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Dalston Page 

This material is not being updated
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UPDATED summary Nov 6, 2006
Bootstrap plan for Dalston Lane North (pdf file)
August Planning Officer's report
A CABE of divided loyalties?
Letter from CABE
DBA objection to re-advertisement May 2006
Application to "Call in" the Hackney decision
TfL's plans for Dalston Junction station and the surrounding area
DBA objections to the application (Word doc)
TfL letter to councillor Fran Pearson in August 2005 (pdf file)
Photos of the architects' 3D models are here, here and here 
The initial KCAAC response (PDF file)
The initial DBA response (Word document)
DBA press release on the response submission (Word document)
Site owners' flyer for the development (VERY BIG PDF FILE 5.7 MB)  
Protesters win delay on theatre demolition (Evening Standard)

The Planning Committee Decision
Supplementary Planning Brief on Dalston
OPEN letter to DCMS on listing
Dalston betrayed by Hackney Council
KCAAC Objections
KCAAC updated comments 
Notice in Hackney Today (6 March 2006 issue)
High Court decision on the Dalston Theatre
Next steps in the campaign to save the theatre
The occupation of the theatre
Ken Livingstone's role
Who asked us? - the decision to demolish the theatre
TfL Design Statement 
TfL Transport Assessment
(big pdf file)
The KCAAC objection to the demolition of the Oxfam site
KCAAC annotated version of the plans
(big pdf file)
TfL Planning Application   


Above: What they plan for the theatre site

A CABE of divided loyalties?

From The Architects Journal

By Ed Dorrell
473 words
27 July 2006
The Architects Journal
© Copyright 2006. Emap Construct Limited. All rights reserved.


A CABE staffer who is also a member of Hackney's planning committee is facing a 'conflict of interest' accusation after becoming involved in a massively contentious planning application.

There have been calls for Darren Parker, a member of CABE's enabling team, to face a conduct committee hearing over the role he played in approving the Arup Associates project for Hackney.

The controversy was sparked off after a former Tory councillor wrote to Hackney's chief executive calling for action to be taken against Parker.

Parker's critics, who oppose the scheme on Dalston Lane, argue that he should have declared his employment with CABE at the beginning of the meeting, because the quango had produced a glowing design review of the scheme.

To make matters worse, Parker, a Labour councillor, was acting chairman of the planning committee at the time of the approval - ironically because the normal chairman had stepped down due to a conict of interests - and was forced to use his deciding vote to force the application through.

The project has courted controversy for two main reasons: the fact that it reintroduces high-rise residential into the borough, and the fact that it involves the demolition of several historic buildings on the site.

When the London Development Agency-backed scheme is complete, it will feature a large-scale residential dominated mixed-use project on the site in the deprived east London area.

But the scheme has faced militant opposition from local group OPEN Dalston, which is backed by former Conservative councillor Andrew Boff.

'I have written to the Hackney chief executive about this, ' Boff said. 'As [Parker] is a CABE employee, this seems to be a blatant conict of interests.

'I've asked them to review the case and get Parker in front of the standards committee.

'Now that this has come to light, they ought to withdraw the planning application, but I doubt that that will ever happen.

'I think that it is obvious Parker had an interest. I mean, imagine if he was expecting an appraisal with his boss at CABE the following day; how would it have looked to his boss if he'd voted against the advice ofhis own organisation?

'I can't see a more clear case of conict of interest than if your employer is presenting an argument and you are judging it, ' Boff added.

But a spokeswoman for Hackney Council denied that there was a problem - because Parker works in enabling for CABE, not design review.

'I have spoken to the borough solicitor about this, ' she said.

'As it wasn't a prejudicial interest, we don't see it as a problem.

'[Parker] might have declared a private interest but he chose not to, ' she added.

Neither CABE nor Parker was available for comment.

3 August 2006
The Architects Journal
© Copyright 2006. Emap Construct Limited. All rights reserved.


As CABE told the AJ before the publication of its piece on Darren Parker (AJ 27.07.06), we take very seriously the risk of conflicts of interest arising in its work - and of perceived conflicts of interest.

CABE employees are free to stand for office in local government elections on the understanding that their interest is declared in CABE's Staff Register of Interests. Parker followed the guidance, declaring his intention to stand well in advance of the 2006 local elections and subsequently declaring his campaign successful.

