Save Golden Lane

by Save Golden Lane Consortium

Save Golden Lane

by Save Golden Lane Consortium
Save Golden Lane Consortium
Save Golden Lane Consortium is an affiliated group of local community associations representing the people, who live, work, go to school and use the park in the Golden Lane area.
16
days to go
£11,160
pledged of £14,000 stretch target by 194 people
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Save Golden Lane Consortium
Save Golden Lane Consortium is an affiliated group of local community associations representing the people, who live, work, go to school and use the park in the Golden Lane area.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Application made to Court to challenge the planning permission

Oct. 12, 2017

We are so grateful for the donations we have received - we have nearly reached our target. OPEN (Golden Lane) has issued a claim in the High Court seeking permission to judicially review the City's grant of planning permission for The Denizen. 

If we don't initially get permission we hope we can raise enough donations to re-apply at a Court hearing when a barrister will argue our ca...

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On the 23 May 2017 the City of London Planning and Transportation Committee voted to Approve a planning application submitted by Taylor Wimpey to demolish Bernard Morgan House and to build a block of 99 luxury apartments. The vote was very close, 13 - 10 to Approve.

This is a monstrous decision which will have a devastating impact on our community. The destruction of a heritage asset, which housed key-workers for 60 years,  replaced with a towering development of private flats containing no affordable homes. It will blight our Grade II listed social housing estate, steal sunlight from our homes and from Prior Weston Primary School, the Jewin Welsh Church and Fortune Street park.

We urgently need to raise funds to pay for an independent sunlight/overshadowing report and to obtain specialist legal advice on the prospects of an application to the Planning Court for permission to judicially review the City's decision.

We want the decision overturned and the future of the site to be reconsidered with proper regard to the community's views and needs.

An Urban Village

Sixty years ago the City Corporation's and Islington’s town planners together created a thriving community, their municipal dream of an urban village has been an extraordinary success and should be celebrated and enhanced. Today, City Corporation's planners have shown that they don’t value the visionary town planning of the past and are not interested in protecting the people living in this unique and close community.

What we will lose as a community

The centre of this community is the Fortune Street Park, surrounded by the Peabody Buildings, the Golden Lane Estate and the Barbican. A small oasis within the City. The park plays a crucial part in our lives, it is our children’s back garden, and is shared every day by the thousands of people who live and work here. It is the only public park in the area.

Prior Weston School has its entrance in the park, over five hundred children use this entrance everyday. People walk to school here. They’re not jumping into cars to go home. They will stay and play for as long as the sun is out. Because we live in small flats with no outside space, parents don’t rush home. Children play, surrounded by neighbours of all ages, they learn to share and play together. This is why the children growing up here have an extraordinary sense of independence, empathy and responsibility towards each other.

At the moment everyone can enjoy the last of the winter sun as it disappears behind Bernard Morgan House. The proposed building is so much higher that from September to March it will block the sun at this crucial time and deny children the warmth of the winter sun at the end of a school day.       

The proposal for the new building

The proposed development is Taylor Wimpey's generic design. Out of scale and completely at odds with the visionary architecture of the area.  it will completely engulf and obstruct sunlight to the Jewin Welsh Church, a heritage asset, which also accommodates the Hatching Dragons Nursery School. It will also obstruct sunlight to the outdoor learning and play areas of the Prior Weston school. 

Architectural Importance of Heritage Assets

photo courtesy Chris Dorley Brown

Bernard Morgan House is light and elegant, carefully designed to complement  the Grade II listed Golden Lane Estate.

The new block will loom over the the Golden Lane Estate maisonettes, famous for their light and sense of space. Residents will be overshadowed and lose their privacy and will have to keep their blinds closed. Did Chamberlin, Powell and Bon ever imagine that their carefully designed bright maisonettes would end up dark, dingy and claustrophobic?

