Tree guardians required

Since initial meanderings and separate to the Bellway decimation and token replanting, further inquiries have been made into trees for the street. The council will be planting the trees in front of Bellway site and seem to be open to trees elsewhere down the road. The Hackney Arboricultural Officer Thomas Campbell said:

“Please see attached the list of species that we currently use in Hackney which if any residents have preferences we can take into consideration when formulating a prospective planting programme. If any of your neighbours would like to suggest species from the list it would be very helpful if you could amalgamate and send me a list of preferences.”
CDM-#525267-v1-Street Tree Species List

If anyone is willing to look after a tree outside their property, please get in contact.

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The Last Stand



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Ecological artwork denied by developers

Detail view: Shadow Of My Soon To Be Former Self, Experimenter En Couleur

Shadow Of My Soon To Be Former Self (detail)

You may have missed this work entitled ‘Shadow Of My Soon To Be Former Self’ as it was only visible for a short period. The artwork appeared as the existing building was being demolished. Its completion was stopped in its tracks.

Shadow Of My Soon To Be Former Self (work in progress)

Foreseen loss of our last dear friends to survive on the site was preempted by local artist Experimenter En Couleur (EEC) as the site was being cleared by the developer. Much of the wildlife had already been forced out, but the guardians of the sites extremities still remained. The intervention was produced in the early autumn of 2013 and was intended to be a monument to the trees on the site and all that inhabited them and their local environment. The permanent markings of the trees shadows began with the most beautifully proportioned tree on the site, the False Acacia and was to circumnavigate the sites other trees before their downfall. EEC says ”this work reflects upon our own existence but focuses its attention on building developers environmental impacts. Be it their insistence to push every site to critical density at a detriment to the local community in human and wildlife terms, or for their excessive use of cheap and easy materials like concrete, a great contributor of C02 emissions. My wish is for all, developers and individuals, to be compassionate, ultimately to themselves, humankind and to do this requires a moral responsibility to the environment.”

As this works progress was white washed, EEC photographed the other trees on the site of which some are included below. Another related work of interest was completed on the new development on Kingsland High Street opposite Arcola Street and can be seen here:

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Bellway cause more hardship for local community

Soon or not so soon to be luxury flats? Bellway is plaguing residents with more trouble as a serious error was discovered in the build. The new building already up to the third storey is knocked down to the ground again because it is unsafe. To make matters worse Bellway did not inform local residents of their actions, but instead tried to hide the demolition behind plastic sheeting, only to find they were covering the surrounding Salcombe Road, Truman Road, Pellerin Road and the Shelgrove Estate with thick clouds of lime and cement dust. The usual practice of water dampening has not been undertaken as huge clouds of dust were reported billowing over the site boundary.

Bellway cause disaster for local residents

Bellway demolish what they have just built

Aside from gardens and plants are suffering, the health of the many residents is at stake. Many have reported increased respiratory issues because of this. There are many elderly residents on neighbouring Shelgrove estate who are having trouble cleaning the dust from inside their homes. It is not only the elderly but also the young who are having troubles. One resident reported their child regularly in fits of tears and deep breathing, experiencing a fear of suffocation because of the sensation of restrictions in the throat. Another, his daughter asking ”when daddy will I stop sneezing in the mornings?”

Typical example of lime dust in house on Lydford Close

Typical example of lime dust in house on Lydford Close

This is not the first time Bellway have tried to pull the wool over local residents eyes. With 80% objection from the start, Bellway have not compromised one bit with regard to the design, despite the three surrounding residents associations producing a design that was feasible for both them and local residents. It was recently discovered, the building footprint and foundations too are closer than that passed by Hackney Planning.

Local residents are upset by lack of communication, illegal working hours, illegal construction causing extended build process plus environmental pollution resulting in health issues amongst residents. Neither Bellway nor Environmental Health have yet started a cleanup operation.

Link to Hackney Gazette article:

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Me And My Life Project is demolished

Me And My Life Project - photo by Experimenter En Couleur

Me And My Life Project – photo, Experimenter En Couleur

Hackney Day Service Project centre for adults with learning difficulties is being demolished. This building on Salcombe Road, N16 was sold by Hackney to developers Bellway for luxury flats. Once an important part of community infrastructure, ‘The Me And My Life Project’ is sadly not a ‘Life Project’ anymore. Please ring bell!

Me and My Life Project - detail

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Developers ignore residents – your street next?