Once elected, Parker was reminded that if any Hackney cases/projects arose in his work at CABE, he must declare an immediate interest and withdraw from CABE's engagement in the project, or any discussion of it, to ensure he had absolutely no involvement, or potential conict of interest relating to Hackney.

Our guidance is among the most stringent within the public sector and all CABE staff receive regular reminders of its contents. Furthermore, we manage Parker's work to ensure that he is not involved in CABE's work in Hackney. He had no involvement in the Dalston cases at CABE.

With respect to his role as a councillor, it is for Hackney Council's monitoring officer to advise its councillors on how it handles personal/professional interests. CABE cannot interfere in the governance of a local authority. We understand that the Council's monitoring officer advised Parker that he had no prejudicial interest in this case.

Richard Simmons, chief executive, CABE

There is still time to stop it

June 9, 2006

From Diana Weir

DALSTON LANE SOUTH - planning application 2006/0886

There wasn't time to send the draft around the DBA generally, for people to comment on and sign up to, but I hoped that other people might send in their own comments as well, using the document I've produced as a source of ideas and possibly provoking new and further objections I hadn't thought of.  Even if people just wrote to the case officer (John.Gardener@hackney.gov.uk) saying that they object to the proposals for Dalston Lane South for the reasons set out in the DBA Objections of 26th May, that would help - as you will recall, the important thing is how many separate objections the Council receives, not whether they all have new and different reasons for criticising the proposals.  Time for commenting officially expired at the end of May but - on past experience of how the Hackney planning officers operate - written representations should still be taken into account.  The sooner people write in, though, the better.

 Please consider writing in to the case officer with your own comments.

 In case anyone hasn't seen Hackney Today this week, there's going to be a Council exhibition of these ghastly proposals for Dalston Lane South at CLR James Library from 19-26 June, showing the 3-D model, plus "images and a description" (although I suspect that those may be no more than the Dialogue exhibition materials from the brief Trinity Centre exhibit on 31st March).  It's due to be staffed by Council officers from 3-5.30pm during the week - except Wednesday, of course, when the library's closed; otherwise, it's usually open from 10am to 8pm; 5pm on Saturdays.  One is asked to register interest in coming along by e-mailing John Vercoe (John.Vercoe@hackney.gov.uk) or ringing 8356 8000.  I really do think that everyone should find time to go along to this at some point, even if they can't make any of the afternoon chat sessions with JV (or whoever else is there) because of weektime work commitments, because it's going to have a hugely adverse impact on the appearance of the area, even if we can stop the adjacent Dalston Junction development - via the Secretary of State or otherwise.


On that subject, the new DBA newsletter has been a little over-pessimistic:  the story is far from over there.  The Secretary of State is currently considering whether to "call in" the proposals for Dalston Junction, so as to decide them himself.  Hackney ought to have referred the proposals to him directly, since (as all our DBA Objections show) they breach the current Hackney and London planning policies; that would have had the effect of forcing the Secretary of State to make the decision himself - not leaving him any discretion whether to call it in.  A referral would also have ensured that the SoS had all the representations made about the proposals to work on, not just the few which I and others (including OPEN and Bootstraps) have made to him, via the Government Office for London, to show why it should be called in.

 Helen Jones has done a very informative leaflet about the potential rights to light claim which she has against Transport for London and will by now, I think, have distributed copies of it to everyone who lives, works in or owns any part of the block of Kingsland Road abutting the railway site.  From the invaluable digital panorama taken for me of that side of the site, it appears that there are other flats as well as Helen's which would suffer from TfL's plans to build the slab and the over-site buildings they propose, no more than half a metre away from their east-facing (and probably only) windows - so there may be scope for a group court action to stop the development in its tracks (sorry, awful pun !).  In Helen's case, the single-storey station concourse would be immediately outside her windows and would block virtually all her light; other flats lower down the block, south of Oxfam, would find the bus station wall doing the same thing - and that's before they even start taking into account the effect of the seven-, ten- and eighteen-storey tower blocks a little further east across the width of the proposed slab.

 I am preparing a formal complaint to the Council's monitoring officer about Hackney's failure to refer the Dalston Junction application to the SoS.  I am also pushing the GLA to justify its decision to let Hackney go ahead with its decision to issue planning permission, which was done in flagrant disregard of some very cogent material that I, amongst others, had sent the GLA to show why the Hackney decision was so flawed - the GLA report did little more than rubber-stamp the Hackney one.

