Press Release 30th November
A unanimous vote by Councillors at last night’s Full Council Meeting called on the Mayor of Tower Hamlets to urgently negotiate with Peabody Housing. Also, for Peabody Housing to reconsider their designs to spare the cottages.
The motion was proposed by Councillor Judith Gardiner (Labour) and seconded by Councillor Helal Uddin (Labour).
The motion noted that Peabody has a duty to optimise the amount of housing they provide but also to protect the Borough’s heritage.
Councillor Peter Golds (Conservative) spoke in support on behalf of his group.
Before the motion was put, Councillor Rabina Khan (Lead Member for Housing) responded to the campaign’s earlier presentation saying that the Council endorsed the campaign to keep the two cottages as two much needed affordable family homes and as a living memorial to a unique maternity hospital.
Councillor Khan referred to her member’s enquiry earlier this year, which revealed that Asset Management had sold the former Jewish Maternity Hospital to Peabody on 31 March 2011. She added that she would be writing again to Peabody.
The Campaign’s presentation was given by Melissa Parker, who said that the two cottages were a “vitally important part of the scarce built evidence of the Jewish East End, and of the fact that the East End is renowned as a historic point of arrival for migrants from all over the world”.
In answer to a question from Councillor Bill Turner (Labour), Tom Ridge explained that Peabody’s architects had produced an option 3, which retained the two cottages but would only provide 26 rather than 33 homes. Peabody has said that some or all of the necessary seven homes could be provided in an extra storey on their proposed five-storey block, but that planning officers would not let them.
The campaign thanks all the Councillors for their magnificent support and believes that planning officers have a statutory duty to encourage Peabody to retain the two cottages as “non-designated heritage assets”.
See resume handed out at the meeting
30 November 2011