[from Hackney Gazette]

19 February 2008

CONTROVERSIAL proposals to relax planning restrictions in parts of the borough look set to be scrapped.

A scheme to remove tight controls in three “areas of exception” has been awaiting Hackney Council approval for almost a year.

Areas of exception formed part of the council’s draft supplementary planning document.

The announcement they were to be removed was reportedly made at a meeting of the North East Neighbourhood Forum.

The audience at the meeting were informed that the areas of exception would not be included in a revised draft supplementary document.

Under the original proposals, planning regulations were to be relaxed in Stamford Hill, Queen’s Drive, Finsbury Park, and Cricketfield Road, Lower Clapton.

This would allow home owners and landlords added leeway when applying for planning approval to build extensions or make alterations to properties.

The announcement has been met with delight by members of Hackney Planning Watch who have beden campaigning against the proposals.

Jane Holgate, who co-ordinates Hackney Planning Watch, said: “This is great news.

“We’ve always said it’s unfair for these areas to be singled out in this way and we’re delighted the council have decided to scrap the plans.”

The council is remaining tight-lipped over the possibility of any changes.

A spokesman said: “The council is finalising the draft document for Cabinet to consider in the next few months, taking into account consultation responses.

“A key area we are looking at again in detail is around the areas of exception.

“The council will be modifying the document to provide a revised position on this point, in light of consultation responses and additional survey work.


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