Sunday, 5 December 2010

National Grid - shame on you

It is shocking that National Grid have yet to resolve the access route issues through South Millfields despite holding two public consultations.
The picture above shows how the National Grid current route (Route 10) dissects part of the park. Since 2005, it has also disrupted the lives of Hillstowe Street’s residential community in order to upgrade its sub-station. Hillstowe Street is a small cul de sac in Lea Bridge conservation area.

From 2005-10, a jaw dropping number  of heavy load vehicles have accessed the National Grid site using Hillstowe Street as its only access route. After five years of misery and protests from Hillstowe Street residents, National Grid finally committed - and following its announcement that further major works lasting until 2016 was in the offing - to undertake a consultation process to take this industrial traffic away from Hillowstowe Street. 
Despite holding two consultation exercise, no progress at all appears to have been made and you do have to wonder if National Grid are committed to honestly finding and driving through a solution. With new major works now underway and not scheduled to be completed until 2016, let’s hope that National Grid pulls it finger out and finds  a way forward that gives local blighted residents back their quiet street.

Local councillors suggest that Hackney planning are likely to resist any new route through the park. I’m not convinced Route 8 in particular is any longer than the existing route and it makes a great deal more sense in terms of the Masterplan for the park. The siting of the Pavillion, in particular, makes no sense if the existing route isn't moved. 
Extract from Masterplan: 


  1. James Mills
    It is indeed quite extroardinary that 5 years ago, NG were allowed, and this clearly must have been with the acquiescence of Hackney council,to transform what was predominantly a lovely cycle/pedestrian route within South Millfields into a wide tarmac road with an even wider tarmac layby, install iron railings and thereby bissect the park...AND to show total disregard for the unfortunate residents of a small narrow residential street.

  2. Where is this masterplan to be found? I've heard mention of it before, but this is the first time I've seen anything resembling an actual plan, or heard of a pavilion.

  3. Well said.

    I still don't think we've had a sensible response about Route 4 which uses existing roads. 'It's a bit difficult' isn't a good enough reason.

    What other organisation would insist on building a road through a local park sited on historic common land instead of using the existing road network?

    (Also, I don't think it helps that the 'consultation' exercises were managed by a PR company -

  4. Martin - the masterplan doucment can be found at:
    There's meant to be updated version of the masterplan map available shortly.

  5. It is certain that the residents of Hillstowe have been much abused by National Grid. Does Hackney council not have a duty to protect its citizens by ensuring that powerful multi nationals like Nat.Grid. are not given free rein to pursue their agendas to the detriment of residents and the environment?

  6. As far as I can see, Hackney have colluded with National Grid to the detriment of the park, park users and local residents. Some may think getting NG to fund aspects of the Masterplan, in particular the Pavillion, will somehow compensate for the damage done, but I'm far from convinced. Other parks in Hackney have managed to secure substantial resources for their materplans without having to do deals with multi-nationals.

  7. I am confused as to why local Councillors suggest that Hackney Planning is likely to resist any new route through the Park. This is a RELOCATION OF THE EXISTING ROUTE which Hackney Council had at the outset waved through without any recourse to residents or park users.

    After several pre-application meetings with National Grid, (Graham Loveland) Hackney Planning informed Hillstowe Street residents in August that an Application was expected to be made in November: Councillor Rathbone similarly advised he expected an Application to be made by early 2011.

    So, what has changed the Council/Councillors' minds between August and October?

    It is apparent that the easiest option all round, is to keep the issue in limbo/maintain status quo, and cynically trust that the residents of Hillstowe Street will eventually be beaten and exhausted into submission.

    Not good enough Hackney Council, Hackney Councillors, National Grid! Hillstowe Street residents are fed up with being treated as idiots!



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