Hackney Council to create fashion hub in Hackney Central

 Hackney Council has secured £5.3 million to make major improvements to the Hackney Central town centre area. The funding will develop a new fashion retail hub which has the potential to create up to 200 jobs for local people whilst attracting visitors and investment to the borough. Press release over here:  http://apps.hackney.gov.uk/servapps/newspr/NewsReleaseDetails.aspx?id=2338


  1. Thanks for that. Very interesting, particularly the bit about, \The Council is also planning to go into partnership with Network Rail in their development of twelve empty arches in Morning Lane. The new funding will ensure that the spaces are fitted out to a high quality specification suitable for fashion retail units cafés and restaurants. Work will also be done to improve the arches’ connection to the wider town centre.” Sounds great!”

  2. I do hope they tackle the arch conversions with a design approach less like Mentmore Terrace E8 and more like this in Southwark;http://i1175.photobucket.com/albums/r621/BenjaminCounsell/DSC00493.jpg

  3. many thanks Benjamin!

  4. many thanks Benjamin!

  5. This as well as the improvements to Hackney central are part of a grant from the Mayor’s office, I believe. Part of the bid too was to re-create the walkway between Hackney Downs and Hackney central stations which existed pre-war. That would be a great positive for the area, for very little cost. It is really needed too, especially if TFL takes over the Chingford and Enfield lines as planned and of course for when Crossrail 2 finally arrives – albeit in about 20 years.

  6. @gavinredknap \…the walkway between Hackney Downs and Hackney central stations which existed pre-war”. I’ve not heard of this before. How would/did that work?”

  7. Hi Gavin, Many thanks for that! I found a link about the pre war walkway with pictures of the old station here. http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/h/hackney/index.shtml and more about the investments to Hackney Central here http://hackneycentrallabour.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/investing-in-hackney-central-station.htmlThe walk way seems to makes sense..and would be very positive indeed. Very impressive! M”

  8. Hi Benjamin, Don’t know how it would work but it has worked pre war,so it seems… have you checked the links i sent earlier…gives some clarity albeit not much? Should be easy to reinstall though…

  9. This is from the Team Hackney Communications Working Group \The borough has submitted a funding bid to the TLA to improve the Hackney Central Area.  Plans include:Walkway between Hackney Downs and Hackney Central An outlet village in Morning Lane – building on the Burberry store which currently attracts a million customers a year A large community consultation will be undertaken soon.” You can download the document via this link https://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&safe=off&biw=1513&bih=927&sclient=psy-ab&q=team+hackney+communication+working+group&oq=team+hackney+communication+working+group&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_l=serp.3…5784l15218l0l15680l40l40l0l0l0l0l545l7133l19j4j3j3j6j2l37l0.llsin.&pbx=1&bav=on.2or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.cf.osb&fp=c9c60352742f0a6c “

  10. As to how it works – well they’d basically have to put a tunnel along the siding (the old map seems to show it on the southern platform) with a set of stairs built upto platform level at Hackney Downs. I cant imagine that would be particularly difficult from an engineering point of view, and Im sure it would get past the opposition to it from a few local residents. Hackney downs is perhaps 100 metres from central along the siding there. If they really are serious about bringing back Hackney Central to its former glory, it also makes sense to re-extend the platform so it is accessible from the old building. I was there last night and there’s no evidence of work to do that as yet.

  11. Thanks @markolondon12 and @gavinredknap So much info. I had no idea. I’ll keep my ear to the ground.

  12. I walked past the archways on Saturday and they already seem to being cleared out. I was wondering if they were thinking of starting up shops there.

  13. see the press release here Patrick   http://apps.hackney.gov.uk/servapps/newspr/NewsReleaseDetails.aspx?id=2338….the thread has lots of info too…”

  14. I bumped into officials on Chatham Place/Morning Lane this morning with plans and drawings of what the arches are going to look like. I cheekily asked if i could have a look and the artists impressions look amazing. Modern, bright with a new small building erected by the tunnel to St John’s. Looked great.How exciting!

  15. @markolondon12 you didn’t happen to get a date of expected completion did you?

  16. no i didn’t get a date.. but i assume they would want to ( try) be done by the end of July for the Olympics as the torch goes down Morning Lane..

  17. Pringle of Scotland signage has just gone up on the old Duke of Wellington.

  18. And Pringle are now advertising for an Outlet Store Manager (closing date 21st Sept.).If anyone’s interested;http://www.retailchoice.com/JobSearch/JobDetails.aspx?JobId=54515757

  19. The planning application for the railway arches conversion has finally been submitted;2012/2585\Change of use of arches at 189-201 Morning Lane from industrial and storage (B1 and B8 uses) to retail (A1 use). Installation of new shopfronts erection of two single storey detached kiosks for retail use (A1 use) landscaping refuse/recycling facilities and bicycle parking.”http://apps.hackney.gov.uk/servapps/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/Generic/StdDetails.aspx?PT=Planning%20Applications%20On-Line&TYPE=PL/PlanningPK.xml&PARAM0=179360&XSLT=/servapps/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/SiteFiles/Skins/Hackney/xslt/PL/PLDetails.xslt&FT=Planning%20Application%20Details&PUBLIC=Y&XMLSIDE=/servapps/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/SiteFiles/Skins/Hackney/Menus/PL.xml&DAURI=PLANNINGIt’s another one by David Adjaye who also has another application for works in Chatham Place across the road.”

