Wednesday 14 February 2007

Hackney destroys its local listed buildings

The destruction of the Dalston Theatre continues. The rear of the original circus entrance, with its 1886 arch under which elephants may have passed to enter the circus ring, has now been revealed. The Theatres Trust advised that this 1886 entrance is “important both architecturally and historically...actually very rare because it pre-dates all of the surviving British examples”. But the Theatres Trust letter of objection was not shown to the Planning Committee and the Council’s report advised that these buildings are “ not of such merit architecturally or from the point of view of historic interest to warrant retention”.
Now the Council’s contractors have also ripped the back off 10 Dalston Lane, one of the earliest surviving Georgian buildings in Dalston Lane, and which is "locally listed". The Council's policy is to "retain and enhance" such locally listed buildings. The Council’s most recent policy statement, in September 2005, claimed “Most buildings in Hackney are not listed but many are of group value and have particular historical associations or are cherished local landmarks. The Council is committed to keeping such buildings wherever possible and views them as an asset for regeneration and for their relevance to diverse local communities”. However the Council did not consider the possibility of retaining any of these buildings as part of the new development.


  1. Notice also how the flats in the artist's impression of the new development are bathed in glorious sunlight coming from the East.

    In fact these flats will be overshadowed by the neighbouring tower blocks of the Dalston Lane South development on the site of the theatre immediately to their East and will never look as 'lovely' as they do in this idyllic picture.

  2. It is the same in Lambeth. The council's stated policy is to "preserve and enhance" but they sell out to developers unless the community is continually vigilant. (Which, in Brixton at least, a significant number of people now are). It is depressing and tiring however to have to monitor the local authority's clueless attitude to the places and buildings local people love.


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