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Article by: Wolfgang Kuchler                             
Wednesday 27 Feb 2002
Email: wolfgang.kuchler at

Summary:Land on our estate (Fields Estate, Lansdowne Drive Hackney E8) was on Hackney\'s disposal list last autumn but no information was made available to residents about this.

Reference at indymedia website:

Having found out about the proposed sell off we quizzed councillors and officers and were told there would be proper consultation at some point.

Then on 15 January some posters were put up round the estate advertising a meeting on the 23rd January. They weren\'t particularely noticable and did not cover all the estate. I didn\'t notice them at all but at a meeting on the 17th I was told by a council officer that this was formal notice of the consultation meeting. I made an effort to inform a few residents personally but on the 23rd only 6 people turned up to the meeting at a neighbouring estate hall (Morland estate hall)

At this meeting the council officer chair allowed votes on a number of issues - without making it clear what value these votes would have. Issues included further consultation - 4 months more was voted for unanimously - and the specific sell off proposals; in the case of the sell offs reps from Morland Estate (15 people) voted unanimously against their garage sell off; reps from Blackstone (6) voted for the sell off of some of their garages, and people from Fields Estate (6 in total, 2 of them members of the committee, but we have not yet taken a view on this issue at our TA meetings) voted 2 votes in favour of the sell off to 1 against with 3 not voting or abstaining.

It was obvious that those voting in favour of selling off land (in the case of Fields Estate, for building private flats) were doing so because they saw no alternative better way of developing / using the land.

As stated before it was not clear what value the whole exercise is intended to have - it is only clear that this is not proper consultation, even under government guidelines. I can\'t do much round the area at the moment (my partner went to the meeting) but I thought people might be interested.

Wolfgang Kuchler
Fields Estate Tenants Association

PS the auction plans indicating possible development on our site showed new flats living rooms looking straight into existing living rooms, with only 11 metres between them. This may be a result of Hackney sacking all their competent planning / valuers staff...

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