Thursday, 22 October 2009

Wind Turbine on Hackney Marshes?

Pics: Hackney Council

If everyone agrees - Leabank Square could soon have a new fan!

The ODA would love to erect a wind turbine on the East Marsh at the edge of the footie fields - as part of the Olympic Park - but leave it afterwards as part of the legacy. There's no getting away from it - at 120 metres - it's going to be HUGE! It will certainly be very visible from Leabank Square and most of The Wick.

The consultation has started - and will continue until December 14 - after which a decision will be made to put it to the planning committee - or move it elsewhere.

Nothing is certain at this point - all they asking is what we think.

  • Heaps of green electricity for Hackney
  • Some rent for Hackney Council which they promise to send the Marshes way
  • It adds to The Wicks green credentials
  • It's really great looking
  • A landmark for lost visitors to be directed to Leabank Square from


  • It will have an 80 metre exclusion zone beneath it - so some loss of acess to green
  • Yet more construction on the Marshes
  • It's really ugly looking

So what do we think? In order to help us make our minds up - Charlie Foreman form Hackney Councils 2012 team has offered to chat to us. He has plenty more info about it - and probably has an opinion as well. Please let me know what you would like to do about his offer - but also - let me know what you think about having a giant fan spinning a few metres down the canal.


Paul said...

Hi Sóna
Personally I think this is a great idea. It fits into the ethos and charachter of Hackney Wick perfectly. It's always been a cross between residential and industrial. What better way to show this than by having an ultra modern industrial way of powering up the residential streets?

Lucy said...

I think its awful and I'd hate to look out of my living room window and have that staring back. I'd rather have solar panels on roofs than that thing!

I know it would be good for the environment etc but sorry, I'd rather give that up and have green marshes than a wind turbine!

Matt said...

Oh Cool! We would be joining the 21st century eventually. I know its not exactly opposite us, but just to say to people I know that I live near it would be cool.

Mohammed said...

Sóna, these computer generated pictures are always supposed to make things look attractive, but these just make it look boring. Maybe its the sheer scale of the windmill, but I can't seem to be able to judge by them. Maybe it would be better to get Charlie down with more pics, maps, info, etc?

Maria said...

None of us wants to lose ANY more green space Shona, but the advantages of millions of green kilowatts of energy surely far outweigh astrip of land no?
Plus it looks quite stylish actually. I know we won't All be able to see it from every residence, but we will still see it out and about.
What are the police going to do about their copter flight path?

Ms Scarletttttttt said...

Sóna, we've lost Arena Fields already, we're going to lose part of the East Marsh to the new changing rooms & caff, now along comes another scheme for us to ose yet more space.
What other developments do you think are coming our way, to take yet more green away from us?
Ms Scarlettttttt

AEGrant said...

This isn't a possibility, this is going up, it's on all the plans for the Eton Manor Fields Area. It'll be situated in The Olympic Training Area, which is where Eton Manor Fields used to be between Ruckholt Road and the A12. What is going to be on Hackney Marshes opposite this is a massive Northern Spectator Transport Mall, ie a Massive car/coach park.

Bruce said...

Sóna, how close are the 2 wind turbines going to be? I suppose I'm asking how close Eaton Manor is from the East Marsh. Remember when we used to go cycling there, is it going up in THAT corner? Sort of near where the Velodrome is now?
I guess we should/will be able to see BOTH wind turbines from Leabank Square huh? So if we will be able to see the Eaton Manor one, we may as well get to like the East Marsh one as well.

Doug said...

Hey dude. I think that having a turbine across the canal will bring that extra (scuse the pun) cool factor to the wick. We are already an amzing community, now we can be an incredible location as well.

MattW said...

I don't see the problem. Having an engineering background I find structures like this fascinating and beautiful in their own way.

Whether or not Wind Power is a viable alternative energy source is another debate entirely, but anything that might lead to better energy security and lower bills must be a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I find them ugly and I've been next to wind turbines and they are very noisy. Not a great idea for the Marshes, I think.
On top of that, the amount of energy provided is not as big as people imagine.
Unfortunately "green energy" seems to make everything justifiable in this age.

Lucy said...

On the Hackney Council website it says the the energy will be used for Hackney buildings (like the Town Hall) and street lamps so really what actual benefit is it to us? Its not lowering our bills. I doubt our council tax will drop. AND we lose 80 metres around the thing- more of our marshes gone!
If they want greener energy, why not stick solar panels on the roof of the Town Hall?

matt said...

I like this idea.

As for council buildings and streetlights (which seems to be the intended plan) can you tell me what is wrong with that?

As far as I know - and please correct me if I am wrong - the turbine will be constructed at the end of the football pitches on Hackney Marsh.

At the other end of the field is a bridge which leads you into nicer territory. Which goes on for 25 miles at least. If there is a possibility for this borough to be greener maybe this is it.

