1. We don’t need more homes here, there are already so many being built in the area. Why are you building so many?
The GLA has identified a housing need in the area. Following the London Olympics in 2012, a vision was established to make sure the Olympic Park was developed sustainably and appropriately.
2. Local businesses have struggled to find local business space in Hackney Wick & Fish Island due to redevelopment, how will you make sure that doesn’t happen?
We recognise the importance of providing commercial spaces alongside the new homes at EW+S. That’s why we have brought forward an interim use project at Hackney Bridge with our partner Makeshift, alongside the permanent commercial spaces we are creating. Together, these will provide opportunities that would be suitable for a range of businesses. Importantly, East Wick and Sweetwater is being built on previously vacant land we are not redeveloping existing buildings, but are instead providing additional commercial space.
3. Will you provide discounts to local people so they can buy a home here?
We are providing homes in a range of tenures, enabling all types of home owners or tenants to have an opportunity to live at EW+S.
4. What steps are you taking to prevent all these new properties being bought by investors?
Our homes have been built to be lived in. We will not be marketing our homes overseas or to individual investors, as we are seeking owner occupiers who will help to add to the area’s already flourishing community. A large proportion of our homes for rent will be managed by one property manager, significantly reducing the number of buy-to-let landlords, whilst also improving and maintaining a consistent level of service and maintenance.
5. How are you involving the local community in your plans?
We are committed to meaningfully engaging and listening to the community to understand their views and aspirations for future development. We hold public consultation events in advance of larger planning applications, where public feedback is considered and applied to our proposals where appropriate. The community is always well informed of these events in advance.
6. What community facilities will you be providing that we can all benefit from?
Community facility provision is detailed above, and further information will be available at our consultation events.
As part of phase one we are providing a nursery and we’re also creating new landscaped outdoor areas. As the development progresses, we anticipate on providing a community centre, library and health centre.
In advance of these new community facilities being completed, we are temporarily using space at Hackney Bridge to provide a range of community facilities.
7. How does what you are building reflect the character of the area?
The design for East Wick and Sweetwater has been influenced by existing development in the surrounding areas of Hackney Wick, Fish Island and Stratford. Through the use of certain materials and design styles, East Wick and Sweetwater will compliment neighbouring buildings, like Here East and the Copper Box Arena, whilst taking design cues from Hackney Wick and Fish Island to forge a new identity in its own right.
8. What do the place names mean and where do they come from? What is East Wick? What is Sweetwater?
East Wick was originally suggested through a competition to name new areas of the park. A local resident suggested “East Wick” to reference the eastern extension of Hackney Wick into the park. The name Sweetwater was suggested in reference to the area’s former Clarnico sweet factory, along with the area’s meandering waterways and canals.