311 net new homes approved for Hackney estate

A reserved matter planning application for the latest phase of redevelopment at the Woodberry Down estate in the London Borough of Hackney was narrowly approved last night by the borough’s planning committee, with the chair of the meeting casting in effect two votes in favour.

The site which is currently mostly residential will result in the demolition of the 200 dwellings on the site, with 511 new dwellings alongside other associated nonresidental uses.

The site to which this application relates is known as phase 4 of Woodberry Down, the Woodberry Down Estate itself is entirely covered by Local Plan (LP33) strategic site allocation MH1 which supports comprehensive regeneration of the existing housing stock.

The site being dealt with as Phase 4 is bound by Woodberry Grove, Seven Sisters Road, Woodberry Down (road), and St Olave’s Church, Vicarage and Gardens an uplift of 311 homes.

The consented phase 4 is outlined in red, with higher numbered phases to be submitted in due course, image from the planning application.

Across the 511 new dwellings approved, the majority of these, or 289 are set to be for private sale, 132 for shared ownership, and 90 for social rent. 92% of the over 500 new dwellings will be dual aspect and all will have some form of private amenity space, typically an outdoor balcony.

The latest phase would be delivered around a raised podium with residents’ amenity space on the top, with 65 residents’ car parking spaces and a combined 1038 cycle parking spaces beneath.

Concerns were raised during the committee by councilors and residents alike, about the privatised nature of raised podium and implications for the future resident’s service chargers.

Further eyebrows were raised in regards to the net reduction of social rented homes, currently, 144 homes on the site are social rent and 56 of these were acquired through Right to Buy.

The replacement scheme will provide 90 homes for social rent and so a reduction of 54 homes, those replacements are solely for the existing residents of Woodberry Down.

New ground floor public square, looking onto the raised resident’s private raised podium gardens. Image credit, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands

An indicative construction timetable suggests demolishing commencing from January 2025 with practical completion potentially from early 2030.

Before the broader estate regeneration scheme commenced, the GLA produced a report stating that 1458 social rented homes were on the wider Woodberry Down estate. It is expected that only 1193 will be replaced and thus a loss of 265.

A report by planning officers to the committee justifies this net reduction, as there will be other intermediate-rented homes, in this instance the 132 Shared Ownership to offset this decrease which leads to a net increase in affordable homes.

Detailed design and access proposals were produced by architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands on behalf of applicant and developer Berkeley and Notting Hill Genesis.

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