  20. I just spoke to some official in Chatham Place about Chatham Works, opposite Burberry and yes…. Pringle…. That whole building is going to be Aquascutum’s brand new luxury outlet as they say in their ad to attract supervisors…..http://www.retailchoice.com/CompanyBrowse/Aquascutum_Vacancies_c144801.html The excitement is all too much! “

  21. @markolondon12 Blimey! I thought Aquascutum had gone into administration. Glad to be wrong.

  22. Interesting article on the fashion hub in the Financial Times (free registration);http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/47216c22-1493-11e2-aa93-00144feabdc0.html#axzz29Rm5JQfOIt includes a 5min vid;http://video.ft.com/v/1897136321001

  23. And this appeared on BBC London news last night;http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-19971500(Apparently Pringle is opening “next week”)”

  24. Pringle has opened today. If you’re into their stuff.. they’re giving a 10% discount today to local… go grab your voucher from the bouncer.

  25. Thanks for that @markolondon12Hackney Hive have an informative article on the upcoming public consultation for the Chatham Works element of the hub. It also has some CGIs of the development which I haven’t seen before;http://www.hackneyhive.co.uk/index/2012/10/date-for-consultation-on-new-fashion-hub-in-chatham-works-announced/

  26. This is going to like a Bicester village in Hackney, I really hope they have thought about how much traffic and parking  will be added to an already congested area, I have already seen some very bad driving from oversized silver Mercedes and BMWs!

  27. @Tom-Massey You’re right, it will be a bit like Bicester village, but that’s why I find this development so interesting – usually these outlet \village” places are in remote locations where high-end brands’ affluent customers normally wouldn’t bother to travel to. But Hackney is a rapidly gentrifying inner London area and I can’t help but wonder whether in a few years shoppers who would normally buy their full price gear in prime West End will simply jump in a cab to Hackney. Locating in Hackney could be a mistake for these brands – but would their loss be Hackney’s gain?The FT video touched on this question;http://video.ft.com/v/1897136321001

  28. Is this for real?http://www.hackneyhaute.com/Having had a look at the wording, methinks it a joke.

  29. Looks like quite an elaborate joke! I have not read anywhere about this level of development. Strangely, someone has put in quite a lot of effort to put the fashion map together. I think using language such as \sexy ghetto” is both provocative and insensitive. The “investor opportunity” link also sets off some alarm bells. They have provided a lot of truths but the rest has to be fantasy. Still if someone had mentioned a few years  ago that we would have Burberry Pringle & Aquascutum in Hackney it may have looked equally ridiculous. The map highlights Cartier for Q2 2013 on Mare Street. Could this be the shop that is currently being refurbished near Ladbrokes on Mare Street on the corner with Morning Lane?:-)”

  30. The site was put together by Microsplash http://www.microsplash.org \MicroSplash is a workshop event bringing together website makers to build simple smart political or otherwise intriguing micro-sites. Over the course of one day we’ll setup a series of new online info points on various debates.”

  31. @feeno I’m pretty sure that corner is in the process of becoming a Foxtons estate agent;http://www.yeahhackney.com/foxtons-estate-agents-coming-to-mare-street/

  32. So Hackneyhaute.com is a fabricated experimental web site produced at a Microsplash event? Gosh, that site should have come with a time wasting disclaimer! Who can I sue? :-)The space is definitely more suited to an estate agents. Not the prettiest of buildings, but had the best reflective glass on the street – great for avoiding traffic that swooped around quickly from behind!Has anyone moved in to the old Hamilton Fox space yet? I must remember to look the next time I walk by.

  33. This on the other hand looks real:\David Adjaye has been brought in by developer Harry Handelsman to design a major new fashion hub on east London’s Olympic fringe.”From http://www.bdonline.co.uk/news/adjaye-to-design-major-fashion-hub-for-olympic-fringe/5050987.article

  34. I need to register to access that article, but plans by Adjaye were put in ages ago for the arches and the Aquascutum building and the development behind it (Chatham Works?)

  35. All is explained on the http://www.hackneyfashionhub.co.uk website. Consultations for locals will take place on the 12th and 13th. It’s all happening

  36. Thanks @markolondon12 But I don’t really understand how they’re selling this as \proposals” open to “consultation” when the plans have been approved months ago.”

  37. The events are billed as: COME AND SEE THE PROPOSALS AT OUR PUBLIC DROP-IN EVENTS:WED 13 MARCH 2013 – 2PM–7.30PMTrelawney Estate Community Hall, Belsham Street, E9 6PQTHUR 14 MARCH 2013 – 2PM–7PMSt Luke’s Church, Woodbine Terrace, E9 6RT They are not specifically sold as a consultation, only the project address mentions consultation not the events themselves.

