Council to explore new options for Morning Lane Tesco site

Alternative ideas to deliver the ambitions of local people through redevelopment of the Tesco store in Morning Lane will be explored by Hackney Council as an agreement with an existing developer nears an end.

The Council bought the Hackney Central site in 2017 to ensure it had more control over what could be built in a key town centre location, after Tesco announced its intention to find a buyer for the land. It signed an agreement with Hackney Walk Ltd to develop the land into offices, workspace, housing and shops – as well as a smaller Tesco superstore.

That agreement expires in March next year, and Hackney Walk Ltd has not yet submitted a planning application. While Hackney Walk Ltd continues to have the right to submit a planning application to the Council and secure planning permission for an acceptable development until then, the Council is now exploring other options for the future of the site and wider town centre in case that does not happen.

Any alternative proposals would be subject to thorough consultation with local people, and have to meet the Council’s planning rules for the area – including on genuinely affordable housing and workspace. Any change in approach would not affect the continuing operation of the existing Tesco store, which local people have made clear is important to them.

Dozens of residents raised the future of the site in the Council’s large-scale Hackney Central Conversation, which heard from around 2,000 people about their priorities for the area.

Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney
When we intervened to buy this land four years ago, we were really clear about why – to stop untrammeled development in the middle of the civic and economic heart of Hackney.

Our agreement with Hackney Walk is designed to deliver exactly the kind of things that local people have told us they want to see and what our town centre needs – more shops, more affordable workspace, places for businesses to grow, affordable homes and better public spaces, as well as long-term income for the Council to fund vital public services. 

As that agreement nears its end, it’s common sense that we, as a Council, explore what alternatives there are to develop this site in the interests of our residents in case it doesn’t come off. That work starts now, and any new ideas will be worked up in close partnership with local people and businesses.
Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney

The Council is now using the priorities identified through the Hackney Central Conversation to ensure that changes in the area benefit local people and businesses first, starting with a newly revamped Hackney Central station.

This month the Council will continue working with local people and councillors on plans to deliver on feedback from the Hackney Central Conversation by creating a new plan for Hackney Central, which will include a new town centre strategy and updated planning rules.

Visit the Hackney Central Regeneration page to find out more.