Saturday, 11 February 2012

Does Dalston need a landmark building?

Do we need a "landmark building" to know where the Dalston Kingsland station is? Yes, according to the Council and the developer seeking planning permission for the new towerblock. They say we need a "visually sustainable" landmark building to mark the "gateway" to the town centre, to give it "legibility" and a "sense of arrival".

So, in the future, when we arrive at the station we will see the bleak North Face of the tower rising above us like a sheer 50 metre aluminium and glass cliff blotting out the sunlight. Then we will know that we have arrived somewhere. . But where? Dalston?... or is it Canary Wharf, Croydon, could be anywhere?

But it seems from this survey that most people in Dalston already know where Dalston is. Couldn't the Council just put up a few more street signs to help any lost souls get to the station?

We could save Dalston's local character, identity and lots of sunlight if we didn't need a towerblock to landmark the station.

You can see details of the planning application 2011/3439 on the Council's web site here. The Council's official consultation deadline has now been extended.

You can read a summary of OPEN Dalston's main objections here.You can read our more detailed submission to Greater London Authority 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

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.


  1. That is most definitely a Developer-lead design.

    My problem is the scale and the lack of beauty.

    I support development but this is a cynical exercise in spreadsheet design. Maximise the footprint and the massing and squeeze 'em in.

    It is an ugly building without a hint of elegance or context to the character and setting.

    I fully expect Hackney to approve the application.

    Any idea who designed this beauty?

  2. This is not a land mark. You cannot polish a turd!

  3. Cllr Alan Laing has decided to resign as a councillor ... to spend more time with his bank account.
    We can only look with foreboding at the final sentence in his swan song:
    "I will also take a keen interest in the borough and I look forward to seeing the transformation as it continues in the years to come."
    Transformation? No mate. It's more like ... environmental rape!

  4. Just sent in my online objection. This is not for Hackney. Market housing for more that cannot afford it. Too high in density and with it problems of exhausted services, congestion and further more no contribution to affordable housing. What is this country coming too ?!?


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