 So don't lose heart; all is really not yet lost - it's just that we all have a lot more work to do to keep on fending off the awful proposals for ruining Dalston town centre.  Please spare any time you have to do whatever you can to help.


152 words
10 April 2006
(c) 2006 Associated Newspapers. All rights reserved

CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans to save a historic London theatre have won a partial victory after the High Court granted an injunction to stop it being demolished.

Hackney council has approved a plan to knock down Dalston Theatre. But this is now on hold after protesters won the right for a full judicial review of the scheme.

Campaigners, calling themselves the Organisation for Promotion of Environmental Needs, want the court to examine the way Hackney granted itself planning permission to demolish the buildings at 4-14 Dalston Lane. The site also includes two Georgian terrace houses.

Developers plan a 20-storey tower with about 300 flats. But none are as yet earmarked as affordable homes.

Six weeks ago protesters occupied the 120-year-old theatre, which hosted Bob Marley and Bob Dylan and is described by art historians as 'irreplaceable'.


    - - - -

The Planning Committee Decision

March 31, 2006

Last night Hackney Council voted for 35,000 cubic metres of concrete slab
plus tower blocks of up to 19 storeys, over TfL's railway site. Next year
there will be 85 concrete lorries arriving in Dalston, every day, for

The vote was to approve Transport for London's planning application to
develop over the railway site.  TfL had made it clear throughout the meeting
that the railway station will go ahead whatever the outcome of the planning
application for the building development above it.

The Planning Committee members expressed concerns that:

·        There is no affordable housing planned for this site.

·        The huge bus garage will create a pedestrian unfriendly environment
with up to 100 buses per hour exiting on to Kingsland Rd.

·        Access for people with disabilities or people pushing buggies is
totally inadequate.

·        The new flats do not meet current Hackney Council' own quality
standards for new housing.

·        The public spaces in the scheme are windswept and unpleasant.

Despite these and their many other stated concerns, and the fact that not
one of them had anything positive to say about the scheme,  4 out of 5 of
the Councillors who turned up for the meeting said this was a 'once in a
life-time opportunity for Dalston' and gave it the go-ahead.

The Councillors who were happy to take this decision on behalf of Dalston
and Hackney were:
Bill Hodgson   
Sally Mulready
Jessica Webb
Abdul Mullah

The Councillor who voted against the proposal was Councillor Simon Pearce
who had expressed concerns throughout the meeting about the lack of quality
of the whole proposal, saying it reminded him of the Elephant & Castle.

Despite this being the biggest change to Dalston since the arrival of the
railway in 1870,  the following Committee members didn¹t bother to turn up
to the meeting.
Shuja Shaikh
Ian Sharer
Simon Tesler
Vincent Stops

The theory put forward by TfL/LDA is that this scheme will produce the
regeneration of Dalston on the basis that each of the 600 new residents will
spend £250 per week each in local shops (by this they mean local
supermarkets and national brand stores which TfL hope to attract, and whose
profits will not stay in Dalston). This is how our great conurbations of
Croydon and Elephant and Castle were conceived.

The other half of the picture can be seen until 7pm at today's one day
exhibition on the London Development Agency's Planning Proposal for Dalston
Lane (site of Dalston Theatre/Four Aces). The exhibition is at the Trinity
Centre, Beechwood Road, Dalston.


Immediate Release

31 March 2006


Dalston betrayed by Hackney Council



Despite fierce local opposition, Hackney Council planning committee voted last night to permit a development of 309 new flats, a 19 storey tower block, with no affordable housing or other public benefits. 


The development will go over the new Dalston Junction tube station.  It is being touted as a regeneration project – but objectors say it is a hugely expensive and overly dense scheme that will create few local jobs and be well out of the reach of local people.


The objectors were a coalition of local groups, including the Kingsland Conservation Area Advisory Committee, the Bootstrap Company, OPEN, users of the Oxfam shop, and Disability Hackney.  They were objecting to the lack of affordable housing, and the poor design – some bedroom windows in different ownership will be only 5 metres apart, which is way below acceptable standards.  The badly conceived bus interchange will create 100 hundred unnecessary bus movements across the south bound side of Kingsland Road and, in the words of the technical submission, increase congestion to bus services and road users in the area.  The external layout creates a barrier to disabled access


The Council was asked if this was the legacy that they wanted to leave for the future of Hackney. 