  38. Then again, in addition to the Adjaye stuff that’s already been appoved, maybe there’s proposals I’m yet to know about? I’ve just seen this article on Hackney Hive (which has a CGI of the arches development) and it mentions that the “proposals comprise two new buildings” and goes on;”The proposal will be linked with Railway Arches on Morning Lane which are currently being refurbished. The combination of these two developments will include a café and restaurant new retail space set over five and seven floors plus basement and design studios where up-and-coming local designers can showcase and sell their products.”I guess this might be a consultation after all. I’ll have to go along.Fashion hub arches

  39. This is the site outline in Google maps, sent from the developers: https://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?msid=207704986238276962665.0004d71afe0e118531759&msa=0 Manhattan Loft Corporation has developed some of London’s most renowned developments. Work includes the restoration of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel Soho Lofts in Wardour Street Soho W1 No 1 West India Quay in Canary Wharf E14 Bankside Lofts neighbouring the Tate Modern in SE1 Ealing Studios in Ealing Green W5 and it is currently working on a staggering new skyscraper in Stratford Manhattan Loft Gardens. To find out more visit Manhattan Loft Corporation. http://manhattanloft.co.uk Chatham Works Ltd is a family investment vehicle. We are experienced fashion retailers and through the Bloomsbury Group own various retail businesses. We work closely with the fashion industry and designers and are using our key connections to attract some of the most highprofile fashion retailers to Hackney.

  40. @ewebber That outline just looks like what has already been developed (or at least what plans have already been approved) ie Pringle, the corner shop and upper floors on the opposite corner, and the Aquascutum building and the former light industrial building behind which already has permission for an Adjaye conversion.I can’t see how that outline could include new buildings of 5 and 7 storeys as reported by Hackney Hive. There is one plot available at the eastern end of the Morning Lane arches behind some advertising hoardings – but that’s just a guess.There’s only one way to find out and that’s for me to go to the event.

  41. @benjamin that link represents what the company doing the \consultation” is calling their site. They have a contact form on their site so you could ask for further clarification.”

  42. You’re right @ewebber They’re planning on demolishing the former Duke of Wellington (now Pringle) and their recently developed buildings opposite. Quite a surprise. More on Hackney Gazette.”

  43. Some facts about whats happening on Morning lane and Hackney Fashion Hub Arches..All local businesses forced out from the arches by Network Rail..They have been scared by law-sharks with court letters, bailiffs etc..Rents are sky high (already) in the area..There is only one garage left fighting with eviction called Sutherland Motors by Ponsford Road.This business established in 1946 and trading since.One of the first MOT garage in London.Training up to 5 apprentices a year and feeding 6 families.Network Rail offers only £16000 (sixteen-thousand) to them to move out. They obviously refused it and fighting their case on court. You may never hear their stories since MP`s and Newspapers (they have contacted) are keeping it hush hush..If you ever walk around that area pop-in to Sutherland Motors and give them your support.

  44. I am starting to get worried about the way that the regeneration in Hackney is going. i fear we will end up in a  situation where nothing useful is left – only cafes and high end shops, or charity shops. Rents too high for shops that sell/do useful things, like the garage mentioned above.

  45. re: comment by studio75: I agree. As evidence witness what happened to the Westgate Centre, south of London Fields. A dry-cleaners, a dog-kennels, an ironmonger, a baker, a florist, a recycling business, an import/export business, a food caterer – all gone. Only one of these small businesses has been able to relocate in Hackney so their skills, talents and the employment they provided are no longer available in the area. Useful shops that sell and do useful things for everyone are being discouraged by the council, it seems. We are promised B1 units in their place, but the area is already littered with B1 units, the majority of which have been empty for years. I fear that Hackney is becoming a place where unless you set up a cafe, a bar, a high-end clothes shop, a night club, or a hi-tech business (what’s that?) you are not welcome.

  46. The new building being planned isnt itself displacing anyone, just taking over land occupied by what are currently outlets (though it does of course mean the loss of the old pub which is a shame as it is a decent building that was being put to use). That said, it will bring jobs and people with money to hackney, though it is a sightly odd juxtaposition between Well Street and mare Street. Gentrification means that you will see a change in the sort of things offered on the high street – many of the businesses leaving are simply not able to afford the rents that businesses coming in to service the middle classes are prepared to pay. If anyone’s guilty in this, its the people that have moved into the area. Towns and cities change through time; you can be sure that the shops on Mare street would have been seriously more upmarket 100 years ago. The thing to really avoid in this process is the clone-town effect, but I see no evidence of that whatsoever, indeed, looking at the opposition to the Three Sisters being part of a small chain is evidence of the fact that those sort of businesses might find it tough in the immediate area.

  47. I don’t think you can even say individuals are guilty – they might feel guilty (especially Guardian-reading liberals!), but it’s the cumulative actions of thousands of unrelated, unconnected people on higher incomes. I’m not anti Fashion Hub, but my view is that the council, as master planners, should be doing more to counter displacement like this, being more bullish with developers and negotiating a better deal for longer term residents/businesses. Is that naive?

  48. http://www.hackneyfashionhub.co.uk/pdf/Hackney-boards_FINAL.pdf This is what they want to build…. 2 7 story buildings on the site of the pub and the building opposite, corner  Morning Lane/ Chatham Place.Not sure about all this….. is it to regenerate an area which seems to heal itself already or is it to showcase a famous architect… in two minds about this..Either way local residents are not the main objective.. it is greed.

  49. That depends how you define \greed” @markolondon12 Virtually all development is motivated by a desire to make as much money as possible – including the building of our much-loved Georgian and Victorian housing stock. Local residents may not be the main objective but the development should bring some much needed jobs into the area and some moneyed people whose spending would hopefully improve matters for other local businesses.My view is that it is a shame to lose those two corner buildings as they are probably the nicest on the road. I would have preferred to see the demolition of the block opposite or the redevelopment of the buildings and vacant plot at the other end of the arches.That said I think this proposal brings to Hackney more than it takes away (although I do hope that anyone forced to move from the arches gets reasonable compensation). But I was expecting a little more from Adjaye whose work I’m generally an admirer of.”

