You can read OPEN Dalston's objections here
The old 1807 and 1820s houses in Dalston Lane, with modern development behind. (c) Mooneyphoto
The few surviving 200 year old houses in Dalston Terrace represent the history, the character and the identity of Dalston's present and past generations. They represent the spirit of the place. Despite the neglect and indifference of the owners, we have fought long and hard to see the restoration and re-use of these houses (See page 72 - Ed.) We will not give up.
This video shows the appalling neglect and vandalism of the houses by the owners and, despite its promises to us, Hackney's historic indifference to their fate and its community's views
In August 2012 Hackney's Planning Committee were advised that the facades and shop fronts could be retained and restored, as well as having 44 new flats built on the back. Its' members voted for a 'conservation led scheme', which required the retention and restoration of the facades and shop fronts Yet all the experts now realise that if the developer, Murphy, implements the present designs, the buildings will have to be entirely demolished.
Early this year Murphy started demolishing the backs of the houses with Hackney's authority. It was unlawful, as they admit, and we stopped them.
The present designs include creating "open plan" shops. This would involve demolition of ground floor structural walls and would probably lead to the facades total collapse. That is why the developer, Murphy, has now applied for permission to demolish everything. But those designs are totally unnecessary - shopkeepers have been trading from the Dalston Terrace houses without "open plan shops" for over 100 years.
The ground floor interior of one of the 1807 houses planned for demolition (c) Mooneyphoto
Last year the Council's appointed independent expert conservation engineers, Alan Baxter Associates, who reported that, with care, there is potential for some of the surviving 1807 and 1820s Georgian houses to be reused. We think that only one main design change is needed. Don't create "open plan shops". Most of the existing structures can then be retained, repaired and reused. And new flats can also be built at the back.
If Hackney's Planning Committee refuse permission for total demolition Murphy will have to amend its designs by not creating "open plan shops". It could implement the existing planning permission, reusing as much of the structures as is reasonably possible, in a "genuine conservation led" scheme ie one in which the scheme is subservient to the buildings, rather than destroying them.
Retention of the historic houses of Dalston Terrace is a requirement of the Dalston Area Action Plan, which was approved by the Government Inspector and adopted by Hackney's full Council in January 2013. It states, in summary, that "Existing buildings and open spaces of historic or architectural merit must be conserved... features will be protected and enhanced in relation to....the conservation-led regeneration of the terrace extending from 46 to 86a Dalston Lane..appropriate contemporary design is possible which compliments the restored elements of the Terrace"
Demolition would also be contrary to the Council' policies as landowner, as expressed in The State of Hackney's Historic Environment "Safeguarding historic physical asserts is a key element in the Council’ regeneration programme and is a proven and sustainable strategy.”
Our objection is not to do with the politics, deception, vanity and greed on display -those are not planning considerations. It is about the value and public benefit to our local culture and identity by conserving historic continuity. It is about Dalston.
WE URGE EVERYONE TO OBJECT TO THE DEMOLITIONS. MAKE YOU VIEWS KNOW TO THE COUNCIL BY CLICKING HERE