IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Communal gardens at Dixon Clark Court will also go

20 November, 2020

The ‘little forest’ at Dixon Clark Court

• A REMINDER of what will be lost if the present Town Hall administration proceeds with its intention to remove seven, 53-year-old trees from Highbury Corner’s Dixon Clark Court can be seen in the photograph, above, taken from the 9th floor of the tower.

Less visible to the public eye but no less invaluable for the estate’s residents is the beautiful communal garden at the rear of the site that will be built on if the current planning consent is implemented.

Communal garden at the rear of Dixon Clark Court

Executive housing boss Cllr Diarmaid Ward and his party colleagues have sneered at and relentlessly misrepresented campaigners trying to save the Dixon Clark Court “little forest”, accusing them of opposing the building of council homes.

What the lead housing councillor doesn’t say is that the additional 25 such homes would, even in the council’s own reckoning, be reduced further under the Right to Buy and that income from such sales is factored into the viability assessment of the project (Planning Officer Report P2017/2936/FUL).

Building council homes knowingly expecting that a number of them will be sold off in the future?

Surely it can’t be the case that Islington Council is determined to breach the spirit of its own climate and biodiversity policies by removing mature trees from a site whose “surrounding roads and pavements can be heavily congested”, according to the council officer in the principal witness statement to the High Court last week?

Congested roads mean heavy pollution, which mature trees soak up, while building a private housing block directly opening on to a sidewalk with an already heavy footfall is clearly ridiculous.

What might really lie behind the council’s insistence on implementing an environmentally outdated scheme in the interests of a manifesto promise to build 550 new homes by 2022, a target that might never be reached with or without the Dixon Clark Court additional homes?

MEG HOWARTH
Ellington Street, N7

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