Hackney council’s rival commercial-led scheme on the Bishopsgate Goodsyard site in Shoreditch comprises a “tech cluster” as well as 961 homes, Property Week can reveal.
Last week Hackney council launched a campaign opposing Hammerson and Ballymore’s £800m residential tower scheme on the Goodsyard site around Shoreditch High Street station, which have encountered fierce resistance from locals who object to the high-rise towers.
Hackney council has instead commissioned Lambert Smith Hampton and a range of consultants, including global design practice Gensler, to work up an alternative low-to-medium rise development for the site.
The commercial-led scheme, details of which were released to Property Week after a Freedom of Information request, proposes 564,298 sq ft of office space aimed at SMEs and startups in the tech sector, as well as 63,000 sq ft of affordable workspace.
The scheme also includes 961 homes – less than the 1,461 proposed under Hammerson and Ballymore’s plans – and 87,511 sq ft of retail space.
A second scenario envisages adding a 43,055 sq ft conference centre to the mix (see table below)
Joint planning authorities Tower Hamlets and Hackney have yet to consider Hammerson and Ballymore’s plans, which were submitted last July, but Hackney’s opposition raises the likelihood that the application will be called in by Boris Johnson, as the Greater London Authority has already indicated that the mayor “strongly supports” the plans.
Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe last week said Hackney was opposing the scheme as it was “completely out of scale” and would lead to SMEs abandoning the area’s tech cluster.
Speaking to Property Week earlier this month, Ian Mulcahey and Duncan Swinhoe, managing directors in Gensler’s London office, said Hackney’s alternative scheme was focused on how the site could be used to boost Shoreditch’s thriving TMT sector.
“It was about how that community can expand and what types of amenities and workspace might be needed in order for it to take that next step to become a global cluster point for tech and innovation, as we’ve seen in San Francisco and increasingly in New York,” said Swinhoe.
“For us it was about can you increase the amount of employment space and maintain the viability. And we were able to demonstrate that you could and it didn’t have to be skewed necessarily in favour of residential to make it viable.”
A spokesperson for the Hammerson and Ballymore joint venture said: “We have a coherent vision for the future development of the Goodsyard, which has been broadly endorsed by the mayor of London.
“This has been inspired by the vibrancy of Shoreditch, Brick Lane, Spitalfields and also the City to the south, and seeks to reflect the very different and diverse areas that border The Goodsyard, as well as the approved planning policies which identify the site as a major mixed-use development area suitable for tall buildings.”