  50. Over 30 businesses forced to move without being relocated or compensated.The question is; Is the re-generation for the local community or for the property owners.Hackney has been reducing local housing while the demand has been increasingover the years now the aim is on local businesses on the high street and in the arches.Hackney council has millions of pounds in overseas accounts gaining interest.and rail track is a billion pound private corporation.Do these organisations need funding from taxpayers???Re-generation should be for local community and for local businesses.Hackney fashion hub (as seen on the plans) will not createany jobs or any skilled jobs for local people.Over 200 employees lost their skilled jobs without any redundancy or compensation.Hackney needs investments for local youths. The fashion college generally attractsmiddle class students from affluent areas of London and overseas.WHat re-generetion offers to local youth is a very small space to excibit their works.There is no promise of any apprenticeships or any platform to help these students further their careers.The only beneficery to this project seems to be corporate landlords receiving grantsto improve their properties so that they can gain more profits by charging high rent commercialproperties; which they should be maintaining to high standards anywayand have been neglecting for decades hence the state of Hackney.

  51. Can’t help but wonder whether the Fashion Hub is the incentive Tesco needs to rekindle their past plans for Morning Lane;tesco morning lane

  52. GavinRedknap says: “The thing to really avoid in this process is the clone-town effect but I see no evidence of that whatsoever…” Has he been to central Dalston recently? Dalston is beginning to look like Croydon – blank high tower-blocks with vast windswept concreted areas below – it’s staggering how Croydon Council and its planners got away with it (and a lot of those blocks especially the office blocks are now empty). The buildings in Dalston that were demolished to build the current blocks especially the Dalston Colosseum/Theatre were architectural gems from the 19th century which were at the heart of the community extremely popular and used. Over the years the council let them rot by not seeing them as worth preserving not seeing them as an asset to Dalston. It would have been within the imaginative insight of council planners to save and refurbish these buildings and integrate them into its plans for regeneration. Planning decision after decision from the council seems to suggest that it wants to completely forget about its past by demolishing it. Perhaps the council is embarrassed by the borough’s past? The council has also just approved a planning application for more high tower blocks at 67a – 71 Dalston Lane. More clone-town Croydonisation – which also evicts businesses and other organisations which have been established there for years. The plans for two seven-storey blocks for the ‘fashion hub’ at Morning Lane/Chatham Place may put fire in the belly of planners and architects who want to build their idea of a setting for a hi-tech science-fiction film but time after time surveys always show that people don’t actually want to live in high tower blocks – whether those people asked are young and single or families. Think of the architectural disasters of the 1960s and ’70s which came about because planners thought that people would actually enjoy being part of some space-age experiment – cloned boxes in the sky. Think about Holly Street. And once again the past (the Duke of Wellington pub one of the most attractive small buildings along its road) will be demolished. Not integrated made the most of and celebrated but demolished. New building is fine but much is being forgotten about what made Hackney one of the most interesting quirky creative enlightened cosy and liveable places in London. Buildings are what we look at every day what we are often forced to live with and the older they are the more interesting they tend to be. New and old should be able to live next to each other whether new-influx populations next to established generations of residents or shiny glass and concrete blocks next to centuries-old theatres. The most thriving exciting world cities do this so why can’t this part of London? We’ve tried this social housing experiment before and demolished much of our past as a result. Hackney Council needs to re-think its policy on urban redevelopment or else…welcome to Croydon.(No offence to those who live in Croydon of course!)”

  53. @bille8 When you speak of  \Croydonisation” do you just mean tall modern buildings?I agree with you that “New and old should be able to live next to each other whether new-influx populations next to established generations of residents or shiny glass and concrete blocks next to centuries-old” – but unfortunately many opposition groups attempt (sometimes successfully) to block them as they deem them “out of context” and instead insist on low-rise brick-clad blocks which stunt housing supply and therefore add to the inflationary pressure on housing. “time after time surveys always show that people don’t actually want to live in high tower blocks”I’m not sure if that is true. It surely depends on what options they are given. Personally I’d like to live in a detached mansion in central London with acres of grounds but personal preferences rarely make good planning policies. That said many people enjoy living in high-rise with their fantastic views and away from the noise and pollution.”

  54. I wasnt making a point about architectural cloning, it was about clone stores. Now you come to mention it, though, I would have to say that Dalston is nothing like Croydon. Dalston has a decent mix of old and new and those mid rise currently there and the one on the drawing board look high quality to me. If people didnt want to live there they wouldnt be snapping the places up off plan like they have. You cant compare modern private mid rise with 60s council mid rise – the two are totally different. London in the very near future will be chock a block with high quality mid rise, and frankly, its needed.

  55. I can’t help but agree with the way of thinking that the photo uploaded by benjamin suggests. Set a building precedent and they will all come claiming that the area is full of tall blocks anyway. This point of view is regularly used by planners, eg the tall block that will be built on the Westgate Centre site on Westgate Street is as tall as three existing tall buildings and the London Fields Primary School. So that’s OK then?Tesco will not be so easily defeated in its high-rise block plans this time if the ‘fashion-hub’ plans get through unmodified. It has happened in Dalston Central, it has begun to happen around London Fields, and it will happen in Morning Lane.

