Mayor petitioned for new Hackney site

November 18, 2019

A small piece of land in Hackney was designated as a Travellers’ site five years ago. But despite promises from the Mayor of London, Hackney Council and London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), it’s still waiting for people to move in.

Now, the Hackney Travellers Action Group has stepped in and is asking the Mayor of London to intervene and make things happened. They have launched a petition to get as many people as possible behind their cause – and get Hackney Council to make a bid for the money available to develop the land before a deadline of June next year.

The land, which belongs to Transport for London (TfL), was identified as a Gypsy and Travellers site in the LLDC Local Plan in 2014. Hackney Council and the GLA also support the use of this land as a social rented Travellers’ site. However, TfL have resisted releasing the land, wishing to build housing on it instead.

The land could provide nine desperately needed pitches for Gypsy and Traveller families who have been on the waiting list for 25 years or more. LLDC has set aside £2m to fund the development of the site. Hackney Council must make a “detailed bid” for this money by 17th June 2020. But the main challenge remains that TfL needs to release the land first.

The Hackney Travellers Action Group says: “Time is running out. There are only a few months left to make the bid. We have been waiting too long to see this site built and to be part of the community. A new site would mean that our families and kids have a secure future in Hackney. Mayor Sadiq Khan should put pressure on TfL to hand over this land now.”

This is the first potential new site since councils were told to provide sites in the 2011 London Plan and the 2012 National Policy for Gypsy and Travellers. The last new permanent site in London was established in 2002, 17 years ago. In that same period three other permanent sites were closed down.

To sign the petition please go to

https://www.change.org/p/sadiq-khan-bartrip-street-is-meant-for-hackney-travellers-tell-transport-for-london-to-hand-it-over

 

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