At its meeting yesterday evening (Wednesday 7 March), Hackney Council’s planning committee unanimously rejected a proposal to build an 18-storey development of £400,000 flats in the heart of Dalston, against the recommendation of the council’s planning department.
The committee considered the arguments for and against the so-called ‘Dalston Green’ proposal for a tower at 51-57 Kingsland High Street, whilst members of the public crammed the gallery and the council chamber to await the outcome.
The committee had received a petition opposing the scheme signed by 1,328 local residents as well as 267 formal objections, including one from the neighbouring borough of Islington.
Speaking in favour of the planning application, a representative of developer Rothas maintained that the building would be ‘elegant’ and green, with plants on its walls: “The building will be unique in London providing extensive vertical growing”.
Local opposition was spearheaded by campaign group OPEN Dalston, five of whose members spoke against the proposal on the grounds that it would be too large and overbearing, that consultation had been inadequate and that there was no affordable housing built into the scheme.
These same concerns were voiced by various members of the committee, including the Chair, Councillor Vincent Stops, who opposed the proposal on the grounds that it did not provide affordable housing and was of an inappropriate design.
Following the refusal, campaigners were jubilant. Bill Parry-Davies of OPEN Dalston said: “We’re going to celebrate Dalston’s victory for environmental and social justice”./ 8 March, 2012