TfL's plan to "green up" Dalston is limited to planting some street trees. This image is from their planning application documents.
The Taylor Wimpey/TfL application is, as previously reported, to develop two sites fronting Kingsland High Street just north of Dalston Junction. The Southern site is on the east side of the High Street adjoining Ashwin Street. The Northern site is on the west side adjoining Boleyn Road.
There will 108 new flats across both sites,with ground floor shops bars and offices, but only 10 flats will be for "affordable" social rent. The rest will be for sale. The railway sites are public land owned by TfL,which is an agency of the Greater London Authority whose policy target (like Hackney's) is to achieve 50% affordable housing.
The Council's public consultation officially closes on 20th December. The Planning Committee decision is expected in early January or February. You can see the planning application documents here and make comments here
The Northern site block will be 8 storeys. The buildings surrounding it are 3 and 4 storeys
Since April we have been suggesting that small parts of the development sites should include pockets of managed green public space, to create a "green route" north from Dalston Lane up Boleyn Road towards Butterfield Green and Clissold Park.
Hackney's award winning social enterprise Growing Communities, and Grow Cook Eat which manages the award winning Eastern Curve Garden, have both welcomed the idea and say our scheme for "small green oasis in the heart of Dalston" is viable.
Taylor Wimpey acknowledge the public support for the idea but have told us that "the only viable opportunity for open green space will be that used by the residents and guests of the proposed scheme". So, very little public benefit is planned for this development.
Shanghai is in a Grade2 listed building and is part of an exquisite 1902 terrace on the High Street next to the northern site
TfL/Taylor Wimpey say that creating "open space would not be compliant with the Dalston Area Action Plan (DAAP)" but in fact the Council's design guidance for the sites states that "new and improved areas of green open space and/or public realm will be encouraged".
Contrary to the DAAP guideline for 4-6 storeys on the sites TfL/Taylor Wimpey are packing an 8-storey building onto the northern site and the scale of it will dominate this 1902 historic terrace. It will overshadow it to such an extent that, according to TfL's own consultants "there will not be acceptable sunlight access to the buildings". Even the design for their private amenity space within the gated development "does not provide adequate daylight according to the garden and open space sunlight assessment".
This developers' illustration shows the shadow effect of the 2 developments in summer - when the sun is at its highest.
On the southern site TfL propose a 6-storey continuous terrace which will block sunlight and views from the High Street of the Ashwin Street locally listed Reeves Printhouse and Colourworks building and the Shiloh Church.
Developers illustration of the southern, Ashwin Street, site. It will have 49 flats and 750 sq m of commercial uses including retail, cafes and bars.
To service the commercial uses Ashwin Street will become a "shared space" for pedestrians and HGV delivery/waste collection vehicles. Some windows of Reeves Printhouse, presently used by Arcola Theatre, will lose over 25% of their light and the outdoor seating areas in front of Cafe Oto will also become significantly overshadowed.
This developers' illustration shows how Ashwin Street will be enclosed by the 6-storey development where once there were 2-3 storey buildings. The scene is late morning before the shadows lengthen. Afternoon & evening sunlight, and views, from the west will be blocked.
Consultants recommend high sound insulation for the flats, due to the railway and High Street traffic noise and so, they say, noise from performances and punters in the Ashwin Street creative hub shouldn't be a problem for new residents. (I hope they don't need to leave their windows open or sit out on the balconies. Ed),
TfL schemes are not noted for prioritising design excellence. TfL's Dalston Square development is creating, as predicted, a hard landscaped, overshadowed, wind-tunnel in the canyon between the tower blocks. The development resulted in the loss of historic Dalston Theatre and locally listed Georgian houses. Experience does not fill us with confidence in TfL's current proposals.
OPEN Dalston urges all of Dalston's community to consider the current planning application carefully. We will report more details as they emerge. Think of the needs of our future generations, as well as your own needs, before you send your comments to the Council