Last week OPEN wrote an open letter to Hackney's Mayor, Jules Pipe. OPEN requested that he meets, at a 'round table', with the Spitalfields Trust and OPEN, and any others he chooses. The meeting would discuss the options available to avoid the planned total demolition of the sixteen Georgian houses of Dalston Terrace. Hackney's Mayor has been committed to saving them since 2006. An automated reply informed OPEN that the Mayor should reply to the letter within 10 days.
Time is tight. On 3rd October the High Court will consider whether OPEN's legal challenge, to the lawfulness of Hackney's decisions to demolish the buildings, should be permitted to continue. So far the Court has not prohibited demolition but Hackney, and its development partner Murphy, say they have held off the bulldozers to await the Court's decision.
In the meantime the Spitalfields Trust, hearing of the perilous state of the ancient houses, and the Hackney/Murphy "genuine conservation scheme" for total demolition, have ridden to the rescue. "We feel we cannot stand by and see these buildings demolished" said Oliver Leigh-Wood of the Spitalfields Trust
Here comes the cavalry! Spitalfields Trust have rescued numerous historic buildings and are regarded by many as the most successful historic buildings trust in the country.
Spitalfields Trust has proposed a scheme which not only restores the 1807 pairs of Georgian houses ( and some of their front gardens on Dalston Lane! Ed.) but which would, unlike the Hackney/Murphy scheme, additionally provide 24 affordable flats. What could be more to the public benefit?
Spitalfields Trust's Tim Whittaker has sketched of how the Georgian terrace could be faithfully restore (See Spitalfields Life)
So, we are awaiting Hackney Mayor's reply to OPENs letter.
But, in case we do end up in Court on 3rd October, PLEASE KEEP DONATING TO THE FIGHTNING FUND TO DEFEAT MUNICIPAL VANDALISM !! (Shouting. Ed.)
If we win we should recover most of our legal costs. All donations , after legal costs and expenses have been met, will be refunded pro-rata.
OPEN now has to raise a further £10,000 to fund the legal costs of a full Court hearing. We urge everybody to donate whatever they can to support the campaign. Please give whatever you can afford to help defeat municipal vandalism and save some of Dalston's surviving fragments of Georgian heritage. You can donate by PayPal...
or by direct transfer to OPEN's bank account:
OPEN Dalston Barclays Bank Sort code: 20-46-57 Account 33274659
You can follow the "Save Dalston Lane" campaign on Twitter and Facebook