Monday, February 10, 2014

2014 update

Councillors Report – February 2014

Woodberry Down Masterplan

The revised masterplan is due to go to the Planning Committee on the 5th of February. As previously advised key changes include –

more shops, principally along Seven Sister Road

893 additional homes

four new community facilities

The hybrid application comprises an outline application with proposals for a revised 25-year masterplan setting out the development of phases two to seven of the Woodberry Down scheme, as well as a detailed application for phase two. Phase one of the scheme, including 1,649 new homes, shops, community facilities and open spaces, has already been completed.

The revised masterplan includes up to 3,242 new homes and a further 10,921 square metres of non-residential floorspace. The first three phases will deliver a minimum of 41% affordable homes with later phases being subject to viability assessment to identify the provision of social housing.

The planning application can be found here WDReport.pdf

Finsbury Park SPD

The three boroughs which signed up to the Finsbury Park Accord two years ago, have spent this year working on a supplementary planning document for the area. This then guides applicants as to what would be acceptable and what wouldn’t. Once adopted it becomes a “material planning consideration”.

The consultation ran for several months last summer. Most responses were broadly supportive of the approaches the 3 boroughs were taking. One issue that did emerge was support for Rowans bowling alley. This may have been based on a misconception that we were trying to persuade that business to move. The purpose of the document was to seek a higher quality building with an improved entrance into the park, should the site be redeveloped in the future. A bowling alley can continue to be one of the businesses within that new building, if the owners wish.

The revised SPD is due to be put to the 3 cabinets in the next two months.

Licensing Special Policy Area in Dalston

We have been consulting for the last year on whether to introduce an SPA in Dalston. As on a previous occasion, club owners and operators did organise to get their customers to respond to the application. On paper therefore the result looks opposed to an SPA, but a more detailed analysis of the people from the area who responded shows a different result. The introduction of an SPA was also strongly supported by the police and other partners.

On balance we decided that there was more than enough evidence to proceed. It will however be significantly different from the SPA in Shoreditch which attempts to restrict all new licences or extension of hours. The Dalston policy instead gives a list of the types of uses which are acceptable to which times on which days.

Road safety

We introduced a 20mph zones across the ward last year by way of making the orders, erecting signage and installing the physical traffic calming measures required. However at that stage the police were unwilling to assist in enforcing those. They have now been persuaded to change their approach and are training up their officers to enforce them. TfL have also agreed the use of their cameras where applicable.

Kings Crescent regeneration

Five contractors were shortlisted to carry out the refurbishment and new build to the north side of the estate. We hope to now finalise an appointment by the end of February. For details of the planning application which was approved on 31st July, go here and search for 2013/1128. It will achieve 101 refurbished flats for current residents, 107 new affordable units (79 rent, 28 shared ownership), and 155 new private units, as well as a café overlooking Clissold Park

A contract to install a new temporary community centre was awarded and this should happen this month. It was delayed due to difficulties with the electricity connection.

Social Lettings Agency

The council is to try to establish it’s own lettings agency to provide a better and fairer service to private sector tenants. This came in part from discussions on the 2014 local manifesto.

218 Green Lanes development

The redevelopment of the former Unite/T&G building was approved in December. The new buildings will deliver 107 homes, of which 25 will be affordable. It also achieves the aim of the Manor House Area Action Plan to open up a walkway and view through this site to the New River Path and West Reservoir.

Audit success

One of my other roles is chairing the council’s Audit Committee. The Audit & Anti-fraud Division have recently taken over the task of investigating tenancy fraud on behalf of first Hackney Homes and secondly all major housing associations. They recovered 131 properties last year and are well on the way to their 150 target this year.

Councillor Brian Bell

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