  56. @BillE8 More homes in a housing shortage?!! Sounds terrible. There’s already tall buildings opposite Tesco anyway;Morning Lane

  57. Wow that is one ugly building, with some weird blue coloured bit.

  58. I wish that the Evening Standard would stop calling them ‘disused railways arches’. Yes, empty now – but up until recently home to well-established businesses serving the local community.

  59. Calling arches `disused` is part of their PR strategy. Most people (in fact %99 of them) who read the article will think that this is a very good development. There was an eviction taking place last Friday on Ponsford Road at Sutherland Motors. Last remaining garage (open since 1945) has been closed by network rail bailiff and transport police. So 8 more local people lost their job without a notice. Network rail did not let them to get their equipment, cars, machinery, even clothes from the business. So far over 200 people lost their jobs. Lets see how many local people will get a job when this £100 million project finishes.

  60. Why does Hackney Council seem to believe that more cafes, bars and florists will regenerate Hackney?

  61. @BillE8 I believe their thinking is that with more fashion shops, restaurants and cafes, the moneyed people who currently come here to shop at Burberry’s etc will have reason to stop, explore and spend in the locality rather than jumping straight back into a car/coach.

  62. Very interesting, particularly in relation to \the Council also plans to enter the partnership the new funding will ensure that the space is equipped with a high-quality specifications in the the its development twelve empty arch morning Lane railway network. Suitable for the fashion retailunits cafes and restaurants. working will also improve the arches connected to the wider city center. “very good! Trusted central Heating Repairs London

  63. @benjamin  Hold on tightly to that belief. Wasn’t the Ocean on Mare Street another ‘wing and a prayer’ attempt to do the same? Millions spent on it by the Council but we ended up with nothing to show for the investment for years on the site, so millions lost. The Council loves big money schemes, and tends to ignore smaller, focused and more economically sustainable schemes. I’d rather the £1.5 million was spent on The Narroway.area and useful help for its businesses so that it becomes the real, lively ‘Heart of Hackney’ again, or the setting up of a few more small IT bases in the borough, or the establishment of a small-business bank with low business rates, or the reduction of parking rates for businesses, or the provision of a few more sports halls, or the refurbishment of community halls/centres, or the starting up of a borough-wide work-skills apprenticeship base, or being used to support the Hackney Empire in its community outreach and apprenticeship programmes (I hear the venue is in financial trouble again), or a myriad of other, much-needed and less risk-averse schemes. £1.5 million can go a long way if spent wisely. And will the supposed infux of international shoppers really spend their cash in the locality? After all, the reason they come here at the moment, and will come here, is to save money on buying cut-price designer clothes. They will not be the supremely wealthy Bond Street-type clientele, but the ‘looking-for-a-bargain’ clientele. (My mother, and a lot of my friends, are looking forward to ‘buying and leaving’ at Morning Lane – all are expert shoppers.) They will not waste their money in expensive restaurants, cafes and bars – they are much too canny to do that. We can’t regenerate an area, and a whole borough, on the flimsy hopes that they may buy a coffee or grab a sandwich in the area. It doesn’t matter how attractive, hip, organic, high-end or various the new cafes, restaurants, florists or bars will be – the whole ethos of the scheme is to sell designer brands cheaply. Never underestimate the customer – they will buy and leave, as they do now. Hackney should not sell itself as the new Bond Street – it’s better than that.

  64. …and the proposed buildings’ designs are some of the dullest, most monolithic, most soulless, most deadening I’ve seen for a while. Welcome to ‘Croydon’.

  65. @BillE8 I would have thought that anyone wealthy enough to buy clobber at Burberry’s, Pringle etc (even at their reduced prices coats can cost up to £1,000) wouldn’t have any trouble paying the bill at one of the new cafe/restaurants. But time will tell.

  66. @benjamin  ‘Time will tell’ is rather a defeatist, lie-down-and-take-it reaction to what is planned on Morning Lane. The plans are hastily thought out and typical of the ‘stars in their eyes’ attitude shown by Council planners recently. Shiny baubles…oooh…look how they shine.

  67. Well the real reason for the outlet village is that Burberry are there and are a natural anchor. Others have followed suit, and as much as MOT garages are useful, they don’t create network externalities in the way that a retailer does. I too find the mixing of high and low end slightly odd, especially on an ugly morning lane versus lovely narrow way, but don’t confuse private enterprise with Stalinist-style local government here.

  68. And please stop rattling on about Croydon, eh?

  69. @BillE8 I don’t know how long the council have been planning this, or whether it has been \hastily thought out” but I would have thought that encouraging more wealthy people to shop and giving them reason to stay in an area where they already come to but soon leave has an obvious logic about it. But no-one can prove absolutely that it will be a success. If one had to prove success before taking on a venture no shop would ever open and nothing would ever get done.I think the central problem with the Narroway is that it is at certain times of day effectively a highly polluted bus queuing bay because of the bus depot at Bohemia Place. I seem to remember some years ago TfL saying it was “impossible” to move the depot but they may have moved from that position since. But I can’t see any significant movement there until the situation with the buses changes.”

