Thursday, 16 April 2009

Council Safeway Fiasco

Last night I attended the Strategic Development Committee at Tower Hamlets Council to speak on behalf of local residents against the proposed development on the former Safeway site. Whilst residents welcome a supermarket which is long overdue, the rest of the development is unnecessary and out of character with the local area. Building on the car park is likely to destroy the Roman Road market.

A legal letter was sent to Tower Hamlets legal department, but the Council refused to consider it, stating it had been received out of time.

Accordingly I amended my speech to deal with the points raised in the letter. In particular I expressed concerns at the potential cost to the taxpayer of defending a legal Judicial Review, which may ultimately overturn the decision to grant planning permission. A number of concerns were raised about the process, as well as about the involvement of Councillor Josh Peck, and the requirements for environmental impact assessments.

Sadly the Council ignored the objections of many. Not a single person had written in favour of it this time round (remember this is a duplicate!). Alongwith the Respect Councillor who had no idea what the development was about, Labour voted through the controversial plans.

Cllr Mark Francis could not vote on the development as he is on the Board of Old Ford Housing, which has Circle Anglia (the developers) as a parent company! Cllr Ahmed Omer (another Bow East Councillor) voted this through. So much for listening to concerns of their residents.

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