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Islington Tribune - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 13 July 2007
Mayor Ken’s towering folly

• LAST week the Lib Dems voted against the 39-storey tower at Old Street in Bunhill (Glass tower hopes shattered, July 6).
As a ward councillor who had from the start objected openly to this application I wasn’t allowed to vote but instead spoke out for residents at the meeting.
What was really important to me about this application was not just the height, which was excessive, but the lack of social housing on-site.
The developer was willing to put money aside to build social housing elsewhere but this would simply have divided our community further and meant another big building project somewhere else in Islington.
Even with the housing on another site the application would still not have delivered the Lib Dem target of 50 per cent social housing.
Where James Murray is wrong is that this is exactly the sort of development Ken Livingstone does support – large towers with low levels of affordable housing (Homes before City exec ‘flats’, July 6).
Councils are under increasing pressure from Mr Livingstone to have these really tall buildings. And emergency meetings to get him to withdraw support came up with nothing more than a vague possibility of more off-site housing.
I would like to thank all the Lib Dems and the Labour councillor on the committee as well as the local MP for helping the Lib Dems fight off Labour Ken’s tower.
Lib Dem, Bunhill ward

HOW is it that the council’s south area committee, having turned down the plan for a huge tower block behind Old Street station, apparently bowing to local protest, did not do the same for the two planned to go round City Road basin.
They will be just as vulnerable to 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and tsunami disasters and are in fact in a much more residential area than the one they turned down. They will involving moving or destroying much-loved and successful children’s facilities in the teeth of local protest.
Surely, the council should review such plans in the light of new research which has noted that there are far too many small private flats on the market and that what is needed are public- sector flats and family homes of every variety.
Gerrard Road, N1

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Islington Tribune, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to Deadline for letters is midday Wednesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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