high-rise at London Fields

This from the Hackney Citizen about a new high rise planned for London fields, the planning search on the Hackney Council appears to be not working right now, if someone can find the application details please add them to the thread:

More details over on Hackney Citizen and No Hackney High-Rise


  1. I’m not sure but I think it’s still at consultation stage. They have a public exhibition today at City Edge, 125-127 Mare St, 3-8pm.

  2. I’ve only seen an artists sketch of the proposal (on an information leaflet in the window of the Pub On The Park), but I reservedly approve of it. The developer is Southern Housing Group and the block height has already been halved(!) because of opposition (resulting in 20 units of social housing being lost). London needs housing desperately, and we need to address that shortage.

  3. @benjamin why do you think London needs housing desperately?

  4. @goodlegs It’s hardly a contentious assertion. I’m sure every planning office and economist in London would agree. Just basic observation of prices (amongst the highest in the world), room-sizes (amongst the smallest in the world), numbers on social-housing waiting lists (often forced to live in expensive bedsits with a baby), numbers who are priced out of home ownership (probably for life), all indicate that supply is wanting. That’s without factoring in that London’s population is expected to increase by 10% in the next decade. This notion that inner London boroughs should limit building height to that set in the 19th century is a dangerous one for London – economically, socially and environmentally.

  5. Here’s a quick overview; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12732480
    You could try the IPPR report mentioned in the article if you’re into something really dry;

  6. \reducing the number of new homes from 78 to 58″
    “resulting in 20 units of social housing being lost”

    Is it true that the change in plans resulted in drops in only affordable units? What % of the development is affordable housing?”

  7. @goodlegs You’re quite right; that was a hasty presumption on my part. If I remember I’ll ask at the exhibition later today. But we need housing of all types anyway, and 20 fewer homes cannot be viewed as a good thing.

  8. Its also worth remembering that you do not need to build tower blocks to achieve high density. The densest urban areas in the world are medium-rise.

  9. @euan That seems to defy the laws of physics. It would depend on how you built these medium-rise buildings (how is \medium-rise” defined these days? About 10 storeys?). If you built a number of blocks cheek-by-jowl then maybe you could achieve higher densities than a single high-rise with space around it but I would have thought this arrangement would be found in third-world urban areas where there’s little planning regs (Gaza?). If developers could achieve higher density on a site by building lower commercial logic would indicate that that is what they would propose.”

  10. I walked by the proposed area today. It’s another one right next to the rail.

    @benjamin what was the outcome from the exhibition/meeting?

  11. @staystylish I only popped in briefly. I did ask someone what proportion of the lost 20 homes were social, but didn’t get a clear answer (to be fair I think I was asking the wrong person – someone from the company organising the consultation rather than SHG architect). Personally, I’m in favour of it. It seems a sensible use of a sizeable brownfield site that provides some much needed housing. They want to include some kind of commercial space on the ground floor but are nervous that it might remain empty so are open to any ideas/preferences. My main reservation is my usual pet hate; the use of brick on an otherwise modern building. But I fear such considerations will be lost in the noise regarding its size.

  12. @goodlegs according to a comment on the original article

    The southern Housing Group proposal provides 56 dwellings: 42 are for private sale 8 are affordable housing (shared ownership) and 6 are social housing”

  13. Only 8 are affordable housing?? Urgh! It’s hard enough to get on the list (i’ve been on the share ownership approved list for 1.5 years but have yet got picked for any flats I’ve applied for).

    London Fields prices has gone up so high and with the \luxury apartments” too on Reading Lane and the torn-down-pub-now-posh-300k-flats on Middleton Rd (park end) it seems to me it’s more a real estate investment rather than really suiting housing needs. 42 private sale they’re going to make an absolute killing!

  14. @staystylish That’s why I’m in favour of building up in London (and for environmental reasons). The developer is a charitable housing association so they’re not run to make profit. But don’t assume even this limited number will get built – some of the residents in the immediate vicinity are fighting hard against the development favouring something smaller. Good luck anyway. I hope you’re not waiting much longer.

  15. Just to clarify Southern Housing is not a charity, it’s a housing association.

  16. I read somewhere that is was a charity, but after checking I’m getting conflicting info. Their website states that they are regulated by the Tenant Services Authority who state that;
    \The group is long-established having started as Samuel Lewis Housing Trust over a hundred years ago.Following the amalgamation of the group’s three separate providers in October 2010 Southern Housing Group Limited (Southern) is the parent body in the simplified group and the only provider with charitable status.”

    They also describe themselves as a charity;
    “Because Southern Housing Group is a registered charity most of our tenants do not have the right to buy the home they rent from us.”http://www.southernhousinggroup.co.uk/Documents/Buying%20a%20home/Buying_your_home_oct10.pdf
    But @ewebber seems to be correct ’cause when I do a search on the Charity Commission site nothing comes up. I’m confused. Anyway is it safe to say they’re “not-for-profit”?”

  17. Then there is an argument that there should be a higher proportion of affordable housing, it’s likely that a bunch of these flats will be bought by people seeing it as an investment and renting them out to people like @staystylish who can’t afford to buy outright, but struggle to get affordable housing, so keeps paying the people who are well off enough to have more than one property.

  18. @ewebber That’s right. And the only way to make housing more affordable is to build more of it – much more (of all kinds). But the proportion of shared-ownership and social housing in any development is largely dependent on how much they can make from the private sale portion. That’s why we need more of all kinds. Feeding supply at the private sale end of the market has a downwards effect on price and also allows developers to provide more shared & social. Assuming we wish to do this in an environmentally sustainable way, that means building upwards. I’m still confused as to SHG’s status.

  19. @benjaminhttp://www.southernhousinggroup.co.uk/Legal says \Southern Housing Group Limited is a charitable housing association and parent body of the Group.”

    They list a Industrial & Provident Societies registration number – which is the kind of registration used by co-operatives and not-for-profits.
    I’m not sure if that’s really cleared anything up now…”

  20. Very much agree with you Benjamin about the need to find a market-based solution for the housing problem in London. For years the city’s housing market has been stuck between the rock of the green belt and the hard place known as anti-high rise NIMBYism. Now, assuming we want to keep the green belt, there are two options – build higher, or build the transport infrastructure to allow people well outside of the historical confines of London to be able to commute in a reasonable time. Cross rail and HS2 should help in the latter regard, eventually, but youre always have local opposition to the former. Which is kind of understandable, as people typically dont like to see their nest-egg devalued.

  21. @gavinredknap Which begs the question as to whether local residents (especially property owners) should be allowed to wield the influence they do over local developments – especially when that influence is aimed at denying housing to others and making London less competitive?

  22. Well, increasing housing supply is for the greater good, but prospective residents dont vote and dont form into local pressure groups – whereas actual ones do.

Comments are now closed for this post.