Friday 8 January 2016

Crossrail2: OPEN Dalston's proposals to TfL for limiting the damage to Dalston.

OPEN Dalston has today responded to TfL's consultation plans for a Crossrail2 tube station in Dalston. Whilst welcoming the plans there are likely to be major impacts on local homes, businesses, amenities like Ridley Road market as well as to the historic environment. Whole streets may be demolished. You can read our proposals to TfL, which suggest alternatives to their plans, here.

You can let TfL know your views by completing their questionnaire or sending an email to . TfL's public consultation closes today 8th January at 5pm .

We reproduce an below an extract from our representations which relates to our proposals for surface level ventilation shafts.

6          Ventilation Shafts – design and location

Construction of surface ventilation shafts in a tight urban area like Dalston carries the risk of demolition of character buildings and an obvious potential to create a featureless void which will make a negative contribution to the surrounding area which, in Dalston’s case, is one of considerable sensitivity.

We wish to make proposals to Crossrail2 to consider mitigating this. We wish to explore with TfL

- the recovery of heat generated in the Underground to supply heat and/or hot water to neighbouring properties ( most likely to those developed on left-over land which Crossrail2 acquires for its railway construction operations)
-  the capture at surface level, the surplus heat and CO2 emissions from the Underground which would otherwise go to waste, for their use in plant growing.

The recycling of heat generated in underground railways is not a novel idea, and has been utilised in Stockholm, Paris and Islington. Heat recovery would contribute to significant energy saving.
The recycling of surplus heat and CO2 emissions for plant growing is innovative and would contribute to bio-diversity. The imaginative development of vent shafts could, by good design, create such functionality and mitigate the environmental damage caused to their locations. The capturing heat and CO2 has been devised and successfully trialed in Dalston by the award winning scientist Charlie Paton who also invented seawater greenhouses.

Friday 1 January 2016

Looking forward to 2016. A Dalston future.

In the post of March last year we celebrated OPENs tenth birthday which concluded by foreshadowing some developments for 2016.

We welcomed, after three years of campaigning, the proposed new Dalston Conservation Area (which it is hoped will go before the Council for approval in January). But we also raised concerns about areas which had been missed out -  what Hackney has called Dalston's "Cultural Quarter" - the Reeves Printhouse, the Railway Tavern, the old houses at 10-16 Ashwin Street and 16-22 Dalston Lane, Why was Hackney not conferring Conservation Area protection on them as well, we asked? Was there another plan?

It now appears that on 23 November Hackney's Cabinet approved plans to sell four of these Dalston sites in a single development agreement with a private sector partner. It's Finance Director confirmed that the plan would "maximise capital and rental values" for the Council. The Council had not consulted anybody about whether such a strategic decision, affecting many of Dalston's much loved public buildings and cultural enterprises including the Eastern Curve Garden, should be disposed of in such a manner or, indeed, at all.

The Council responded to the Hackney Citizen by saying it would be consulting on the plan. But how can the Council consult genuinely now, after the strategic decision has already taken by its Cabinet?

We also foreshadowed the planned implementation of Crossrail 2, aka the Chelsea to Hackney tube (although it will no longer being going to Hackney Central). The plans now appear to threaten demolition not only of historic buildings in Dalston and Kingsland but possibly whole streets of businesses and homes, for example Bradbury Street. Transport for London have allowed until only 8th January for the public to respond to its proposals. You can read our review of the plans, "Look out Dalston! Dont Get Hit By A Runaway Train ", and you can make your views known to TfL here, Consultation closes on 8th January.