SAVE HACKNEY WICK! Stop the demolition of Vittoria Wharf!
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The LLDC evicted Vittoria Wharf’s creative community from the half of the building owned by the LLDC on Sept 5th 2016.…to build a footbridge that they cannot show any real need for.
The LLDC’s planning committee voted by 7-2 to allow H16 bridge and and 8-1 to allow H14 bridge on 28 March at Stratford Old Town Hall in front of of a large audience. But the battle to create a lasting legacy for London at Vittoria Wharf is continuing and this petition is directed at Sadiq Khan who oversees the LLDC.
Sadiq Khan has unveiled his #goodgrowthfund agenda for better urban design and the bridges plans contradict its aims. So we continue to say the bridges plan and demolition must be reviewed.
The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) has come under fire for how it has spent public taxpayer and lottery money. Its ‘community led’ regeneration scheme for this part of Hackney Wick, adjacent to the Olympic park, dates back almost 10 years to when the area was mostly derelict. At that point they thought what would serve the public best (LLDC are a “public” body but without democratic accountability) would be a footbridge costing millions to the taxpayer (at least £3million per bridge), linking up developments either side of the Lea Canal.
They have explained to us that building the bridge will benefit and “improve the lives” of all the communities in and around Hackney Wick and Fish Island…. Our response is that we ARE the community and you will be deleting us in the process!
LLDC claim to have received public support for their bridge but to this date there has been absolute overwhelming objection from the local community and general public. They have also refused to even look at our proposal for an alternative model or even entertain the idea that there could be a model that better reflects public interest!
Here are some more reasons on why building this bridge just doesn’t make any sense:
o LLDC’s own feasibility study for location of bridge in 2014 showed negative conclusions and suggested a different location without demolition of Vittoria Wharf.
o New evidence suggests traffic studies for planning permission were conducted on days of multiple road closures nearby - skewing the results in their favour.
o Demolition plans are in direct contrast to its own stated policy as well as both the principles and duty to cooperate with community outlined in the Localism Act of 2011.
o Renowned industrial archaeologist Malcolm Tucker recommended the site for Conservation listing but was ignored.
o The presence of protected wildlife species seems to have been ignored.
Vittoria Wharf is listed as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ for Tower Hamlets along with Stour Space in 2013 and is a conglomeration of warehouses, studios and small businesses that facilitate the creative practice of over 100 people. It was given such a listing with only 10 other sites in the borough because it was deemed as a site that represented the unique character of the area, an area that has been the bastion of London arts for many years. This is a real creative community that collaborates, cross-pollinates and feeds off each other to not only produce exceptional work but also to nurture those that are finding their voice by creating a natural environment for them to grow in. It’s not only an asset to the community, it’s an asset to the city, to our society.
o Our alternative costs ZERO to the taxpayer instead of millions.
o By contrast, it will invest millions in revenue generated from the site directly into local projects, while creating a hub that feeds the wider area with socio-economic, community, cultural, outreach, and educational value.
o It is a model based on the concept of Community Ownership & Management, through the vehicle of a non-profit organisation with charitable intentions.
o Funders have expressed consistent interest in the model to facilitate the community purchase of the land, including grants, loans, and sympathetic investors.
o Real artists communities in London are becoming EXTINCT. Vittoria Wharf has been a safe haven where people can enjoy the relatively small privilege of being able to get on with their work and collaborate with their neighbours without the fear of having to be moved on. Now people are looking overseas at other options, we must act now to save the unique nature of our capital city!
Right now we need your support. We are working tirelessly to try and preserve this place but we need your help!
Sign this petition today and become a part of the movement that stands firm in the face of unending community displacement. It’s a story that affects so many of us and we can do something about it.
If we can stop the building of this bridge and have a productive dialogue with LLDC, who are supposed to work in the interests of the community, there is a chance the process of continued growth will be put in the hands of the people that it actually benefits.
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