Only five members of the planning committee turned up to vote on this vital issue for Dalston.  Although all five had obvious concerns about many of the same issues that were being objected to, only one was brave enough to vote against the proposal.  The committee imposed a number of conditions on the development, but the objectors are convinced that the scheme is so bad, tinkering with it just will not help. 


Jon Aldenton, Chief Executive of the Bootstrap Company said “this is an absolute disgrace.  Dalston has been lumbered with a bad, unsustainable and misconceived development.  Allowing TfL to get away with ignoring the standards Hackney usually sets for development creates a really dangerous precedent.  The committee made a weak decision last night and it is the people of Dalston who will suffer in the long term.  We are hugely disappointed that Ken Livingstone is allowing such a poor scheme to go ahead”.


Bill Parry-Davis, the Chairman of OPEN, the community environmental action company, said “they are not building Jerusalem here but these towerblocks could well become the slums of the future. The need for £40million to create a 2 acre suspended concrete slab, before even any building work can start, preconditions this scheme to an environmental and social disaster for our community. But it’ll be rich pickings for the professionals, developers and buy-to-let landlords involved. And of course TfL get somewhere to park their buses at a fraction of the true cost”.


Notes to editors

The TfL plan builds a 120m long bus interchange by knocking through the Oxfam shop on Dalston Lane , and concentrates private housing in 9 blocks of 7, 10 and 19 storeys.


The Bootstrap Company is a charitable development trust based on Ashwin Street , E8.  It has developed an alternative plan for the site based around an urban park with 100% affordable housing.  Details can be found via www.bootstrapcompany.org


OPEN Dalston is a not-for-profit environmental and community action company that acts as a forum to exchange views and information. It voices and acts on the concerns of residents and businesses to positively shape the future of the area.  See www.opendalston.net


Media Contacts

Jon Aldenton, Bootstraps, 07970 265 966

Kate Swade , Bootstraps, 020 7264 4660

Bill Parry-Davies, OPEN, bpd@dowse.co.uk

Marie Murray, OPEN, 07973 871514



 Notice in Hackney Today ( 6 March 2006 issue)

Address of Proposed Development:  Dalston Junction Interchange site rear of 514-600 Kingsland Road bounded by Dalston Lane , Roseberry Place , Forest Road E8. I give notice that on 02 December 2005 Transport for London applied to the London Borough of Hackney for planning permission for:

Description of development:  Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 (SI 1999 No 293): Environmental Statement accompanying planning application for the redevelopment of the site through the erection of part 7, part 10 and part 18/19 storey mixed use development comprising 309 residential units (78 x 1 bed, 135 x 2 bed and 96 x 3 bed), 1100 sq m of class A1 (Retail) floor space, 200 sq m of Class A3 (Food and Drink) floor space, 200 sq m of A4 (Drinking Establishments) floor space and 180 sq m of D1 (Non-residential institutions) floor space, 35 disabled car parking space, pedestrian entrances to the new East London Line Station and provision of a new ground floor level bus interchange facility.  Replacement of Forest Road Bridge and demolition of 570-572 Kingsland Road , 1-3 Roseberry Place and 2-2a Dalston Lane .

The application was accompanied by an Environmental Statement and in accordance with the provisions of Regulation 19 further information was requested to be submitted by the London Borough of Hackney in its letter to the applicant dated 17 February 2006 .  This further submission entails information on the following:

- Alternatives

- Consultation

- Mitigation Commitments

- Transport

Application No 2005/2840  Planning Officer: Craig Gilbert 

Members of the public may inspect copies of the further information which includes:

- Environmental Statement: Further Information

- Transport Assessment: Addendum 2, at the First Floor Reception Area, Planning and Transportation, Dorothy Hodgkin House, 12 Reading Lane, London E8 1HJ on weekdays between 9am and 5pm, Tel: 020 8356 3000. 

Members of the public may obtain copies of this further information from the Planning Register, Planning and Transportation, Dorothy Hodgkin House, 12 Reading Lane , London E8 1HJ on weekdays between 9am and 5pm , at a charge and while stocks last. Tel: 020 8356 3000.

Anyone who wishes to make representations on this further information should write to the London Borough of Hackney, Head of Planning at the address given above by not later than 21 days beginning with the date of this notice.  Sue Foster Head of Planning On behalf of the London Borough of Hackney Date: 06 March 2006


NB  Although this notice appears to give members of the public 21 days to comment on this new information, the T&CP General Development Procedure Order only requires LBH to take into account representations made within 14 days of the newspaper publication of such a notice.  People are recommended to get their comments in to the case officer on or before 20th March, in case LBH elects to rely on the statutory time-limit, rather than the longer time it has only apparently given in this notice (look at its wording !).  When did this Council ever play fair in the planning game ?



