At Catherine Griffiths Clerkenwell Community Tenants and Residents Association (CGCC TRA), we aim to support residents in the area and preserve the close community we have created, enjoyed and sustained over the decades. Our community is primarily made up of social housing including the older people, disabled people and children with special needs. We aim to preserve our safe environment for the residents as well as creating a sense of ‘community spirit’ for all. Many older people prefer to remain living in mixed-age housing and communities which offer advantages such as keeping pets and continuing emotional and practical support (from neighbours, local organisations, etc.).
Unfortunately, the peace and safety of the Clerkenwell community is being threatened by developers who are attempting to convert an NCP car park (Farringdon Road, London, EC1) into a 180-room hub hotel with shops and offices. The car park is currently directly behind homes for vulnerable older people and children with special needs. The proposed build will be a gross invasion of privacy and limit the skylight into their homes and gardens as the building will be towering over them. Not to mention hotel guests, and office workers overlooking into their privacy 24 hours a day! The initial planning applications were rejected twice due to not meeting the Finsbury Local Plan. The developer is challenging the council with a revised plan which continues the theme of cramming as many hotel rooms in a confined space with little thought on servicing and delivery and their effects, however inappropriate and irrespective to local community.
The developer responded by requesting a costly Public Inquiry in the hopes of silencing the local community through financial pressures – knowing that we do not share the same financial standing to employ barristers and professional experts. Many developers use the same tactics to push out local residents as a form of social cleansing. However, with your help we can have a chance to fight back.
The developer appeared to have association with most planning related firms in London which led us to face with ‘conflict of interest’ as reason for not even discussing our case. Against all odds, we have secured legal representation pro bono, and found three experts (lighting, transport and heritage) who have been extremely helpful in giving advice. But they also have responsibilities to wages and fees so they rightfully asked to be compensated for their services.
We have a chance to fight this planning application, we have a good defence, evidence based opinions and we have the rights to assert our voices.
Please donate to this cause to aid our experts’ fees to fight this development. Every penny will be invested into fighting for our community to assert our voices at the Public Inquiry against the developer. We want to ensure the safety of our residents, sustain their quality of life and save our community.
Every donation is greatly appreciated and the Catherine Griffiths Clerkenwell Community Tenants and Residents Association thank you in advance for your time and support.