There were 182 objections from local people to the planning application. City Corporation's planners have interpreted regulations in favour of Taylor Wimpey but ignored all these objections. They say that the harm that the development will cause is outweighed by the public benefits without explaining what those benefits are.

Ten Committee members spoke against the plan, clearly stating that the proposed development broke too many guidelines in the Local Plan to be Approved. Only four members spoke in favour but their main argument to Approve was that something had to be built on the site and the developer had to make its profit. Most of the 13 Members who voted to Approve don't live in the City and many of them never inspected the site.

These are some of our stories about living in this community. 

Deborah  - I came to Golden Lane Estate as a qualified nurse trained at St Bartholomew's Hospital. My neighbours were fellow nurses, police officers and other key workers who worked locally. This local workforce proved invaluable during the IRA and 7/7 bombings.  As I go about the GLE today, I see, meet and greet fellow key workers (we are fewer in number now) including my old nurse tutors. People who have contributed to the functioning health, well being, safe guarding and education in the City all their lives.

Claudia  - I have three young children close together in age, and living on the Golden Lane Estate has been a lifeline for us.  My in-laws live in the block opposite, my sister-in-law in the block adjacent.  My girls feel safe, happy and at home here and the sense of community is phenomenal.  The Estate provides them with space, light and amenity to give them the best childhood we could want for them.

Emma  - A year ago my 12 year old son started having epileptic seizures. The friends he grew up with have shown the most extraordinary sense of empathy and social responsibility. They pick him up in the mornings to walk to school and they always make sure there is someone there to walk him home. They look after him and keep him safe. They grew up playing in Fortune Street Park after school everyday of the year. They grew up understanding what a supportive community really means. 


Application made to Court to challenge the planning permission

Oct. 12, 2017

We are so grateful for the donations we have received - we have nearly reached our target. OPEN (Golden Lane) has issued a claim in the High Court seeking permission to judicially review the City's grant of planning permission for The Denizen. 

If we don't initially get permission we hope we can raise enough donations to re-apply at a Court hearing when a barrister will argue our case. Please let everyone know that we are depending on people's donations to make this possible.

Huge thanks are also due to the artists and helpers who have mounted the Bowater House banner protest exhibition. It has really helped raise public awareness of the issues.

Nearly everyone in Bowater House now had a protest banner hanging from their balconies. 

This protest brings some expressive poetry to a horrendous situation and gives a voice to the local people who have been ignored and insulted by the developers and the City of London Planning Committee.

You can read some of the press coverage here;

Guardian article by Anna Minton

Islington Gazette

There is more about the banners protest here

Spectres of Modernism

And more about the Save Golden Lane campaign here

OPEN (Golden Lane)

Many thanks for your continuing support to stop the Denizen.

This is the proposed building TWCL call the Denizen

Save Golden Lane From the Denizen

Oct. 4, 2017

Dear Friends and Neighbours 


The City of London and Taylor Wimpey’s solicitors  have now replied to our Pre-Action Protocol letter rejecting our criticisms of the planning permission granted to Taylor Wimpey to demolish Bernard Morgan House and build The Denizen on the site. 

The City has refused to agree that the planning permission should be quashed. It has disclosed to us only some of the documents which our solicitors requested be produced. 

The funding situation is now very urgent because any Court action to challenge the planning permission must be commenced no later than 10th  October. 

We now urgently need estimated funds of £3,000 for our lawyers  to consider the letters and documents received. If the City's justifications do not adequately address our criticisms, a further estimated sum of  £3,000 is needed to settle a claim and apply to the Court for permission to proceed with a judicial review of the planning decision.

We believe we have a strong case. This was a flawed decision and we have to continue the battle to protect our special community. 

The Planners have said that the public benefits outweigh the losses which our community will suffer but these public benefits have not been explained. We have seen only public detriment.

The brochure Taylor Wimpey have produced to market the Denizen shows that this  building was never intended to provide the ‘much needed homes’ they promised. Maybe if they hadn’t included private cinemas and marble floors in the building they could have afforded a bigger contribution towards affordable homes.


