Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Dalston Kingsland towerblock - affordable housing abandoned.

OPEN Dalston has learned that - following discussions between the developer, Transport for London, Hackney Council and the Greater London Authority - the authorities are unlikely to insist upon any affordable housing at all in the Dalston Kingsland towerblock scheme.

OPEN Dalston has sent objections to the scheme to Hackney Council and to Boris' Greater London Authority which has power to over-rule the scheme. You can read about our main objections here.You can read our more detailed submission to Greater London Authority here The abandonment of any affordable housing now adds insult to injury.

An artists impression of the 50 metre high, 18-storey tower planned next to Dalston Kingsland station. Although dressed in green, it doesn't meet the Code 5 standard for sustainable homes.

Last December the government refused Hackney grant funding for upgrades to Dalston Kingland station. The developer now argues that if it is to pay all the £1.7 million, for remodelling the station frontage and installing lifts to the two platforms, the towerblock scheme is not sufficiently profitable to include any affordable flats at all. The penthouse duplex apartments in the exclusive private 'eco-tower' are to be marketed for about £1,000,000 each ( £1 million).

The development will dominate the historic high street, its listed buildings and overshadow local homes, businesses, Colvestone Primary School and Ridley Road market. The developer argues that it is not financially viable to build anything smaller.

The scheme submitted for planning permission, comprising 130 flats for private sale, originally included 17 flats at "affordable" prices - just 13% of the total although the official policy target is 50% . The developer argued that if it included 50% affordable flats it would only make £7.7 million profit and by including 17 affordable flats it would make only £10.9 million which is a "lower level of profit than the accepted norm". Now it is offering no affordable housing at all.

The scheme crams as many flats onto the site as possible - double the official recommended density in one of the most crowded wards in one of the most crowded boroughs in London. It extracts the maximum development value from the site but at Dalston's expense

You can see details of the application 2011/3439 on the Council's web site here.

It's not too late to make your views known to the Council. Send them in an email to and put "Planning Application 2011/3439 : 51- 57 Kingsland High Street" in the Subject line

What some of the locals say (from

The "Dressed in Green" tower is being promoted by the developer's PR company, Four Communications, which has recruited Hackney's Deputy Mayor Karen Alcock and Councillor Alan Laing (formerly a member of Barratt's PR firm Hard Hat). "We are keen to use Alan’s extensive network of contacts within London politics" said Councillor Laing's new Managing Director whose company is also promoting the new Sainsburys planned for Stoke Newington and the controversial Stamford Hill school development.

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