THE 18 APRIL HEARING WILL NOT NOW TAKE PLACE
At around 5pm on April 13 we heard that the Mayor, Boris Johnson, is unlikely to decide on the Goodsyard before he leaves office. The developers Hammerson and Ballymore asked him to defer his decision, "to allow them to amend the application in line with the Mayor's planning officers' Stage 3 report". See the applicants letter and the Mayor's response.
More Light More Power declares a victory for the community in preventing permission being granted for this very damaging scheme - but minor amendments are not enough and the applicant should now go back to the drawing board to have any chance of creating something worthy of the Goodsyard site.
We are looking to a new Mayor of London to be the turning-point for a new vision, ideally returning the scheme to the boroughs for determination. The new Mayor must also introduce transparency into planning and move from developer-led planning to pro-London planning for the benefit of all.
Last week the Mayor's planners' Stage 3 report recommended refusal of the scheme. We were cautiously optimistic, however we do not think that the report goes far enough in its reasons: it accepts of the low amount of affordable housing based on questionable financial information and it accepts the residential-led nature of the scheme.
In September 2015 the Mayor of London Boris Johnson removed the right of Hackney and Tower Hamlets to decide on the Bishopsgate Goodsyard development by issuing a "Call-in". In a mockery of democracy, he alone would decide this £800 million scheme. If he approved the proposal, a faceless mega-complex of luxury towers would not provide the housing that is needed and would do irreversible damage to Shoreditch and cast giant shadows over the area.
Hackney and Tower Hamlets Councils oppose the plans as well as local councillors and MPs, over 11,000 people who have signed petitions, over 700 letter-writers and over 150 businesses.
The Goodsyard is public land owned by Network Rail. It should have an exemplary development that is a beneficial to all but this can only happen if the current planning application is refused.