Objections have been raised by Hackney residents over plans to convert the Clapton tram depot into office space and apartments. Hundred of complaints were recorded over issues such as congestion, traffic and the effect the build would have on local employment opportunities.
Plans submitted to Hackney Council were approved despite the amount of public concern. Councillor Ian Rathbone, speaking on behalf of Leabridge ward councillors, said: “We believe the process leading up to this submission to the committee is so flawed; the hearing should have been suspended while it is investigated. We say to all our colleagues who sit on planning committees – come and see what a mess your decisions have made of Clapton”.
He continued: “Picture it happening in your ward and… how your residents would be feeling about such destruction… of their environment”.
The space on Upper Clapton Road currently includes artist studios, industrial workshops and residential units as well as a community hall. Residents say the build will result in the loss of local jobs but the council believe the net loss of unemployment stands at a small figure and is acceptable.
A spokesperson from the council said: “As with all planning applications, the Council conducted a thorough public consultation. In this case, we consulted with more than 750 properties in the surrounding area, which included Beecholme Estate and tenants in the depot. As a result of our public consultation, the development will include the part retention and renovation of the main tram shed building”.
The site will be developed by Upper Clapton LLP who sent letters out to all the tenants of the space. The firm is under no legal obligation to consult any other parties of the construction and renovation plans.