Fear that Hackney council will let E8 conservation house be destroyed once squatters are evicted

Squatters at 5 St Mark's Rise Dalston London E8 4 Oct 2011 © ∂å

HACKNEY COUNCIL is preparing to abandon a sturdy Victorian house to demolition even though it is one of a set of six matching corner buildings at the heart of a conservation area.

The first part of the plan, exclusively revealed by Loving Dalston last week, is to evict the squatters who have lived at 5 St Mark’s Rise for three years and replace them with what are termed “property guardians” – in effect, licensed squatters.

Then Hackney Homes, the council’s housing arm, will sell the house to a private developer.

A town hall source has told Loving Dalston that fire damage has made the property “structurally unsound”.  The inference from this is that the council is clearing the way for a future owner to demolish the house and build new flats.

It will try to make the loss of a large house more acceptable to Hackney residents, especially those living in the St Mark’s area, which has article 4 status – the highest conservation standard – by saying that the sale will fund the renovation of three other properties for letting to families on the housing list.

Squatters at 5 St Mark’s Rise, Dalston,London E8 © ∂å
The E8 squat

The council will not discuss claims that its leaving the house officially empty for many years is the prime reason for its decline.

A leading squatters’ advisory group, Squatters’ Action for Secure Homes (Squash), last week attacked the council’s St Mark’s Rise tactics.

It made further criticisms. Rueben Taylor, of Squash, said: “Cases such as those in this story are astounding in their hypocrisy, and in their frequency.

“Property-guardian companies have no interest in the well-being or quality of life of their ‘licensees’; they do not use the word ‘tenant’ as this would give them legal obligations).

“The eviction and attempted criminalisation of squatters will force even more people into the pockets of these modern-day slumlords.”

Hackney Homes declined to comment.

David Altheer 051011

* Update: squatters evicted 

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3 thoughts on “Fear that Hackney council will let E8 conservation house be destroyed once squatters are evicted

  1. @cpm82, Conservatives, both on Hackney council and in the London Assembly, have consistently called for more family housing. We have scored successes in the redesign of the Olympic Park and increasing the proportion of family housing in the London Plan. Unfortunately, Hackney Labour’s technocratic “build ’em high and sell them offshore” strategy is an obstacle to people who want to set down roots here. The obsession with attracting singletons is Labour’s – not ours.

  2. I completely agree. People should start to see that history is important and that the influx of short-term economic migrants is if anything very damaging. Typical New Labour: it’s never been more than a diluted Conservative Party, deluding the majority of voters who still believe they are “left”.

  3. Shocking that Labour-run Hackney council thinks that demolition of a perfectly saveable building in one of the council’s own conservation areas and the flogging of the site to a property developer is good for the community. It’s the usual behaviour, repeated again and again, by this administration. Mayor Jules Pipe won’t be happy until the borough is full of one-bed and studio flats full of people who don’t use any council services and couldn’t give a fig about history or community. Hackney RIP, murdered by New Labour.

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