Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Be Part of Hackney Wicks Future!!

Some of you might know that I have been a member of the Hackney Wick Partnership for a few years. We have been involved in trying to forge a desirable future for the Wick that respects local residents - as well as encourages the local creatives & existing businesses.

We started doing this way before London was even considered for the 2012 Olympics.

We have fed all our work into the Hackney Wick Masterplan, the Olympic Masterplan - and now the new Mayors (Boris that is) Development Plan.

This weekend & next week is another opportunity for you to come & put your thoughts to the brilliant people at London Thames Gateway about what we would all like for the Hackney Wick Hub.

This is the area both to the North (Tower Hamlets side) & South (Hackney side of the Hackney Wick Overground Station.

There are major changes for the areas right next to the sloping ramps on either side of the station. And they would love to hear what you would like to see there.

More cafes? A revitalised Lord Napier? Tree lined squares? Meeting fountain? Better welcoming open spaces? New routes/roads? Hotels?

What would you like to see when you come home after a hard days work? What would make you meet your visitors coming off the Overground with a sense of pride about Hackney Wick?

Please come down to 62 Wallis Road this Saturday 21st May - between 10am & 2pm. And also next Wednesday 25th May from 4pm until 8pm.

This is a great chance for you to be part of our lovely Hackney Wicks future - please try & make it down for a chat!!


John said...

Sóna thanks for this posting! I would have missed it completely. Can you give us a bell - I think Meg & I would like to go with you. Just to ask a few more questions about the Olympics as well. The dust is getting all of us here on the Trowbridge down - and we want to do something about it before someone really has a bad attack.

ruth said...

Wow, that was a slap in the face: thought I was just popping out to the shop to get some juice, instead I was finding out that the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation are on the verge of putting it in a planning application for a major residential/workspace/retail development opposite my house (Lionworks).

Change is inevitable here in the lovely Wick, but the artist's impressions of glossy, glassy high-rises made me a little bit panicky. As did the friendly Development Corporation man's talk of space for a Sainsburys or Tescos.

But, it seems they are keen for the development to stay in keeping with the Wick as much as possible and it is focused on affordable workspaces, shared workspaces and a nice little yard with little retail units as well as the much larger, supermarket-shaped one round the corner.

Of course, that is their intention, but once they have planning permission and have sold the site to a developer, the outcome may be very different. The key will be making sure the planning restrictions are good enough to keep things on track.

I'm also not sure that they weren't just telling me what I wanted to hear. When one charming passer-by said she didn't want any "council estate chav scum" moving in, they told her there wouldn't be any affordable housing. When I said that was a shame because it would price most people out, they said there might be shared ownership but there wouldn't be social housing. (Why not?)

One to watch very closely.

Leabank Square said...

Ruth I'm glad that you're concerned enough to want to keep an eye on all developments.

I had many concerns with the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation views as well.

Mainly that the artists impression were so dull & uninspiring. Poor old Hackney Wick. A couple of decades after they blew all the towers down because 'tenants shouldn't live in towers like that' - now we're getting more on the scale of Biggs Square.

Make your mind up people.

Also - the Wick side of the Olympic Park got the cheapest Ikea inspired architects & the nice person on Saturday said that due to the economy, we shouldn't expect great architecture here either.

Sounds like more plain blocks to me.

Although she tried to assure me that Boris Johnsons Mayorial Develeopment Corporation - which takes over the vision for this part of Hackney Wick after the games - cannot change any of the passed plans for this new hub - the whole Olympic Development Agency fiasco was similar.

Who's to say that Boris won't get similar legislation passed by his buddy Dave in Parliament?

I'm not completely against some aspects of gentrification - but if you build 10 - 12 blocks of live-work housing & deliberately financially exclude families of many generations of Wickers - that smacks more of social engineering.

As you say Ruth - definetly one to keep an eye on.

Steve said...

This thing about the architecture really worries me. The Wick has always been different. It was where petrol, plastic & laundries first started. It used to have mansions & motocycle clubs. It was a very urban tower block forest. It is now an artists quarter.

