Saturday 29 June 2013

D'ya wanna bet? Will TfL's "Western Curve" plans get planning approval?

The old Railway Tavern at 13 Dalston Lane, in about 1910, which now is our local bookies

On Wednesday 3rd July Hackney's Planning Committee will consider TfL's application to build 106 flats and shops on Dalston's 'Western Curve'. Will the Committee agree with Hackney officers' recommendations or with the objectors?


- it provides "a well defined distinction between the public realm and the private space behind the main building facades"
- it's a privatised enclosure of public land to create a gated community

-  "the level of affordable housing proposed is the maximum amount that can be reasonably achieved on the site" 
 - providing only 9 out of 106 flats for affordable rent is totally inadequate

- "the sites are not suitable for provision of open space"
 - TfL and Hackney have ignored the local community's desire for some green public space on the sites

-  "reduces its mass at sensitive locations to create a more responsive and sculpted form" and causes "no substantial harm to heritage significance"
- the designs are bland, undistinguished and will dominate the High Street and its historic buildings.

-  the overshadowing "impacts to this (Grade II listed) property are not considered to be significant... because the property is not in residential use 
- the overshadowing of the Grade II listed building, as TfL's consultant's say, is "Substantially Adverse"

 Let Hackney know you views beforeWednesday. Click here NOW

You can read OPEN Dalston's objections here. You can see the TfL's planning application documents here. You can read Hackney's report to its Planning Committee here.

Friday 21 June 2013

Speak up before its too late! Plans for a Gated Community in Dalston are up for decision.

This is your last chance to comment on plans to build a gated community on Dalston's Western Curve. The Transport for London/Taylor Wimpey plan is expected to be decided by the Hackney Plannning Committee on Wednesday 3rd July. You can read OPEN Dalston's objections here. You can see the TfL planning application documents here.
We urge you to let Hackney know you views here.


TfL describes their designs as "sculptural" which "respond" to Dalston. We describe them as bland, overscale, undistinguished and which create a ‘sense of anyplace’ and of ‘out of place’ - NOT a sense of Dalston 

Some Basic Facts:

-  The two sites, northern and southern, front Kingsland High Street in Dalston above TfLs Western Curve rail link from Dalston to Canonbury.
-  All of TfL's public land will be privatised by enclosure within the sites, with no open or green space accessible there to the public- . Dalston is one of the most densely populated wards, and one of the most deficient in green space, in London.
-   Of 106 'units' to be built on the two sites there will only be 9 flats for social rent.  There are some 9,000 overcrowded families with children living in Hackney.
-   The developers are trying to maximise their returns by overscale buildings - at the permanent expense of our local environment. The buildings exceed the heights prescribed by the government approved Dalston Area Action Plan. The new blocks will loom over the surrounding buildings.
-  TfL will be providing no play space for children living in the new development  or locally.
-  TfL's own consultant's report states that the design of the northern block is such that overshadowing will be "Substantially Adverse" for listed and locally listed buildings.
-  The southern block will enclose Ashwin Street and conceal views of the recently restored Reeves and Son building and the Shiloh Church.
- Ashwin Street will become a "shared space" for pedestrians and HGV delivery vehicles ( to do three point turns). The pavement cafe will be overshadowed. 
- Hackney has contributed over £1million to strenthen the tunnels to support taller buildings. Hackney and TfL have both ignored OPEN's Freedom of Information requests for details of their deal.

TfL claims the designs " the ambitions of the community". ( Do you agree? Let Hackney know. Ed.)

Let Hackney know you views. Do it NOW here.

( PS TfL have cancelled two meetings with OPEN to discuss our alternative scheme for green routes through Dalston. We are losing confidence that TfL and Taylor Wimpey are interested in anyone's views except Mammon. Ed.)

TfL have a history - look at The Slab and Dalston Square.

Sunday 16 June 2013

Dalston Peace Mural to be privatised

Hackney has been advised to sell Dalston's Peace Mural building on a 15 year lease to a private developer who is converting 17-19 Dalston Lane next door into a bar and restaurant, a report to Hackney Council's Cabinet reveals.
The Railway Tavern, and the Peace Mural at 15 Dalston Lane, which Hackney bought in 2010

The report states that "the building as a whole is in a very poor state structurally and this will, if not repaired, eventually necessitate demolition. A lease to a commercial operator will enable the Council to repair the building and secure the future of the mural at no cost to the public purse and provide an income.". The Council report acknowledges that there has been no consultation on the proposal to dispose of it.

The Dalston Peace Mural is an iconic cultural landmark and part of a building which Hackney has allowed to become derelict.The structural repairs may include rebuilding the front and rear walls, during which the side wall with the mural could be potentially vunerable and in a precarious state.
It seems extraordinary that, without consultation or marketing, Hackney should agree to sell it to a new venture with no apparent trading history, which is associated with Antic Ltd. which recently collapsed reportedly owing £2.6million, which has twice been refused planning permission to develop  the neighbouring site, and which has no known record of building conservation.