Hackney mayor joins fight against Shoreditch development

Reports that a campaign against a major development in the heart of London's trendy Shoreditch area has gathered momentum after the mayor of the London Borough of Hackney launched a petition against the proposal feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Independent reports that Jules Pipe, the mayor of Hackney, "issued an impassioned plea for people to sign his petition against the Bishopsgate Goodsyard development, which would involve building two apartment blocks on the site of a former rail depot". Pipe warned: "These luxury flats will cast a shadow over the whole of Tech City and threaten to damage the local creative economy. The repercussions could be so severe they lead to the loss of thousands of local jobs."

The Telegraph reports that the former chairman of National Trust has said that green belt protections are "near meaningless". The newspaper says that Sir Simon Jenkins lamented how "a national asset that public opinion ranks with the royal family, Shakespeare and the NHS, has slid into trench warfare".

The Independent reports that the government "has been forced into an embarrassing climbdown after admitting the number of homes financed by Right to Buy sales money is just over half the amount it initially claimed". The newspaper says that "social housing experts poured scorn on the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) after it slashed official figures of houses being built using council house receipts from 4,795 to 2,712". DCLG said the mistake "occurred due to councils including affordable homes partially or wholly funded by government grant in their statistics, which should have been counted separately", the newspaper adds.

The Times (subscription required) reports that one of Britain's biggest housebuilders "has rewarded its shareholders with a 50 per cent increase in the dividend after reporting a 75 per cent jump in profits on the back of the housing boom". The newspaper says Barratt Developments' results follow "in the wake of Persimmon, Bovis and Galliford Try, all of which reported recently what one analyst described as similarly ‘outrageously impressive figures’".

The Financial Times (subscription required) reports that the Indian Prime Minister’s "attempt to secure more agricultural sites for industry has stoked anger among rural workers". The newspaper says that late last year Narendra Modi’s government "promulgated an emergency ordinance, allowing forcible acquisition of land, without consent from farmers, and without any social impact assessment".

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