Saturday, 1 February 2014

Council suspends plans to demolish Dalston's Georgian houses

Following complaints from OPEN's solicitor and others, Hackney Council has suspended its plans to totally demolish its' sixteen Georgian houses in Dalston Lane without first obtaining full plannning permission. You can hear about this, and other developments, at the Saving Dalston Lane event at The Rio cinema on Saturday lunchtime.

The 1807 Dalston Terrace, in 1904, looking west to Dalston Junction (c) sludgegulper

In June 2013 Hackney obtained an updated structural report recommending total demolition and it decided that this discharged the planning conditions. Councillor Nicholson, Hackney's Cabinet Member for Regeneration, has now written to OPEN's Bill Parry-Davies to concede that the decision could not overide the Plannning Committee's original permission, which was to retain the front facades of the houses and demolish only the rear to build 44 flats.

The report, which the Council relied upon, was not published when the demolition decision was made, due to an "administrative error" Cllr. Nicholson said. (Ahem... meaning "genuine incompetence" rather than concealment. Ed.). Without publication of the report the public could not have been alerted to the fact that Hackney had approved total demolition of the houses. 

This artists impression shows the latest plan for redevelopment of the terrace by Murphy which will sell all the new flats privately and lease the ground floor shops back to Hackney.

Also, in June 2013, Hackney entered a development agreement to sell a 125 year lease of the site to Muphy for £2.38million. It is not yet known whether the agreement permitted Murphy to demolish everything, although demolition of rear extensions has already occured this year.
Hackney's 'development parnter', Murphy, has now made an application to Hackney for planning permission to "demolish and rebuild" the houses. The proposal will now involve full public consultation. We will publish details, and how you can comment, on this blog in due course.

The planning permission allows the backs and interiors of the existing terraced houses to be demolished and redeveloped as 44 flats. None will be "affordable" 

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings has written to Hackney offering specialist advice and, commenting on the demolition and rebuild scheme, stated "Any sense of patina or age will be eradicated and a great deal of the sprit of the place will be lost for ever"

Postcard of Dalston Terrace in 1940 (C) sludgegulper

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