Hackney Central is the civic and cultural heart of Hackney, with the restored art deco Town Hall and Council chambers, Hackney Central is a growing creative and retail destination, with huge opportunities for new housing and jobs.
The Council aims to create 3,000 new jobs and 1,000 new homes, centred around investment in transport infrastructure, key sites and public spaces.
We will actively work to ensure any new development maximises benefits for the local area to create new retail and workspace, new jobs and a better town centre.
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The views of the local community are extremely important, which is why through consultation by the Council over the years, we have spoken to thousands of local people on their aspirations for the area.
In 2017, we adopted the Hackney Central masterplan following a period of public consultation. More recently, we have undertaken public consultation on the new local plan. Both of these documents set out our planning and growth aspirations for the borough, including our town centres.
We are genuinely committed to ensuring that any changes to the area are shaped by the views of those who live and work here. In 2019, we spoke to residents through the Hackney Central Conversation to get their views on getting to and moving around the area as well as their wider hopes and aspirations for Hackney Central.
We continue to plan for the success of the town centre and is working with partners to deliver an improved experience and quality of life for all in Hackney Central.
The Hackney Central Conversation, an open and honest engagement exercise, launched in July 2019. The Conversation allowed local residents to tell us how they get around in the area where people who walk, cycle and use buses and trains and the challenges they face, as well as seeking their views on the future of the town centre in order to inform our plans for the area.
Nearly 4,000 people engaged with the Hackney Central Conversation, with thousands of comments and contributions noted throughout Summer 2019, including in workshops, street stalls, drop-in sessions and the Hackney Central Conversation consultation website.
The key issues that were raised were:
- safety of local pedestrians and cyclists
- need to recalibrate many of the junctions
- improve public realm and streetscapes
- calls for reduction in car traffic and improve public transport
The outcome of the Conversation has helped the Council prioritise transport projects in the Hackney Central. As part of the Council’s commitment to making roads safer and more accessible for everyone living, working and visiting Hackney, we are hoping to create a road network that serves first and foremost the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport users.
By focusing on active travel and healthy streets we can reduce the air pollution providing a positive impact on everybody’s health.
We are in the process of reviewing the comments received and feeding back to the local community. Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a delay but we will aim to provide an update as soon as it is safe to do so.
Hackney Central Station is a popular station with excellent public transport connectivity and millions of passengers have used the station with many thousands of journeys being made through the station on a daily basis.
However, due to increasing levels of passenger demand, the station entrance is now too small to handle the current volume of passengers passing through it, especially during peak periods.
Improvements to the station including the installation of lifts and an enlarged ticket hall were carried out in 2012. However, with the continued increase in passenger numbers congestion remains an issue.
The Council, in partnership with Network Rail and Transport for London (TfL), are addressing this by providing land to create a second entrance to Hackney Central station, as part of the Council’s commitment to supporting our high streets and town centres as well as providing sustainable transport infrastructure for our residents and businesses.
The second entrance will improve the quality of the station by reducing passenger congestion in the existing ticket hall and on the platforms. Access to the station will be improved with better and quicker walking routes to and from the town centre and the interchange with Hackney Downs.
There will be a new covered station entrance building on Graham Road with stairs from the ground floor up to the platform level. We are also exploring opportunities to improve the amount of cycle parking on the site by providing additional cycle stands, as well as public realm improvements such as space for plants and greenery.
The development will require planning consent. There will be public consultation on the planning application allowing people to share their views and comments on this proposal.
In 2017, Tesco announced its intention to sell the land at 55 Morning Lane. The Council bought the site because we wanted to protect the future of this key part of Hackney Central.
This intervention allows us to have greater input on the minimum affordable housing, workspace, jobs and opportunities that this development would need to provide. We want to ensure that this development is of benefit to local people.
Our aim is that the development will provide significant amounts of new retail and commercial space in the town centre – addressing the need in Hackney for new workspace space and creating many new job opportunities for Hackney residents. In addition, the development will potentially provide many new homes, including affordable homes onsite.
Hackney Walk has an option agreement with the Council to bring forward proposals to develop the site, to provide workspace, offices, shops, a new Tesco superstore and homes. Once they come forward with a plan, this will be shared with the local community for consultation.
Consultation events on the development of 55 Morning Lane were held by the developer in 2019 including a series of drop-in sessions which gave local people the opportunity to meet the project team and offer their ideas and feedback on the early concepts for the site.