But maybe I don't find wind turbines particularly ugly.

Do you?

Anna said...

No Matt I don't. I actually think they're quite beautiful to look at, especially when you see a bunch of them together.
But I guess what Lucy and some more of us here in Leabank Square are feeling a bit miffed about is the loss of yet more green space.
We lost our orchard directly opposite Leabank Square in Arena Fields. Then we lost the whole of Arena Fields. Then the largest office block in East London is being built on Arena Fields directly opposite us.
This has all happened in the space of a few short years. And now along comes yet another 'development' that - for some reason - HAS to be built on yet more green land. Why can't they find land in the actual Olympic Park to erect this turbine. They've stolen the land (through an act of parliament)already, they own it now, surely they can find a corner of it to site this turbine.
Because this all sets yet more precedent, doesn't it.
Arena Fields was bequeathed to the citizens of London 'in perpetuity' by Villiers, yet it was stolen. Hackney Marshes was given to Londoners by the City of London, yet a bit is going to be taken away (I assume by yet another act of parliament) - so what's next?

Bev said...

Not just that Anna, but there are still unanswered questions about the road in front of us. The road immediatly in front was always planned as a temp road, until after the games when it has to revert to green space again. In the last few plans I've seen for the legacy mode, it still apears as a road in 2014!
But I'm with you on the wind turbine, ANY means to decrease the harm done to the environment is good in my books. I have children, and I hope long after I've gone that my great, great grandchildren will still have a decent quality of life. This can only happen if we start using alternatives like this wind turbine.
But I do like Lucy's idea of completely roofing Leabank Square in solar panels. We could probably make enough leccy to make a profit selling the left over to Hackney Council!

Maz said...

Forgive me if I am wrong, I occasionally am, but isn't this just another excuse for the ODA to stick another giant penis up on the horizon, only to all have a massive get together when they are all erected, and have one huge play-a-long?
Enough with the erections boys, leave my flat horizon alone!

Aleesha said...

Maz, you GO girl!
Me - I love my architecture tall, sleek and curvy. I really love this wind turbine, and would love to see it from the first block. Only I guess the terrace next to us will block my view. Still, we should be able to see it from the riverbank no?

Lucy said...

I agree with the ladies above.
All im trying to say is I dont feel a bit of greener electricity can substitute yet MORE space being taken away from us. I have a 3 year old and I obviously dont want his and the following generations to be lumped with the problems we have caused either but why cant they find somewhere else for it?
I've lived in Leabank for coming up to 20 years. We were the second or third family to move into Leabank so I've seen lots of changes to the area, lots good and some bad (in my opinion). I have so many memories of the marshes and sorry for getting sentimental but Im absolutely SICK of seeing yet more land being taken away from us. I dont find wind turbines that attractive, I know that some people do, thats fine.
The biggest issue for me is having more space taken away from us. I dont see why it has to be OUR space. It might only be over in the corner of some field down the road from us but it still matters to me.

Leticia said...

Wow, Lucy must have seen some changes!! I've only been here a couple of years, and I feel exactly the same way! It seems as though each week some new part of the Wick HAS to be developed just for the sake of it.
Is there REALLY no space left in Arena Fields? Surely they are not going to fill the whole Arena Fields with buildings?
What about after they flatten the kitchens? It is actually bigger than the space they want to nick from the Marshes! I know it means having it looming over us, but at least they can't get any more green space!

Dirk said...

Sóna, wouldn't it make more sense having all the power generated in one place? Why can't they site it next to the geo-mass generator at the old Clarnico Factory? The buildings they have put there are so uninspiring - they need a better focal point - and this wind turbine would do just that.

Tony said...

Hey Sóna
Its probably another one of those things that the oda are going to pretend to consult us about and then go ahead an do it anyway.
When have they ever listend to us? We all did not want Arena Fields to be built over, but look at it now!

Jack said...

I live over the road in Trowbridge, and altho me and the dog miss Arena Fields a lot, I wouldn't mind the wind thingie going up there now that the Fields have gone.
I just dont want them to take no more green space away from the Marshes. Soon there will be no space to walk Jock no more.

Luke said...

Sóna we all know that the ODA are their own plan granters. The only difference here is that they are trying to grab some space that's outside their own park. I say we should all deny them this opportunity and make them find somwhere in the land they've already grabbed from us.

Linda said...

Hey Sóna
I can see you gardening, but why no more threads? Come on slacker! Get some more news on up here, never mind the tulips.

Sarah said...

Isn't this all a bit of a wierd story Sóna? How come the lead from this is coming from Hackney Council when it's clearly an ODA project?!
Is it one of those sweetners that the ODA have promised HC for the loss of Arena Fields, the massive noise, the humungous clouds of dust, the trillions of extra trucks on our roads, etc?
Why have the ODA underplayed this massive project? They seem to have left it all up to HC to do the PR for this one.
Something smells fishy, and it sure as hell aint the carp in our canal.

