Published: 8 June, 2012
• IT was good to see our MP, Jeremy Corbyn, showing some support for residents at Ilex House, where the council plans to build a five-storey block of 45 flats (MP backs critics of ‘brave’ homes, June 1).
I live in a block of 25 flats and it’s a solid piece of work.
A block of 45 flats must be a gross intrusion into the area around Ilex House.
And there’s the rub.
You simply cannot build at Ilex House without a significant loss of amenities, whether green space, parking or community space.
This is why the secretary of the residents’ association, Justine Gordon Smith, has called for a complete halt to the plan.
Let’s not forget that as few as half those new flats would go to council tenants, the rest would be sold.
If the council was not building for sale it could build a much smaller block.
Similar plans in or around other estates are coming in for the same opposition from residents.
Why should residents on council estates lose what few amenities they have to make way for new building plans?
In the post-war days, governments were committed to regeneration and would compulsorily purchase whole areas to make way for new housing.
Now we see the council literally giving away isolated plots and disused buildings to property developers.
Admittedly, those developments may be relatively few and the council does get a return of 50 per cent for social housing.
But there seems to be something wrong when the council gives away land to developers with one hand and then takes land away from its own tenants with the other.
If residents campaign against plans for new housing on their estates they are dismissed as Nimbys.
Why not build over Highbury Fields? What about knocking down the town hall for new build?
You’d get plenty of space there. Islington Green and Newington Green could both go.
You’d get a very big block on Highbury Corner. Old churches could be bought to make way for new build.
How many homes could you get on Sainsbury’s car park?
Highbury New Park, N5
• WHILE it is encouraging to hear that Jeremy Corbyn backs Holly Park estate residents, it is also a surprise to me.
I was at the first “consultation” meeting between councillors and Holly Park residents.
At that meeting in February, Mr Corbyn was very enthusiastic about the scheme and fully supported the councillors despite their ill-preparedness.
It was only after the Holly Park Save Our Space campaign uncovered the fact that Mr Corbyn was a director of the Laundry Community hub, which is set to gain £500,000 from the developers of the Holly Park project, that Mr Corbyn offered any criticism of the council, or any support for us.
I wonder if there’s a connection?
Holly Park estate, N4