High Court backs local campaign, orders Hackney Council to pay
A High Court judge yesterday found in favour of  OPEN in its claim that Hackney Council made an unlawful attempt to demolish the historic buildings at 4-14 Dalston Lane, without public consultation, in late 2005. The buildings, amongst the oldest and most architecturally significant in the area, include a 120 year old Victorian theatre and a pair of Georgian townhouses. Hackney Council will now be required to pay OPEN’s legal costs.

OPEN, issued proceedings on 13 December 2005, challenging the Council’s decision to proceed with demolition of the buildings without making a full planning application. OPEN is committed to seeing some or all of the heritage buildings restored for new uses as part of regeneration of the wider area. OPEN argued that a full planning application, involving public consultation and a decision by the elected Members of Hackney Council, was required. A High Court injunction was subsequently issued preventing any demolition work until yesterday’s judicial review. The injunction has protected the site from December 2005 until now.

Finding in favour of OPEN’s claims yesterday, Mr Justice Lloyd Jones stated in his judgment that the Council had created the impression that it had taken a decision to demolish the buildings as soon as prior approval was granted by the Planning Department and that full planning permission was not required. The Judge found that OPEN was justified in issuing the proceedings for an injunction and judicial review. He ordered the Council to now pay OPEN’s legal costs.

Bill Parry-Davies, chairman of OPEN, expressed satisfaction at the outcome but cautioned that the buildings remain highly vulnerable to Council demolition. “The Council did not deny in Court that at a meeting in late September 2005 its Property Manager, Head of Planning and Hackney’s Mayor agreed to demolish without further consultation with either the public or elected members“, said Mr. Parry-Davies. “The Council’s contempt of legal and democratic processes is quite breathtaking. Our campaign continues.”

Since the issue of the High Court proceedings on 13 December 2005, and following representations made by OPEN to the Planning Department, the Council have accepted the need to make a full planning application for demolition. After a 21 days period in which the public could lodge objections, the Council’s application for total demolition came before a Planning Sub-Committee on 6 February 2006. Despite the overwhelming number of objections to the proposals the Planning Sub-Committee voted to demolish the buildings in their entirety. The Sub-Committee imposed a condition that, prior to demolition, there must first be a survey to record historical structural and architectural detail of the buildings and expressed hope that the more notable elements could be relocated in the redevelopment of the site or elsewhere.

Evidence has also come to light that, sometime between 18 October 2005 when the Council secured the buildings against squatters and 16 December when a planning officer inspected them, the Victorian houses at 4-6 Dalston Lane have been deliberately damaged and made uninhabitable by the removal of the staircases.

Since Sunday 19 February the buildings have been occupied by people concerned to prevent their demolition.

OPEN is now considering the legality of the Council’s Planning Sub-Committee’s resolution on 6 February, and any decision by the Council to now act on the planning permission granted to demolish the buildings.

    - - - -

Occupation on Dalston Lane

The Dalston Theatre and adjoining buildings on Dalston Lane have now been occupied since early on Monday 20 February by people who want to prevent their demolition. Although they are not members of OPEN, we fully support people whose aim is to peacefully protect Dalston's heritage buildings. In talking to the occupiers, OPEN members have found them to be friendly, idealistic and very determined.

Conditions for the occupation within the buildings are extremely harsh, particularly as they have recently been severely vandalised to prevent habitation. The occupiers very much need practical help as well as moral support and there are a number of ways you can do that.

·        Go along this Saturday to 4 Dalston Lane (corner Dalston Lane/ Roseberry Place), or whenever you can, to say hello to the occupiers.

·        Make a donation to help them with food, water, heating etc. OPEN will be setting up a welfare fund to help with these basics but in the meantime, you can just donate cash when you visit. (re. food donations: please note the occupiers are vegetarian and there are  only limited cooking facilities).

·        Donate things they can use to make the corner building more comfortable and welcoming (eg paint, paint brushes & tools) so that passers-by can visit and find out what's going on. The occupiers have declared the space a drug & alcohol free zone and they are intending to transform it into a safe and sociable community resource.

·        Give use of a van for a trip to collect essential stuff.

