Greenwash, Greed and Grey Politics
The rush to cash in on Hackney's open door development policy is escalating as speculators pay PR corporations to front big projects. Labour councillor Karen Allcock was replaced as Hackney Deputy Mayor after her role at Four Communications was revealed. She and fellow Labour Councillor Alan Laing are employed by the public relations company that is fronting both the Stoke Newington Sainsburys and now the fanciful 'Dalston Green' 18 story towerblock. The council says neither Laing nor Allcock are directly involved in either project but they are both paid Four Communications, the PR consultants retained by both developers.
The proposed Stoke Newington Sainsburys has met huge opposition from thousands of local people concerned at further corporate control of their local economy. The new Dalston towerblock, cynically marketed 'Dalston Green', is depicted draped in vegetation against a grey backdrop. This is New Labour corporate greenwash par excellence. Even neighbouring street trees are pictured grey to make the beacon of green stand out. Of course Dalston Green is a lie. It is not possible to clad tall buildings in greenery. Whilst some green walls are possible they take great resources to up keep and cannot be done at this sort of elevation. Indeed the depiction isn't even a green wall but rather fantasy trees and shrubs on top of roof gardens and balconies. What the PR doesn't concern itself with is where this vegetation will end up after a mild storm, let alone a serious gale force wind.
The Dalston tower block is a Torjan Horse. The first attempt to get planning permission for a new Dalston high rise. The dishonesty of the PR, going so far as to call it 'Dalston Green', is telling. The lies attempt to hide the truth. This is multi-million pound, profit led, housing scam that will do absolutely nothing for local people or the homeless. The plan is for 130 flats including £1m penthouses with private entrance. Only 17 flats are 'affordable', New Labour spin for poor yuppy. 30% of the flats are so small they don't even meet minimum standards. The whole thing is a transparent private developer money grab. They estimate their profit at £10m. There's also a £500k sweetner for LBH and Transport for London. The architects were slated recentlyfor their Starta Tower in Elepahant & Castle.
It isn't hard to understand why these utterly unsustainable, anti-community corporate nightmares are big on PR and spin. They need to hide their greed behind Dalston Greenwash. The interesting question is why Four Communications employ Hackney Labour councillors as account directors. Presumably they get something worth paying for.
Much of the information in this blog comes from the Open Dalston blogspot. Support thier campaign against this insane, profit grabbing scam. Sign the petition and get you objectionin before the deadline (Fri 24.2.12). Stokey Local are fighting the SN Sainsburys.
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