  70. The Narroway is being looked at, with buses instead continuing down Dalston Lane and left at the Pembury. Will be interesting to see how it improves the Narroway and how detrimental it is to the \diversion” area”

  71. @damian Where did you hear that? People have been talking about the problem of the bus congestion in the Narroway for many years to no avail, so I’d be (pleasantly) surprised if the solution were that simple. Is this definite?

  72. A rumour I’ve heard

  73. Ahh. I shan’t hold my breath then – (except when walking down the Narroway).

  74. for a start they’d have to get rid of the pedestrian island by the pembury – there’s no way a double decker could turn into that angle as is.

  75. It would be great if the fashion hub has a positive impact on the Narroway. Of all the areas in Hackney – I think it ‘s the only one that has gone backwards rather than forwards in terms of regeneration. Even LCR is leaving it behind. The Narroway is plagued with betting shops, pawnbrokers, money lenders…..All the shops are closed by 6 PM and with all the shutters down it has a soulless, choking and intimidating atmosphere. The St Johns Church detour is a life saver.I really cannot see the Narroway  changing positively until it’s pedestrianised. A big brain storming session is certainly needed on how to re-route these buses – I can’t see Dalston Lane coping with the additional bus volume even if the pedestrian island was removed. I think in a few years when the fashion hub is in full swing with hopefully big improvements to nearby streets – it will place a bigger spotlight on the inadequacies of the Narroway. Over a century ago this  street or Church Street as it was called then, offered so much more. Maybe we need to start a discussion on how to improve the Narroway – the one for LCR seemed to have worked a few miracles!

  76. @feeno  Could you inform me about ‘LCR’? I’m in the dark.

  77. @GavinRedknap  What are \network externalities”? I giggle at the way you express simple ideas with tech-speak. And the ‘Croydon’ reference stays – allusions beat tech-speak hands down. High fashion loves allusions and imagery – that’s why they are so successful in selling their messages …and attracting hard-at-heel councils to support their big plans. Shiny baubles.”

  78. @BillE8 the site is full of discussions on \LCR” – Lower Clapton Road  – within last 12 months.  LCR has seen the emergence of Dreyfus Blue Tit White Hart Hunt & Darton 119 LCR etc and the potential redevelopment of Windsor Castle and others. There’s obviously still plenty more room for improvement but in comparison  to the Narroway things have at least started to change and that’s my point. Neither of these streets are going to attract Tech businesses or Biotech companies to begin with and we should encourage any positive change. What’s the alternative? More betting shops kebab shops pawn shops pound shops….? I think most of us have seen enough of them to last us a life time.”

  79. @feeno – I agree with your comparison, although to be fair, LCR still has quite a few of the business you mention! By the way, have you heard about the shopfront improvements scheme that’s going ahead on Mare St/Narroway and Clarence Road? If you search on the planning section of the Hackney Gov website, you’ll see the new designs for a number of existing shops. There are about a dozen currently going through the planning application process and around 30 businesses will benefit overall. I think this will go some way towards giving these streets the lift they desperately need, and once the general appearance of Mare St is improved, then hopefully a more diverse range of businesses will begin to open along that stretch as it should feel like the area is on the up. I just wish more of the riot funds could have been diverted into this scheme – just half a million so far – as all the businesses in this area need all the help they can get. I have concerns about the fashion hub – in particular the loss of so many existing businesses and the demolition of characterful buildings – but ultimately I think the scheme will benefit Hackney and have a positive effect on the surrounding area owing to the increased footfall. I just hope the council and developers keep to their word about ensuring 200 jobs go to locals and that the new affordable workshops and units they’re proposing remain that way, not just for the first few years.

  80. @jason LCR has certainly a number of businesses that do not have a positive impact on the local community but there seems to be positive change (which is not the case for the Narroway at the moment) and any business that can open in place of a betting shop for example is very welcome. I have read and seen the plans for the shopfront revamps. I’m a bit mixed mind on this as I believe these shop owners should be investing their own funds in bettering the aesthetics of their business and possibly this riot money should have went to benefiting local youth and dealing with gang culture. A lot of these changes are pretty much common sense – a few street planners making a quick buck on advice that is pretty simple – such as making window displays bigger, less crap on the windows, less colours, less PVC – less is more motto – common sense to me. Better signage is certainly welcome and anything that spreads business from the fashion hub would be great.I’m excited as anybody about a better looking high street – but what preventions will be in place to maintain this standard? I think this is forced regeneration as opposed to organic regeneration which is happening elsewhere without public investment of fashion hubs.