    - - - -

Next steps in the campaign to save the theatre

February 16, 2007

Next steps in Campaign to stop demolition of the Dalston Theatre

OPEN's next steps in the legal actions to stop demolition of the Dalston Theatre are outlined below.

At a hearing on 6 February the injunction to stop demolition was replaced by an undertaking by Hackney Council to the Court that they will not demolish the Dalston Theatre and 4-12 Dalston Lane, except in accordance with any planning permission granted, and not before 4pm on 21 February 2006, in any event when the case has been re-listed for a court hearing. The undertaking was agreed because OPEN requires time to consider the Planning Committee’s decision of 6 February 2006. The postponed hearing, now on
21 February 2006, is to determine OPEN's applications for permission to proceed with the judicial review proceedings, for a protective costs order (ie to cap costs liability) and whether the injunction should continue.

OPEN are considering whether further proceedings should now be issued in the light of the Council Planning decision of 6 February 2006.

OPEN has also asked the DCMS to reconsider their decision to uphold English Heritage’s recommendation not to list any of the buildings, as it now appears, from The Theatres Trust letter to the Council objecting to demolition, that the entrance to the Dalston Circus at
12 Dalston Lane is the oldest surviving example in Great Britain. English Heritage’s recommendation was that the buildings are only of local, and not national interest. Research is presently underway to clarify whether the entrance at 12 Dalston Lane was in fact built before the main circus building of 1886 (which later became a Theatre in 1898) as it appears that one Professor Dosset had previously used the site as an open air circus.   

OPEN has also contacted the Government Office for London requesting that they consider taking action in relation to the Council’s grant of planning permission to demolish all the buildings because it appears that the grant conflicts with both Council and Government policies.  

    - - - -

Ken Livingstone's role

An email from his office:

February 17, 2006

Thank you for your e-mail of the 5 December 2005, I apologise for the delay in replying.

In terms of the planning application, this has been referred to the Mayor for consultation.  The process is that the Mayor will give his initial comments on the application.  If Hackney resolves to grant permission it must refer the application back to the Mayor and allow him 14 days to Direct refusal. At this second stage the Mayor will have regard to the responses to the consultation that Hackney Council has carried out (the Council must send all the responses when it refers the application for a 2nd time) as well as any representations sent directly to him.  I have forwarded your comments onto the case officer in the Mayor's Planning Decision Unit. The Mayor has not yet given his initial comments on this application.

In determining the application Hackney Council must have regard to the development plan (which comprises the London Plan and the Hackney UDP) as well as any other material considerations.

In terms of Hackney's replacement planning policies, all the documents (e.g. Core strategy, Area Action Plans and Supplementary Planning Documents) must be in general conformity with the London Plan.  The council must consult with the Mayor, and he will seek to ensure that the documents are in general conformity.  If necessary he will pursue this at the examination (for Development Plan Documents).

Yours sincerely
Justin Carr
Acting Strategic Planning Manager (Development Plans)

    - - - -

Who asked us?

Note from OPEN on February 7, 2006

Hackney Council last night approved proposals for the total demolition of the Dalston Theatre/Four Aces and Georgian buildings at 4-14 Dalston Lane. The Council Planning Sub-Committee ignored the objections raised by Ridley Road market traders, businesses, arts groups and residents of Dalston, and voted to level the site. At the same time they acknowledged that Councilors have not been presented with any plans for what will replace the historic buildings.

The decision was greeted by loud protest from the 60 members of the public who had succeeded in attending the meeting, despite the council’s confused attempts earlier in the evening to limit public entry to just half the public gallery’s usual capacity.

A big thank you is due to the members of OPEN (we counted almost 100) who turned up to protest outside the Town Hall before the meeting started.  

OPEN’s chairman, Bill Parry-Davies, reacted to the council’s decision with dismay. “This wastrel council has earned its reputation as philistines with no regard for Dalston’s history and culture and only concerned with selling our property to finance their bankrupt ideas for the Town Hall Square buildings.”  There was no leeway in last night’s meeting for saving even those elements of the site that English Heritage and others had praised. The application to demolish the whole site in its entirety, precluded any consideration of retaining the beautiful Georgian and Victorian frontages. There was no opportunity for council members to vote on retaining any aspects of the site.

Last night’s Council Planning Sub-Committee was invited to consider the following written objections to the proposals to demolish:

The Theatres Trust (a statutory committee on planning applications):
"[We object to the proposals on the grounds that] we would need to be satisfied that the building is surplus to regeneration, cultural and community requirements before we could support an opportunity for demolition. We believe that the 1886 entrance is the earliest surviving circus entrance in the country."

