Thursday 20 July 2006

Yet more tall storeys - Hackney’s Dalston Lane South site –

Underneath Dalston Lane, at the north end of both TfL’s and Hackney’s site, is the planned route for the Chelsea/Hackney tube line (Crossrail2)– a benefit to Hackney of far greater significance than TfLs proposed shuttle service from Dalston to Whitechapel tube station. Although OPEN alerted Crossrail2 to the London Development Agency’s revised plans, to increase the height of the northern block from 7 to 10 storeys, Crossrail2’s enquires with Hackney Council in April were initially met with a denial that the LDA’s planning application lodged in March even existed. Crossrail2 is a statutory consultee and, after further enquiries, it eventually received an invitation from Hackney to comment and duly replied requiring certain planning conditions to ensure that the foundation works for the proposed towers do not interfere with the land safeguarded for the new tube tunnel. Imagine Crossrail2’s surprise to learn that the Council’s Officers had reported to its Planning Sub-Committee last Thursday 13 July that there was “No Response” from Crossrail2. Members duly approved the LDAs application, without Crossrail2’s conditions, by use of the Vice-Chair’s casting vote. Crossrail2 is now even crosser.

Government Green Light for TfL’s Dalston Junction site

On 18.7.06 the Government Office for London replied to OPEN to explain the Secretary of State’s decision not to call in TfL’s planning permission to build a bus station, shops and towerblock flats for sale above their proposed new Dalston Junction station. The nub appears to be that the proposed transport interchange is “an essential part of the transport improvements required for the London Olympics 2012” and that the local objections made (that the development blights the area and provides no adequate community benefit) do not raise sufficient conflict with national policies to merit intervention. OPEN has also learnt that TfL require the value of Hackney Council’s neighbouring site to contribute to the £19million funding shortfall on the cost of TfLs over-station slab and the demolition of Dalston’s historic buildings on that site to maximize its value. Last year the authorities denied that this had anything to do with the Olympics and everything to do with “regeneration”.

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