  81. @jason  I can’t agree with you more about your concerns over the cut-price fashion hub plans on Morning Lane. The plans seem to me to inherently unsustainable. They may work for a few years, but then fashion, fickle thing that it is, will change, and another borough closer to central London and easier to travel to by the international shopping tourists (Islington? Camden?) will cotton on, leaving only the flats remaining over failing shops, bars, cafes and florists. The big plans will become the embarrassment of the neighbourhood. We will be left with a lot of new flats: fair enough – the borough needs new flats, although the bulk of the planned blocks is overwhelming and essentially ugly – but eventually we will also be left with empty commercial units. The Council will then change the commercial use so that the chain supermarkets move in. Does Morning Lane want a Sainsbury’s? Aren’t there enough chain supermarkets in the area when Tesco is just up the road? This is what happened to Cordwainer House on lower Mare Street: after four years of empty B1 units no business wanted to set up there (too remote from a tube, too far from Hackney Central), so the planning committee decided to agree to a Sainsbury’s setting up in a few of the units. Granted, one chiropodist moved in also – and very good it is too. Unwanted B1 units are the scourge of mixed-use developments in Hackney – flats above, B1 units below – reflecting the Council’s hopes, not reality. (Hang on a few more years, the economy is bound to repair itself!) There are still boarded up B1 units at the bottom of Cordwainer House, years after it was built. Sheep Lane, Well Street, The Triangle, Triangle Road likewise. Soon it will be the turn of residents of the top of Sheep Lane and Bocking Street to stare out at empty B1 units for the next few years (see the plans for the new development on the once busy, small business-filled Westgate Centre). The Planning Department at Hackney Council seems unable to plan its own streets to create sustainable communities.And the ‘promised’ 200 jobs for locals seems a huge amount of jobs unless a ‘promise’ can be financially and legally tied down.The riot funds have been unequally divided in my opinion. The Narroway will get some new shopfronts and perhaps the street will get new pavements and trees and few more bike stands. Even the buses may be diverted, although I don’t hold my breath on that front: I remember a public, much-publicised consultation on the Narroway buses problem six years ago; the Council response to the overwhelming public opinion that the buses should be diverted was ‘We see the problem but we can do nothing about it’. Aren’t these plans for The Narroway the very definition of facade? Aren’t these refurbishments merely an impression of regeneration? Wasn’t the post-riot message one of sustainability and real, useful, jobs-producing regeneration? Invest and reap the benefits by all means, but unequal amounts of money spent on cut-price high-end fashion outlets will provide shiny, tall glass blocks and empty shops …and cafes and florists and bars which will make a fast buck but last for less than a half decade. I’d rather have MOT businesses and car workshops which make reasonable money for their workers and owners over decades. A sustainable, thriving, established, cut-price fashion hub? – isn’t this an oxymoron?

  82. Hi @feeno – I take your points, but I’m not sure I’d agree the revamp scheme is forced regeneration as such – I feel it’s as legitimate a route as any other really. The area has been badly hit post-riots and by the arrival of Westfield – I think it’s only right that the council help these struggling businesses, especially given that High Street shopping is under threat anyway thanks to the internet boom . Also, as I understand it, preferential funding has been given to those business owners who have put in money themselves, so I guess in most cases, the shop owners are investing in their own businesses. You’re right that improved shop displays are common sense to some extent, but I think the plans go a bit further than that. In most cases shopfronts are being completely rebuilt, original features restored, plus the business owners are getting retail training – knowledge and expertise that will hopefully enable to them to take their own businesses forward. I think these are all measures that will not only help individual businesses thrive, but will also serve as a definite statement of intent for the area – ie that it is changing for the better. With any luck, the improvements will encourage the surrounding businesses to up their game and attract newcomers.

  83. Here is the confirmation of the plans to pedestrianise the Narrow Way https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/narrow-way

  84. Many thanks for this @damian I have started a new topic over here;http://www.yeahhackney.com/pedestrianisation-of-mare-street-narroway/

  85. A planning application has just been submitted for 88 – 96 Morning Lane Chatham Works (1, 2 & 3 Ram Place) Chatham Place  (2013/1825);”Demolition of existing buildings and erection of a part 8 and part 4 storey building and erection of a part 2 and part 8 storey building comprising an approximate total of 8026sqm (GEA) of retail (Class A1) floorspace 589sqm (GEA) of cafe and restaurant (A1/A3 sui generis) floorspace 835sqm (GEA) of mixed business and retail (B1/A1 sui generis) floorspace with 7 storey media façade refuse and recycling facilities cycle storage delivery bays roof terraces and plant with various landscaping and associated external works. “Drawings not available yet – but does anyone know what they mean by “media façade”?Piccadilly Circus comes to Hackney?”

  86. google>media facade=fling ( flash & bling)

  87. Quite.

  88. The latest press release from the developers looks like this: full word doc can be downloaded by clicking here

  89. There is also a petition to stop the planning permission and discussion over on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hackneyfashionhubpetition

  90. @ewebber That image has been around since the consultation. The media facade isn’t visible from that view. If you look at page 6 of the consultation boards you can (just about) see the seven-storey media facade;http://hackneyfashionhub.co.uk/pdf/Hackney-boards.pdfBut they’ve also submitted an application (2013/0724) to retain the corner building currently with two shops (the building they recently painted black) and convert it into one swanky shop to look like this;http://idox.hackney.gov.uk/WAM/doc/Drawing-384088.pdf?extension=.pdf&id=384088&location=VOLUME1&contentType=&pageCount=1I can only assume they’re planning on doing this in phases and will demolish the Pringle shop/Duke of Wellington first and have the black shop as a stop-gap measure. But it seems like a large sum of money to be spending on a temporary shop. “

  91. This was the press release they emailed out yesterday, so the latest I have seen.

  92. Hey…that image…Welcome to Croydon!

  93. That’s a new and imaginative perspective on it Bill. Thanks.

  94. No probs, Gav. Ta very much.

  95. A critique of the Fashion Hub from Ellen Grace Jones on Huffington Post;http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ellen-grace-jones/the-hackney-fashion-hub-a_b_3491275.html“A glossy image-control Band Aid over one of London’s desperately under-privileged areas. A Band Aid which will only rupture and burst as the boil of social-disparity seeps from underneath. Hackney’s gentrification is important but must happen slowly organically and with residents and local businesses in mind. In harmony with the vibrant multifarious community. My home.” She also claims that it will “will destroy the beautiful historical buildings like” the Gravel Pit Chapel. Am I wrong in thinking this is merely the site of the former chapel and that the only building on that site to be demolished is a 20th century light-industrial shed (the Aquascutum building)?”

