporary community centre, which can later be reused elsewhere.

Finsbury Park

Islington, supported by Hackney and Haringey, are leading on the preparation of a Supplementary Planning Document for Finsbury Park

This draft SPD summarises the planning policies that should be addressed by future development proposals, planning and design issues particular to the area, and some of the key information that an applicant should include in any future applications. Some of the more interesting ideas include –

* redeveloping the Rowan’s site to provide a better gateway into the park

* enhancing shopfronts and public space

* improving conditions beneath the railway viaducts including exploring the option of opening up another arch to separate foot and motor traffic along Stroud Green Road

* promoting the entrances to Gillespie Park and the Parkland Walk

The draft is scheduled to go to Hackney’s June Cabinet for approval to consult for an initial 6 weeks. The area covered has expanded to cover all of Blackstock as far south as Highbury Vale police station and the petrol station site on Seven Sisters Road.

Woodberry Down regeneration

A masterplan for the overall scheme was agreed over 10 years. However because of the “credit crunch” and changes in funding regimes, this had to be substantially departed from to keep work going. As a result provision of some of the community facilities were delayed and a second tower block was allowed.

The resident’s organisation WDCO have been in negotiation with the other partners for almost a year now over a new masterplan. Some elements may include -

# Opening the southside of some blocks to enhance views and light

# Many more retail units along the northside of Seven Sisters Road

# Changes to the phasing of redevelopment

Once the parties have internally finalised a draft new masterplan, it will be subject to public consultation next year.

Construction is now up to it’s full height on the “3 Ps” site which will be 100% social housing. The second site to be fully completed, Woodberry Grove North was handed over on schedule earlier in the year and residents have moved in, while the third block, Horston and Sherwood, is due to complete within two months.

2nd Playstreet

A 2nd playstreet was recently launched by residents of Heron Drive on the Myddleton Grange estate. The council has been enabling these.

The Park Theatre

We were pleased to support the opening night of this excellent new venture in Clifton Terrace, just north of the train and tube station. Check out

Ward Forum

Our fourth ward forum is scheduled for 17th July, and suggestions for agenda items are welcome. Amongst other issues, the last meeting discussed the new funding that has been awarded to the Manor House Development Trust to address home insulation and fuel poverty in the ward, and plans for a Blackstock Road festival.

Five pledges

When we stood for election in 2010, we made five main pledges –

1. Complete the refurbishment of King's Crescent Estate and create new homes on the Alexandra National House site – see above for Kings Crescent. Residents have moved into the redeveloped ANH site delivering 70% new council homes.

2. Deliver a new youth centre on Woodberry Down – The Edge opened late last year.

3. Open a police base on Blackstock Road – the base opened 3 years ago. Whether it will survive Boris Johnson’s cuts in police funding remains a concern.

4. Implement a cycle route through the ward – the route runs from the western gate to Finsbury Park through the ward entering Clissold Park at the White House gate, and eventually connects to the Olympic Park.

5. Fight for a cleaner and safer Finsbury Park – the three boroughs signed up to the Finsbury Park Accord last year. Feryal represents us on a working party to oversee implementation. As above, the SPD is due for public consultation next month.

Councillors Brian Bell, Oli de Botton and Feryal Demirci

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