Matt3 said...

To my knowledge, there are very few wind turbines in inner-city urban areas in the UK. I've seen some in Holland though.
I for one, will be the proudest resident in Hackney Wick if this gets the go-ahead.
I know that its a marmite issue, but as i LOVE marmite, I will LOVE to be associated with this symbol of future looking, energy responsible, 'we are the greenest bunch of citizens' statement!

Imagine the kudos down the pub?! Yeah I love in the shadow of the Hackney Wick Wind Turbine.

Having said all that - I agree with Lucy about having solar panels on our rooves, and Anna about losing yet more green land.

Jess said...

Well I love it!!!

Tom said...

Hey Dude, why you so quiet man? Now to this GIANT fan.......

If I say that I'm against it (because I don't want the greedy bastards to get any more of our land) - then I come across all Daily Mail. If I say that I love it (because - of course - we should be using alternatives to fossil fuels) then I come across all Morning Star.

As I happen to get the Guardian - I reckon I'm on safe ground (unless the ODA are CPOing Leabank Square AS WELL) - by saying that it should deffo go up - but somewhere on the land they've already shafted out of us.

But I want to be able to see it. But I want cheaper leccy bills. But I want it to be silent.
But I don't want to feel vibrations.

Got all that?

Meg said...

Hi Sóna, we need the turbine - and many more! - but I think the Olympic park is gigantic enough to accomodate it without felching any more green space off of us.
I'm sending Mayor Pipe a list of sites which I'll show you on Tuesday.

emmajack said...

I am very much in favour of the wind turbine on hackney marsh. Wind turbines are an excellent source of renewable energy, possess their own beauty and (for those who don't like them) when other solutions to the energy question are discovered - they are removable. Please please say yes to the turbine.

Ted of Hackney said...

The turbine is a great signpost for 'Green Values' but could I ask you to read the following and then think a little more deeply about what those values are.

The case for the Turbine is bogus!
Here is just part of the case against it

1) The site for the Turbine is Common Land, control of land will be handed over to a private interest energy company or companies.

2)The Turbine could be sited anywhere else and the energy transmitted by cable to Hackney in the normal way.

3) A series of smaller turbines would generate the same energy without dominating the skyline.

4) Hackney Marshes and the greater Lea-Marshes still provide an experience of a rural environment in close proximity to very dense housing conurbations. The open horizens and 'big sky' are a key element of this. A towering structure, combined with large-scale housing developments through the Lea Marshes will destroy this

5) Mental Health Problems are suffered by very large numbers of people in the borough, and Depression is
now being recognised aa a much more widespread problem than previously recorded. Recovery from these conditions along with M.E. and a whole variety of stress related illnesses is improved when sufferers have the opportunity to enjoy the experience of an outdoor natural, semi-rural environment.

6) The leisure and recreation opportunities of this open space have barely begun to be developed by schools & other learning groups. A small sample study by University College London in the adjacent housing estate revealed that children and play-workers have no experience of, and know almost nothing about 'cost free' types of play and recreation in natural free-space.

7) While many are content to use their Motor Cars to take their children to the sea-side or other wide-open spaces, the people who cannot afford to travel are not being informed of the benefits that lie on their doorstep. The majority of Hackney residents know very little about the marshes other than the football pitches. The council seems content to reinforce this narrow idea.

The choice between football and the environment is a cruelly false one. It disguises the take-over of common land by private companies. It plays on people's capacity to surrender something for the greater good. For shades of things to come, go to Millfields Recreation Ground, E5, and see the land grab being carried out by the National Grid and EDF by their redeveloped power station.

The is a lot more to Hackney Marshes than football. They are part of the greater Lea Marshes, a semi rural space with wide horizens and open skies existing in close proximity to very dense housing conurbations. This space is threatened on all sides and is about to be cut through by high-rise housing developments, courtesy of Waltham Forest Council. Wind Turbines are iconic, beautiful and powerful political symbols, but, just like the Statue of Liberty, siting and context are everything. This turbine could be an albatross around the neck of the green movement for generations to come.

If Hackney schools were teaching children the pleasures and the meaning of the enjoyment of the countryside, those same children would eventually be spending more time outdoors and less time indoors with the heating thermostat at maximum while they play at 'virtual outdoors' electronic games. This policy would also fit with the Government 'Horizens' project. This scheme aims to reduce personal depression among the adult population by ensuring that children have meaningful emotional experiences.
There are no fast profits to be had, and there are limited political gains in the quiet enjoyment of natural free-space; perhaps there are some healthy gains, though, for the ecology and well-being of our shared world and a growth in direct knowledge of its precious fragility.

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