Hackney families 'forced out' by extension restrictions

By Robyn Rosen, November 26, 2010

The Mayor of Hackney has been accused of "social cleansing" by preventing large Charedi families from extending their houses.

Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors are speaking out against Jules Pipe following new restrictions on extensions published earlier this year which, they claim, does not accommodate large families.

They say families are being forced to move to neighbouring borough Haringey, where in April the council approved guidelines for home extensions in an effort to address the problem of over-crowding in strictly Orthodox households in south Tottenham.

Hackney's Conservative leader, Michael Levy, said: "This has a corrosive effect on community relations. Haringey supports communities and enables them to thrive whilst protecting the architectural landscape. But Hackney does not support local communities."

He was supported by Liberal Democrat Cllr Ian Sharer and Conservative Cllr Simche Steinberger, who said: "Children are running up to me in the street saying they don't have a bed to sleep in and begging me to sort out their planning application."

A spokesman for Hackney Council said: "We have a consistent approach to loft extensions across the borough. Our policy is about safeguarding the built heritage and townscape qualities for the benefit of all."

Last updated: 10:51am, November 26 2010