Local residents heard last week that Hackney Planning is recommending approval of the Bellway Homes scheme for 2 Salcombe Road. This semi-gated scheme of 30 flats turns its back on the community and is set to segregate itself with only a token gesture of street interaction.

Residents welcome the development of this site – and have put great effort in to propose their own carefully considered modifications to the Bellway scheme which address all concerns at a loss of only 3 flats – but developers have still ignored residents concerns.

Plans for this former children’s home propose a four storey block opposite Pellerin Road’s two storey terrace and a defensive back-wall block facing onto the Shellgrove Estate. This will have a great impact on local residents with overshadowing, claustrophobia and loss of privacy in both Pellerin Road and Lydford Close. The block facing and parallel to Lydford Close houses will be as close as 12 metres showing a total disregard for the estate not only in terms of its proximity but also its lack of permeability.

The proposed is a commercial style and its interaction with the neighbourhood backs this up, with the majority of residents who live above first floor set to access via a private entrance on Trumans Road. The design restricts public and children’s access to the internal courtyard and play area, a far cry from the carefully arranged and inclusive Shellgrove Estate.

Despite residents attempts to engage with the developers and present a compromise solution, the developers still have not addressed the main concerns. Both developers Bellway and the Planning department have had little interaction with local residents associations despite their attempts to discuss matters. 80% of residents who were contacted by the planners wrote written objections to the application. Of the 28 objections listed in the Case Officers Report the majority of objections have been washed over with complimentary and subjective comments in favor of the development. Residents are shocked to find out that Hackney Planning have not seen past the pseudo reasoning in Bellway’s Design and Access statement.

Our local Planning Councillors are set to vote at the Sub-Committee Meeting this Wednesday 1st May 2013, 6:30pm at Hackney Town, Hall Mare Street.

Do you want this segregation to keep happening in our neighbourhood?
If you would like to help, come to the meeting on the 1st May and show the Councillors you care. It could be your street next!

Above: Bellway development visualisation from the top of Pellerin Road/Salcombe Road
showing a lack of context (2 storey Pellerin terrace not represented).

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Salcombe/Pellerin/Shellgrove/Truman – Residents Proposal

Following much door knocking and emailing residents surrounding the Salcombe Rd development, the local residents have completed and confirmed their list of concerns. These are listed below. Also listed are solutions for resolving the issues of concern. It is important to note that there may be other design solutions regarding these issues.

Residents concerns regarding Bellway proposals for the site on Salcombe Road, (in no particular order)

1 Proposed buildings are far too high and the massing is too great.
2 Ill fitting with character of the area. More suited to the High Street not residential street.
3 Lack of decoration and interest in the facade.
4 Design does not preserve the trees.
5 Loss of direct sunlight and reflected light to surrounding properties.
6 Lack of permeability, site lines and conversation with the surrounding streets.
7 Objection to balconies because of noise and privacy. Windows too large leads to a loss of privacy.
9 Footprint too close to boundary.
10 Lack of Infrastructure in an area already under pressure from other high density developments.

Solutions to the above points as presented in the Residents Plan

1 Removal of 4th floor. Ridge line and eaves line heights should be taken from the surrounding buildings. Accommodation of third floor in mansard roof breaks up the massing whilst providing minimum loss of internal floor area. Party walls are expressed externally and building stepped to follow slope of road.
2 Ridge line and eaves line heights should be taken from the surrounding building. Attempts to use materials and features that relate to the surrounding properties.
3 Attempts to use materials and features that relate to the surrounding properties. Slate roofs and leaded dormers. Stone capping’s, lintel’s and sills and corbels. Walls in yellow stocks with detailing in staffordshire-blue bricks and matching garden walls to pavement boundary. Brickwork Sash windows.
4 Building facade along Pellerin Rd set back in line with 35, 37, 39 Pellerin Rd. Salcombe Rd setback continues with the same margin. Cut away formed on Pellerin/Salcombe corner and middle of Salcombe Rd by removing balconies from Bellway Proposal 2. By doing this we manage to retain the trees.
5 Setback and mansard roof achieves better light conditions for neighbouring properties.
6 More work required with regards the permeability. The individual gardens formed by increased setback improve the relationship with the street.
7 Removal of balconies facing Pellerin, Salcombe, Lydford. Could be reinstated on the internal courtyard elevations where they would receive more sun.
8 Reduction of window size, particularly raising sill height above finished floor level.
9 Resolved with setback.
10 This perhaps should be a concern for the Council.


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