OPEN has today filed an application in the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal against the decision of a High Court Judge that he could not to stop the demolition of our Georgian houses in Dalston Lane. The Judge could find no procedural error which would enable him to overturn the planning permission, given by Hackney Council last March to its development partner Murphy, to demolish the sixteen antique houses. You can read about the Judge's decision here.
Also today the Spitalfields Trust, after waiting months and months, had a meeting with Hackney's Property Services officers. The Trust presented a genuine conservation scheme which not only involves restoration faithful to the antiquity of the 1807 houses, but also involves developing the remainder as 24 affordable flats in partnership with a housing association. ( What more could be of public benefit! Ed ) You can read about the Spitalfields Trust scheme here. The Hackney/Murphy scheme involves complete demolition and building bogus replica houses "in heritage likeness" and provides no affordable housing at all. The Trust now awaits Hackney's response to its proposal.
If you oppose the demolition of our Georgian houses, and support the Spitalfields Trust scheme, please sign the petition here and, even better, add your comments. The petition and comments will be sent to Hackney's Mayor Pipe - who still hasn't replied to OPENs letter offering to arrange a meeting for him with Spitalfields Trust.
OPEN has had a rollercoaster battle in trying to save these houses from municipal vandalism which began many years ago. We have been supported financially and in spirit by local and national amenity societies and by many eminent people. The Judge's decision was a sad and heavy blow to our campaign but it is the numerous smaller donations from the Dalston community which have inspired us to carry on! These sums have added up to over £10,000!! But more is now needed and we urge everyone to give what more they can to fund OPENs application to the Court of Appeal (Click here to donate). You can also buy quality campaign T-shirts and bags here which would also help us carry on the fight (Christmas present problems solved! Ed.).
We have not given up hope that these surviving fragments of Dalston's history can be saved and be admired by future generations. We also hope that, by providing affordable homes, at least some of our local families won't be driven out of the community by the exhorbitant local rents.