Morning Lane People's Space

We are campaigning to have our local Hackney community voice heard in proposals for the development of the Tesco site at 55 Morning Lane.

Hackney Council have done a deal with the same developers that built the failed Fashion Hub to build on this site. Without properly gathering community input, they have made a development plan which includes:

A smaller Tesco supermarket

Work units

Over 500 flats including 2 tower blocks of 19 storeys, NO council housing, and only 20% being at so-called-affordable rents, which includes shared ownership.

We do not want a repeat of the disastrous Fashion Hub which does not serve our community and where most of the units are empty. We need a development which houses, employs and supports local people.

Tell us what you want from the development by filling in this survey

for more information see below

Background

The 55 Morning Lane site was bought by Hackney Council from Tesco in 2017 for £55m. The rationale was to acquire a key development site in Hackney Central and to keep control of its development in public hands. Hackney Council's purchase was financed by the Public Work Loans Board and with a private developer on board, the Council saw no cost to Hackney. They identified a guaranteed income that they could use to finance front-line services in the face of government cuts. They entered into an options agreement with developer Hackney Walk giving them exclusive rights to bring a planning application to the council by 2022 in exchange for annual fees.

The site is adjacent to the railway, close to Hackney Central station, the Narrow Way, St John of Hackney Churchyard and the Town Hall, and on major bus routes. It is the centre of Hackney - It should be the centre of our community not the centre of a retail park.

See the Developers Plans page for more information on what they want to build on the site. Overall the development will be 75,000 sqm: 27% office space, 14% retail (including a new smaller Tesco) and the remainder housing with over 500 flats (of which 80% will be unaffordable). Current plans are for blocks between 4 and 19 storeys high.

Community consultation

Hackney Council carried out a consultation in developing the Hackney Central Area Action Plan in 2012. The proposed developers for 55 Morning Lane, Hackney Walk, carried out an initial consultation through London PR Associates in 2019. They say that they sent out 10,000 letters to local residents and organised drop-in sessions involving 138 people.

This consultation is an inadequate basis for a planning application.

It was based on a public exhibition where there were no specific proposals on which people could comment. Very few people were involved and our campaign has already engaged with more people through 12 hours of leafleting, our social media, an online petition, a public meeting and an online meeting. The petition alone has over 640 signatures - more than 4 times as many as took part in the developer's consultation. In September 2020, we launched a survey to find out what local people want to see on 55 Morning Lane so that we can develop a community plan.

Our plan

The most consistent desires expressed in our consultation so far are for:

- a large cheap local supermarket

- council housing at social rents that are genuinely affordable

- spaces and facilities that build a sense of community

We reject the assumption that housing be seen as an asset for profit rather than a human right. We reject the developer’s assumption that the way to regenerate central Hackney is with another expensive retail hub.

Our plan will put residents centre stage in a development that Hackney can be proud of.

If you agree, sign our petition: "We oppose the current plans for 55 Morning Lane in Hackney Central (the Tesco site) and demand an alternative plan including at least 50% council housing. Any development must be informed by and useful for Hackney residents thus improving their quality of life."