  96. @benjamin I believe your assumption is correct. Some info on this church at http://www.ukunitarians.org.uk/pulse/heritage.shtmlI wonder what they will do with the Joseph Priestly plaque?I’m all in favour of regeneration and even mixing well designed high rise architecture with old heritage. However, I have never been in favour of demolishing the Old Duke of Wellington pub for luxury brand hanging rails. It’s a bit ironic to think that the site where Priestly would have preached about the perils of materialism, will now be engulfed by Gucci handbags and Prada shoes!I can’t help thinking there’s something quite sinister about this development. Maybe I’m wrong, and the architectural sacrifices are justified and results will be jobs and better prospects for the less fortunate within Hackney.

  97. @feeno Personally, I’m generally in favour of the whole idea, although I doubt it’ll have any significant benefit for the less well-off in Hackney. I believe it will however be an economic benefit to Hackney as a whole. I would have preferred to see other vacant sites in Morning Lane developed before the demolition of the former Duke of Wellington and corner shop opposite.I’ve only just noticed this proposed residential development to be built in front of the arches;http://www.fortehomesbow.co.uk/site/go/viewParticulars?propertyID=178009Morning LaneMorning LaneDoesn’t this hugely compromise the commercial viability of the arches it sits in front of?Seems odd to me.”

  98. I have an inkling that the less well off people in Hackney will derive much greater utility from this scheme than they do from Broadway and Chatsworth markets, and certainly far more than the boho ‘creatives’ who wouldnt be seen dead in Burberry and Prada, or Aquascutum, whatever that is.

  99. @benjamin I agree. This residential development would certainly dampen the commercial feel of the arches. It would have been nice to have a clear view of the arches from street level. Other commercial units would have been a better alternative and preferably a glass structure where the arches would not be visibly impeded. I think lots of people are trying to cash before the wrecking ball is anchored in place.

  100. Well its only outline permission and my guess is that a canny developer would change the development to commercial at least in part to take advantage of the wider work being done. Its going to be interesting to see how this all fits in with what’s going on in Narrow Way. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a wave of higher-priced shops quickly moving in over the next few months. It all just seems inevitable now. The rubicon has been crossed.

  101. @feeno @gavinredknapI still don’t understand why Hackney Planning gave it permission, at the end of last year, when it so severely compromises their pet project at the arches. Here’s the application.There’s also another similar development at the other end of the arches so it now looks as though around two-thirds of the arches will be obscured from street view by blocks of flats;http://idox.hackney.gov.uk/WAM/doc/Site%20Location%20Plan-366939.pdf?extension=.pdf&id=366939&location=VOLUME1&contentType=&pageCount=1Also doesn’t £750k seem very cheap for a site with permission of this scale (9 large flats and 4 commercials) in this location?http://www.fortehomesbow.co.uk/site/go/viewParticulars?propertyID=178009Regarding Mare St and Narrow Way – I guess it’s inevitable but I still think most companies are going to be reluctant to be the first to jump in. Besides the pedestrianisation is supposed to be only on trial at the moment. I’m assuming any new business would wait until it is officially permanent. But a shop has recently become available on the Narrow Way;http://www.johalregan.co.uk/agency/property.php?id=253I’ve noticed that someone has spent a lot of money on a shop on Mare St recently (the former solicitors I think – a few doors up from Foxtons).”

  102. Have to admit it does sound very cheap when you consider that a small plot in Lower Clapton which would have fitted a small house with very little garden was on the market for over 300 grand and the flats alone should go for over 4 million at current prices. The gentrification of the Narrow Way will happen. These things tend to be exponential in nature; one drives two, two drives four more and so on. It is in fact slightly odd that its happened in reverse in this case, with the fringes around gentrifying first and the really nice old town leaving it til last.

  103. No idea. Anyone got a spare £300 grand?

  104. About an hour ago I went for a walk down Chatham Place only to find it taped off by police outside Burberry’s. A bystander told me that a Chinese man exiting Burberry’s had been stabbed and robbed!

  105. Tweet from Hackney Council;“Planning permission for Hackney Fashion Hub has been granted.”

  106. Looks like it. I received this email from the Hackney Fashion Hub this morning: \Last night Hackney’s Planning Committee approved our plans for the Hackney Fashion Hub. The BBC has already reported this important milestone – you can read the article here:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-24469936 Now we can begin delivering on these important proposals that will deliver:

    • Hundreds of jobs
    • Apprenticeships and access to top-of-the-range equipment for local designers through our Stitching Academy
    • Assistance for local designers in finding workshop and retail space through the Hackney Fashion Hub Trust

    As ever there’s more information on our website http://www.HackneyFashionHub.com. And if you haven’t seen the video of local residents designers business owners and some of our partners who will help deliver the Stitching Academy you can see it here: Hackney Fashion Hub Video

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