Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Luxury flats will make Colvestone School nursery "resemble a prison"

The featureless rear wall of a block of luxury flats "would not only block the sunlight over much of the playground for most of the day  – making the space dark, damp and cold – but it will also resemble a prison wall" said Dalston's Judith Watt  who has issued Court action against Hackney Council to challenge its' grant of planning permission for the development next to a Dalston nursery. You can help the parents' campaign by signing the petition and Judith's claim by donating towards expenses.



This view from Ridley Road market shows the development site and Grade II Listed Colvestone School. The school nursery's open space is between the site and the school and currently receives adequate sunlight. The three storey block of flats, with ground floor cafe, could be built right on its southern boundary. 


(Judith tells me that, at 9.55m, the wall is about three times the height of the Berlin Wall. Ed.)

The development will block sunshine from the playground as well as the view of the school which is at the western entrance of the St Mark's Conservation Area. The Head Teacher told the planners that the development would make the open space less useable and cause a risk to the toddler's health and their sense of well being. The Council Committee granted permission using the Chair's casting vote  


An architect's shadow diagram showing the nursery school and the overshadowing effect of the new block of flats.

Apart from the shadow making the nursery's play/learning area slippery with moss, slime and ice, sunlight deprivation is recognised as a serious risk factor for toddlers developing rickets which causes deformed bones. Children with darker skin, which absorbs less Vitamin D, are particularly at risk. Due to the increase in cases of rickets England's Chief Medical Officer, Prof Dame Sally Davies said in 2013 that all children should be offered vitamin supplements to safeguard their health. Hackney has since offered free vitamin supplements to all local school children 



The developers, Chan and Eayrs, say on their website, "We believe that simple things like the natural light that fills a space and awakens your spirits...enriches life in a way that is priceless".


(Indeed it does. Perhaps the developers would donate their profits to Hackney to help pay for the vitamin supplements for future generations of our school kids. Ed)


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