There has been huge public concern about the Council's plans because development site 3 includes the Council owned part of the hugely popular Eastern Curve Garden . Some fine heritage buildings and affordable workspaces for local community and creative enterprises are also to be part of the Dalston Cultural Quarter deal.
We next had a tweet from Hackney's newly elected executive Mayor Philip Glanville. This is what he said.
It was great that Hackney Mayor wanted us to "be clear" about the Council's intentions. But how clear was he? He said the Council wasn't consulting the public about developing the Garden. And that Hackney didn't intend to develop the part of the Garden owned by Kingsland Shopping Centre.
But what about the entrance and 25% of the Garden's land which is owned by the Council? Hackney's Garden land is included in development Site 3 and its' stated intention is to dispose of all four sites to a single "development partner" to "maximise capital value and rental income for the Council " (see paragraph 7 of its' Cabinet Report)
The Mayor didn't deny that the part of the Garden owned by Hackney would be included in the development deal, just that it wouldn't be a "traditional disposal" and that, anyway, it was "a long way off".
But if the Council hasn't ruled out development of its Garden land why has it been included as part of development site 3 for a 'non-traditional disposal' at all?
Ah - so even if the Garden land is to be part of a 'non-traditional disposal' to a developer we should not assume it will all be completely developed over. But if Hackney's part of the Garden could be developed on, why are Council officers refusing to consult the public about its future?
So Hackney is consulting on ensuring the "best of Dalston is preserved" - namely heritage, community organisations, culture and workspace. But what about the only, and much loved, local public green space? The Eastern Curve Garden is, notably, not on the Mayor's list and, as the Mayor said from the start, the Council is not consulting the public on the development of the Garden.
Is that clear now? The Council owned part of the Eastern Curve Garden is included in development Site 3. In due course it will be part of a 'non-traditional' disposal to a single "development partner". The Council is not consulting the public about the Garden's future, because is not part of "the best of Dalston" to be "preserved". And we must not assume that it will be developed over entirely - some of it might be left undeveloped ( Enough for a public thoroughfare perhaps? Ed.)
What is clear is that the Mayor has failed to deny that the Garden could be developed as part of the Council's Cultural Quarter plans.
You can read OPEN Dalston's analysis and responses to Hackney's Cultural Quarter plans here. We hope that these will help inform your views and responses to the Council.You can meet and discuss the plans with Council officers between 6:00pm - 7:45pm at Hackney Town Hall (Room 32) E8 1EA on 10th April. You can also tell the Council your views here. The public consultation closes on 17th April