Saturday, 6 March 2010

Decision Delayed on Controversial Gates

Thursday was due to be the hearing of the development and planning application in relation to what have been described as the 'hijab gates' at the bottom of Brick Lane. Despite the agenda showing online at lunchtime on Thursday that it was still going ahead, the contraversial application was pulled at the last moment and put back to an undetermined date.

The arches have been dogged by contraversy - since residents found out about them. Like much of Tower Hamlets planning documents, they were hidden away on the website and it was difficult to respond to the consultation.

Whatever you think of the actual gates, and their design, it is madness to spend £1.6m in a Borough with one of the most deprived communities, with many other things that the money culd be spent on.

Once again though there was a lack of consultation. Tower Hamlets Labour council tells us that there has already been extensive community engagement and consultation. However, it took the Guardian publicising the plans for most of the residents in the Borough to hear about it, and many others had not realised they had a chance to comment. Despite extending the consultation to 22nd February, the Council must now have realised that the consultation was inadequate. Or the developers were scared it wouldn't get through with its current plans, and the lack of public buy-in.

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