Friday, 22 February 2013

Hackney to sell off Dalston playground.

Public green land owned by the Council is to be sold as part of a major private development in Dalston. 120 flats, in 5 to 10 storey blocks, are to be built on land which had been earmarked as a priority by the Council for a public children's playground.

Artist's impression of the scheme from the Matalan/Sainsbury's car park which has since been lined with 8 - 14 storey towers

The recently approved Dalston Area Action Plan (DAAP) specified that the public playground would be specially landscaped and designed as an "active youth space" for kids of twelve years and over. But there's no sign of that in the development scheme proposed. The GLA London Planners have even suggested that a designated 'semi-private courtyard' should be entirely privatised to give residents in the flats "a sense of ownership". The development will be 87% privately owned. 

Artist's impression from Dalston Lane railway bridge with blocks rising from five to ten stories.

We are told that the Council's Planning Department has already decided  to recommend the scheme although it departs radically from its own DAAP guidelines for the site in terms of building height, housing density, priority employment uses and affordable housing.

The development land's value will increase very significantly if it all goes according to the landowner's plan. The Council will be quids in too if it grants planning permission because it also owns part of the land ! In that case, sadly, Dalston kids would lose out. ( Not to mention the 60 odd artist's who will lose their affordable studios. Ed)

You can comment on the official plan here
You can sign the dissenter's petition here

(PS  Play Space is so lacking in Dalston that the authorities 'big idea' now is "Play Streets." Ed)

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