Why doesn't it deserve some really radical young architects to make it more different again.

If it gets stuck with the same blandness that Biggs & the ODA are dropping down on it, then we're back to square1.

Come on London Thames Gateway - be really brave and give the Wick some truly amazing buildings to match the Anish Kapoor next door, not the Olympic press & media centre disaster.

Why not keep the Wick that little bit different?

Steve Every
Oslo House

Sachiko said...

Something unusual & industrial like container city at Trinity Buoy Wharf would be such a landmak for Hackney Wick.

It gives all the right nods to the Wicks industrial heritage, as well as keeps the uniqueness of our hood.

As I understand it - it is relatively cheap to construct - and as starter homes & studios, would be ideal for the entry level creatives to be introduced to all of us.

Hey - and the steel would also nod to Anish Kapoor as well.


Clara said...

Hey Sachiko
Don't forget that the containers could be transported directly to the hub from the coast by train, craned off and stacked in a matter of weeks.
A brand new neighbourhood all sustainably built in a very short amount of time.
I would love to live there and look down at all the conatiner trains going past.
Like living in a tree house watching all the trees growing up all around you, but a bit more metal.

Paul Norman said...

Hi all,
Just to say the masterplan has now been published for consultation. I spoke to Peter Andrews, chief executive of the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation, this morning about the hub plans and have published an interview with him here

Leabank Square said...

Thanks heaps Paul

I would encourage all of you to bookmark Paul's blog. He has always had his many fingers on all the Olympic pulse's - often long before any other news source.

Paul takes an impartial view on all the developments in & around the Olympic Park - and has also taken some of our concerns to the people who he has interviewed for more concise answers.

Paul - it seems that most Hackney Wickers are more concerned about the way this hub will look once completed.

They want it to be sufficently 'Hackney Wick' - while also cutting edge enough to attract many more creatives to the area.

Then again, for the kids making their way through school now - there needs to be the possibility of jobs or appreniceships in this creative hub once they leave school.

As well as affordable housing for the kids leaving home in the next few years.

I fear that LTGDC are concentrating more on encouraging new residents into the Wick - than taking the temperature of existing residents & creatives.

More housing will definetly need more schools, doctors, green spaces, policing, etc. All these are sorely lacking just now - and locals are feeling it.

Thanks for the link to your blog.

Richard Brannigan said...

Yeah cheers Paul
Sóna, I wonder if you shouldn't put the LTGDC link up on a seperate new entry with twitter so that more residents come & see it.
The more peeps we get commenting on the masterplan, the better idea they get about how we all feel.
Just an idea.
But put Pauls link onto it as well if you can.

Susan Greenberg said...

Só I agree with Dicky. If you start a new thread then tweet it, it's likely to get more debate on the LTGDC comment sections. If they really are true to their word, then hopefully they will listen to all of our suggestions, and who knows, maybe we'll get some of what we want.
Susan Greenberg

ruth said...

I have tried to leave a couple of comments here but they have not appeared, not sure if I am doing something wrong?

More importantly, I spoke to the project manager for Hackney Wick Hub and the consultation is "drawing to a close" so they can submit their planning application to Hackney on 24 JUNE. At a push, she said, they will accept feedback until the end of this week - that is FRIDAY 17 JUNE.

Would it be a good idea to have a new post about the Hub letting people know that the consultation is about to close? I'm not sure people know it is so imminent.

I would be willing to write this, if that would be helpful. I am feeling very geared up about these new plans for Hackney Wick. Both excited and nervous.

Leabank Square said...

Hi Ruth

Sorry to have lost some of your other comments - I really have no idea what I did wrong.

We would love for you to write up a reminder for everyone to get their comments submitted. Please write as much as you want - all the pro's & con's. Give us Wickers as much info as you can.

You can either do it as a comment up here - and hope it get's through cycberspace - or send it as an email to - and I'll post it up as a new thread with a @hackneywick reminder to all Hackney Wick Twitter followers to retweet.

Hopefully this should get quite a few extra comments to the decision makers huh?

Thanks Ruth - I really appreciate your help.