SAVE Britain’s Heritage:
"This group of buildings… is of great interest, encapsulating the development of the area in one small group… [they] are eminently capable of economically viable reuse; their potential is obvious and there is no need whatsoever to tear them down. The alternatives to the demolition of these buildings have not been adequately considered."

The Spitalfields Trust:
"Nos.4-14 [Dalston Lane] comprise the most unusual, important and picturesque buildings in the street… one of the most interesting groups of historic buildings in this part of North London. Their demolition would be an unforgiveable oversight by Hackney Council… our built heritage is irreplaceable."

Charles Collins (tenant of the Dalston Theatre 1963-1999 and founder of the Club Four Aces Reggae Club):
"This [demolition] will destroy the memory and history of black culture in Dalston."

Ridley Road Market Traders Association:
"[These buildings] represent the heart and soul of Dalston. We believe they represent both the past and the future of Dalston’s prosperity. We want to see them restored so that we can show our grandchildren how Dalston used to be and so they can share our pride in our heritage and identity."

Last night’s decision disregarded all of these objections as well as the huge body of objections with which have been sent to the Council.

Hackney’s Property Services were unable to offer any explanation to Councillors why it was essential for them to approve demolition of Dalston’s heritage now, before there is even a planning application, let alone agreement, as to what will replace them.

OPEN is also concerned as to the Planning Departments position in advising the Councillors on the demolition application. In early 2005, months before the current public consultation process on the future of the site had been started, the Council’s planners sat with Transport for London (TfL) and the London Development Agency on the GLA steering committee which decided the Dalston master-plan. This plan did not envisage any retention of the heritage buildings. 

The heritage buildings at 4-14 Dalston Lane are safeguarded by a high court injunction for just two more weeks. Following last night’s decision the bulldozers can start work at 4pm, Tuesday, 21st February. OPEN's campaign to save these buildings continues.

Further updates to follow very soon, so keep checking your emails and www.opendalston.net and making friends, colleagues and neighbours aware of what's going on.


Transport for London (TfL) Planning Application

The Transport for London planning application has now been submitted to Hackney Council for the East London Line/Dalston Junction site. This is for the development that will sit above the station site, not for the train connection and station, which are already guaranteed.

A secondary application seeks conservation area consent for the demolition of the Dalston Oxfam shop building.  This cannot be granted unless demolition is acceptable and the application provides satisfactory proposals for its redevelopment.

Application No: 2005/2840
Dalston Junction Interchange site rear of 514 - 600 Kingsland Road bounded by Dalston Lane Roseberry Place Forest Road E8 4AH.
Application No. 2005/2841
570-572 Kingsland Road E8 4AH

Any written objections can be emailed to: craig.gilbert@hackney.gov.uk .  Don't forget to add your name and address.
Alternatively, post them to him at: London Borough of Hackney Planning Department, Dorothy Hodgkin House, 12 Reading Lane, London E8 1H.

OPEN submission
To represent the overall consensus from members,  we will be sending the OPEN document  that was submitted as part of the pre-application consultation run by Dialogue last year. It is attached here for your reference. You are welcome to use it as a basis  to help you prepare your own letter of objection. Alternatively, you can write to say you are objecting  "on the grounds set out in OPEN's pre-application submission previously submitted to Dialogue and Hackney Council" .
[Please note that you can also base your own objections on the De Beauvoir Association's Response to the pre-application consultation on the plans for Dalston Junction and Dalston Lane South, a copy of which is on this website, or object on the grounds set out in that Response.  An updated and extended draft version of it, in the form of Objections to Transport for London's plans for Dalston Junction, will be available in draft from the DBA on about 23rd January 2006.  Please write to info@debeauvoir.org.uk if you would like to be added to the mailing list for this draft and feel free to refer to or use that as a basis instead.
If you live in the De Beauvoir conservation area, you can also ask us to add your name to the final version of this document, which will be filed on or about 27th January 2006.]

You can view architectural renderings that show the impact of the scale and height of the Transport for London proposals on Dalston at http://opendalston.net

Images of the proposed development can be found at the Hackney Council website at: http://www.hackney.gov.uk/index.htm/w-environment-planning.htm  where under 'search planning' you can view plans at
Application No: 2005/2840