Bowater House Residents have started a banner protest. 


 Some residents have been here since 1957 and no one understands how the City has given this building planning permission, a building which will block up to 70% of  sunlight to some of their homes. 

Parents of children in Prior Weston School can’t understand why the City has given permission for a building which will block sunshine on its playground and outdoor classrooms. 

Everyone who uses Fortune Street Park can’t understand why the City is allowing a building to be built which will block afternoon sun on the park from September to March.   

Please continue your generous support of this campaign. 


After a decade of austerity this building is morally, politically and aesthetically offensive. 

This building should never have been given planning approval and must not be allowed to be built. To read more about the marketing of The Denizen follow this link to Knight Frank's Hong Kong Denizen Brochure.


Spectres of Modernism is an installation of protest art banners emblazoned with slogans dreamt up by leading artists and writers. 

Read more about this protest in this link  Spectres of Modernism

And more about the campaign here OPEN (Golden Lane)

Many Thanks

Save Golden Lane Consortium



Pre-Action Protocol Letter sent to City of London

Sept. 10, 2017

Dear Friends and Neighbours

Thank you so much for all the support you have given this campaign. But despite numerous well argued objections the City has now, on 30 August, granted planning permission to Taylor Wimpey’s to demolish Bernard Morgan House and build its monstrous development called the Denizen. The developer must satisfy various planning conditions before commencing work.

The Denizen is the name Taylor Wimpey have decided to call the new building. It’s being marketed in Hong Kong as an investment or a hotel for the super rich. Asking prices range from £695,000 for a small studio to £2,375,000.

The planning permission had been subject to negotiating further terms with Taylor Wimpey for an upward only independent review of the affordable housing contribution which the Chairman and Alderman Sir Michael Bear will be consulted on”. One outcome of that negotiation is Taylor Wimpey’s previously contribution to affordable housing has now decreased from £4.5million pounds to £4,455,000.

We have received advice from Matthew Horton QC, a senior specialist barrister and our lawyers have sent a letter before action to the City requiring it to withdraw the planning permission or face an application for judicial review to the Planning Court to set it.

The appendix to this letter lists the factual background and policy context, the consideration of the officer’s report and the alleged errors of law. You can read the appendix to the Pre-Action Protocol letter on the OPEN (Golden Lane) blog.

https://opengoldenlane.blogspot.co.uk/p/pre-action-protocol-letter-appendix_10.html

If the permission is not withdrawn then we will need to raise more funds to meet the cost of the application to the Planning Court for a judicial review and for this purpose we will be starting a new campaign to Save Golden Lane and Stop the Denizen.

As Pippa Henslowe says in her blog ‘Taylor Wimpey’s promotional effort is clearly aimed at wealthy but culturally unsophisticated ghost home investors who are likely to buy-off plan without ever visiting the property or the area it is located in’

https://reclaimec1.wordpress.com/2017/08/28/denizen-property-investors-go-to-hell/

The City of London has chosen to replace accommodation for 120 police officers and other keyworkers with these ghost homes.

I hope that you will be able to donate financially to support our campaign and protect our community from such monstrous and unnecessary over development. A development which contains no affordable housing and a shockingly inadequate financial contribution to affordable housing off-site.

Many thanks

We've reached our target!

July 11, 2017

Many thanks to everyone who has donated to the Crowd Justice campaign. We reached our target of £7000 within 30 days and we are now awaiting Counsel’s advice and a further analysis from our specialist sunlight/overshadowing consultant. 


The Save Golden Lane Consortium has formed a not for profit limited company called OPEN (Golden Lane). This stands for Organisation for Promotion of Environmental Needs Limited. This will help our local community fight environmental and social injustice. Because it is a company it has legal status, unlike a residents’ association or users' group, and so it can bring any necessary Court actions as well as protect individuals from personal liability. It acts as both a shield and a sword on behalf of its members. Local groups can apply to become members of OPEN Golden Lane. 

