Beecholme is also the first postwar "mixed development" housing scheme in Hackney, with a mixture of houses and flats with the taller block having five storeys and containing one-bedroom and bedsit accommodation. It is featured in Volume 15 of Hackney History and was the site of Beecholme House, the family home of Maj. John André (d. 1780), who was executed as a British spy in the American War of Independence.
Left to right (centre children): Lana Smyth (5), Isla Smyth (2) & Jimmie Brotherhood (3) PHOTO: David White
Town hall bosses gave developers permission to knock down business premises inside a historic Hackney tram depot this week, despite fierce protest from residents and traders.
Hackney Council’s planning sub-committee gave the go-ahead for the transformation of Clapton tram sheds – home to horse-drawn trams in the 19th century - into five blocks of flats up to seven storeys high.
Sean Meadows, of Clapton LLP, now plans to build 85 homes along with industrial units and car parking on the site in Upper Clapton Road, after his fourth application was agreed.
Angry residents and traders held a demonstration outside Monday’s meeting (April 4), claiming the development would cause widespread jobs losses and put schools and health services under severe strain. The council had received more than 840 objections from residents.
And plans were afoot to refurbish the existing depot to create an arts centre, with workshops, studios and a café.
David White, secretary of Beecholme Tenants and Residents Association and Clapton Arts Trust, said: “Clapton suffered a major loss with this decision. Fast disappearing manufacturing jobs, heritage and the creative heart of Clapton - hoped to be regenerated at the centre of a new cultural quarter in Clapton - has been lost, the local neighbourhood’s identity diminished and population density increased dramatically.”
And Cllr Ian Rathbone, on behalf of Leabridge ward councillors, said: “The decision taken last night by the planning committee on the slimmest of majorities – one vote – shows how close the argument was to being won.