Monday, 3 December 2007
Hackney Council demolishes more Georgian houses
This is 60-66 Dalston Lane, part of an 1827 Georgain terrace, as it looked in March 2004 when the new owners, an off-shore company, applied for planning permission to demolish the terrace and build rabbit-hutches.
OPEN called in English Heritage who, in August 2004, advised that:
"this is a strong group that has clear local history, despite the poor condition that detracts from their cohesion. Overall the buldings make a valuable contribution to the area, representing early 19th century development in Hackney, an area that grew considerable in this period....inclusion on the local list or within a Conservation Area would be an appropriate designation and recognition of the buildings significance"
Within one month of that report there was an arson attack and 62-64Dalston Lane were burnt down. Mysteriously, bricks from the flank wall of 60 Dalston Lane, and part of the roof, were later deliberately removed.
OPEN has previously written here about the history
In January 2005 the Dalston Lane (West) Conservaton Area was declared. Councillor Nicholson, Hackney Council's Cabinet member for regeneration, said at the time "We're keen conservation areas are used to bring buildings back into use and create improvements to the built environment."
OPEN has since then been urging the Council to take action to bring them back into use and improve the environment. In November 2006 the Council wrote to local shops about its responsibility for and committment to "preserving Hackney's built heritage". Eventually in September 2007 the Council exercised conservation area powers to make the buildings structurally sound and watertight. But it was too little and too late. They had become struturally unstable - and so the Council has done what the owners had wanted all along. It demolished them.
OPEN has asked the Council what its powers and intentions are to rebuild them. Answer came there none.