 

We have started an OPEN (Golden Lane) blog to keep everyone up to date. This is the latest post questioning why the Secretary of State rejected the request for a Call-in. Our solicitors have replied to the Secretary of State requesting that he provide reasons for not calling in Taylor Wimpey’s planning application to be determined at an independent Inquiry. 

 

https://opengoldenlane.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/why-was-call-in-request-rejected.html

 

We will let you know as soon as we have received the advice from Counsel about Judicial Review. 

 

Many thanks

 

The Save Golden Lane Consortium

 

 

Secretary of State has refused to interfere with City’s grant of Taylor Wimpey’s planning permission

July 7, 2017

Many thanks to everyone who has continued to donate.

We have received an email from the Department for Communities and Local Government stating that the Secretary of State has decided not to appoint an independent Inspector to decide Taylor Wimpey's Planning Application to redevelop Bernard Morgan House.

The email states "planning decisions should be made at a local level wherever possible" and it refers to Government policy which provides that the call in power is only used "very selectively", for example if planning issues "of more than local importance" are involved and which "may conflict with national policies on important matters"

This decision may come as a disappointment but not a surprise to many. This Government, like the City, does not seem to think that demolition of a heritage asset and damage to an exemplar Grade II listed social housing estate is important. Nor that blocking sunlight to community homes and local amenities is important. Nor that losing affordable accommodation for key workers, like police officers, is important. The policy to meet the need for "development and growth" appears all important, and this coincides with assuring huge profits for developers building exclusive private flats despite the damage to our local community.

We are now faced with trying to persuade the City to change the decision it made on 23 May to grant Taylor Wimpey planning permission and, if that fails, to mount a Court challenge to the planning permission within 6 weeks of it being issued. 

Your support and financial assistance to continue this challenge is now more important then ever.

Please donate to our page and stop this sunlight stealing development. Or share with anyone of your friends on Facebook or other social media. We are very close to reaching our target but we only have 5 days left. We believe the decision to Approve is unjust and we can stop this monstrous development. 

Many thanks

The Save Golden Lane Consortium

Our first meeting with Counsel

June 28, 2017

Many thanks to everyone who has supported our campaign and donated and shared the CrowdJustice link. The level of support shows how strongly people feel about this development and the terrible impact it will have on everyone in our community. This is a very close community. It really is an ‘urban village’ and people who live here want that to continue for generations to come. 


There have been many donations from people who have now moved away whose children went to Prior Weston and played in the park every day after school. We have been moved by these families’ generosity. It shows how much they valued this time in the park while their children were growing up. As one donor said: ‘Long may those memories continue to be made by others’.


Thanks to your generous donations we have now paid for initial advice from a specialist sunlight/overshadowing consultant and we are commissioning a more detailed analysis. Our solicitors have also instructed Matthew Horton QC of 39 Essex Chambers to advise. He has now visited the Golden Lane Estate, walked around the area and viewed Bernard Morgan House, Fortune Street Park and Prior Weston School. He has expressed "great concern about the manner in which the decision to approve planning permission was taken and the quality of that decision.”


The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, in response to our request, has now suspended Taylor Wimpey's planning permission while his Department considers whether to hold an Inquiry. This means demolition of Bernard Morgan House cannot presently go ahead.  


If Secretary of State rules that the planning application must be decided by an Inquiry, and not by the City, then we will need legal representation at the Inquiry to oppose the application. However, if his ruling allows the Planning Committee's resolution to stand then we will have only six weeks from the actual grant of planning permission to issue a legal claim requesting the Court's permission to proceed with a judicial review. Either way, we continue to need substantial funds for legal representation to ensure the best outcome for our community.  


Many thanks for supporting the campaign to protect our community by stopping this monstrous development.


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