Do we need an 18 story block next to Dalston Kingsland station?

The consultation on this development has been extended to 24th February.  The proposed 18 storey block  will overshadow Dalston Kingsland station.  A public meeting has been called for Tuesday 28th Feb.

See Open Dalston for more info and link to Hackney Planning.

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Comment by James Diamond on February 28, 2012 at 9:49

Benjamin, I'm confident this development will not take the pressure off green spaces anywhere, or off any part of the borough.  What it will do is create a precedent leading to a high rise island between Dalston Kingsland and Dalston Square.

By any standard this is over-development.  Even the Local Area Action Plan says that very tall buildings (over 15 stories) are not appropriate for the area, and that the existing scale of Kingsland Road should be respected.

I don't think we're going to agree on this.

Comment by Benjamin Counsell on February 27, 2012 at 18:27

One of the strongest arguments for high-rise is that it takes pressure off green spaces to develop. It is largely due to the difficulty in building high-density in inner London that the planning laws are being changed to make it easier to build on green-belt which results in both the loss of that green land and heavy carbon-emitting commutes. Another result of people blocking high-density development was the phenomenon of "garden grabbing".

I'm not sure about Hong Kong, but isn't it a very geographically diverse island region with low densities in the mountains that surround the very high densities in their ubiqitous high-rises. Difficult to draw a comparison with a city like London.

Anyway, London's population is expected to hit 9 million by 2030. The only relevant question is will they be housed in a way that reduces carbon emissions and protects green spaces, or will they be housed in low-rise urban sprawl which the European Environment Agency descrbes as "the worst-case scenario"?

Comment by James Diamond on February 27, 2012 at 17:01

Hackney's population density is 30,000 people per square mile.  This is 25% higher than the average for Inner London.  For comparison Hong Kong has a density of 16,000 people per square mile.

Yes, we can build more schools and transport, but we can't build more open spaces.  One of Hackney's characteristics is its open aspect and green spaces, including its gardens.  We do need to maintain some balance, and not overdevelop.

Comment by Benjamin Counsell on February 27, 2012 at 16:20

No, London generally, and Hackney specifically, is not densely developed as it is overwhelmingly covered in low-rise 2 to 4 storey houses with gardens. Whether you or I subjectively regard urban development as a "blight" isn't really the point when it comes to carbon emissions. What is relevant is which form of development facilitates lifestyles that result in the lower emissions - and that is undoubtedly high-rise/high-density close to jobs and public transport. Like you, I too support the inclusion of affordable accomodation in development, but this developer, for some reason that I'm not aware of, has negotiated that the public benefit comes in the form of a much needed revamp of the rail station. It's certainly unusual but I can't see what's wrong with that. All major cities around the world are growing. The respected think tank IPPR predicts a shorfall of some 325,000 homes in London alone by 2025. I reckon that's equivalent to a city almost the size of Birmingham.

We can't wish human-beings out of existence and if planners don't try to meet that demand we will continue to see increasing unaffordability in London (Shelter predicted some time ago that you'd need to earn over £55k to buy a flat in Hackney) which might lead to brain-drain, and a commuter-land ever expanding into green-belt with long commutes and huge carbon emissions. 

As for pressure on schools, transport etc; all residents pay taxes and it is the job of government to tax and spend money on what is necessary. We are capable of great things, I'm sure we can manage to build new schools and upgrade transport. I, and many others, regard urban densification as one of the most important things we can do to reduce carbon emissions.

Comment by James Diamond on February 27, 2012 at 13:47

Interesting points, Benjamin, but don't you think Hackney is already densely developed?  It's true that urban sprawl is a blight on the landscape, but so is high-rise development.  We do need more affordable housing for people who live in the borough, which this block won't provide, but do we also need to increase the population of the borough?  It just puts more pressure on everything; parks, schools, transport etc.  What's the local benefit of this scheme?

Comment by Benjamin Counsell on February 26, 2012 at 17:55

Actually, I think that anyone who has a sincere interest in seeing environmentally sustainable urban planning should be supporting this project. Of course the greenest thing about this plan is nothing to do with the green roof or foliage, but is in the fact that it is high-rise and high-density and therefore accommodates a large number of people close to jobs and public transport and therefore does not exacerbate low-rise urban sprawl which the European Environment Agency calls "the worst-case scenario". I think we do need this building and lots more similar ones in inner London.

Comment by James Diamond on February 18, 2012 at 11:52
Petition opposing the granting of planning permission for 'Dalston Green' development

Local residents have been collecting signatures for a petition opposing the 18 storey redevelopment on the Peacocks site at 51-57 Kingsland High Street. Some concerns include:
  • 130 flats for sale – but none affordable
  • Huge and imposing presence, dominating the historic area and listed buildings
  • No parking spaces – except 2 disabled bays
  • Overshadowing of public space, local homes, Colvestone Primary School, local businesses and Ridley Road Market
  • Dangerous wind speeds will occur in public areas
  • Huge private profit from over development
  • Lack of local consultation and inadequate public benefit.

The only community benefit from this £40 million scheme will be a £1.7million remodelling of the Dalston Kingsland station including installation of two lifts.

You can get more information from OPEN Dalston here

If you would like to collect signatures, with postcodes, you can download a PDF to print out.

Download a copy of the petition

Download a copy of an A4 leaflet

Please return the signed petitions to OPEN Dalston, c/o Dowse and Co, 23-25 Dalston Lane, London, E8 3DF, as soon as possible.

You can also make a personal comment on the planning application online, the deadline has been extended until Friday 24 February 2012

Make your comments to Hackney Council online

Our mailing address is:
OPEN Dalston c/o Dowse & Co. 23-25 Dalston Lane London, London E8 3DF

Copyright (C) 2012 OPEN Dalston All rights reserved.

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Comment by Russell Miller on February 2, 2012 at 17:31

Understandably there is a lot of local opposition to this outrageous scam.  Note how its dressed in greenery that is impossible to sustain on such a tall building.  The've even got the nerve to call it 'Dalston Green'. No surprise then that this Orwellian multi £m private housing scam is being fronted by local Labour councillors PR company 'Four Comms'.

See Open Dalston for more details.

My objection on behalf of SH is here.

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