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News / 6 October, 2014

OPEN Campaigners win hearing over ‘Georgian Disney’ development

Council decision to forge ahead with demolition will be examined at judicial review in November

Dalston Lane Terrace

Rare survivor: one of the Georgian era homes on Dalston Lane

The fate of a row of historic Georgian terraced houses currently facing demolition by the council will be decided at a judicial review in November, a court appeal has ruled.

Several months ago the council began to demolish the houses in Dalston Lane, planning to replace them with a new development scheme in ‘heritage likeness’ containing 44 flats but no ‘affordable’ housing.

Three houses had already been demolished before campaign group OPEN Dalston, who have dubbed the new designs ‘Georgian Disney’, pointed out that the building work breached planning controls.

In February 2014 the Town Hall suspended its demolition work after its lawyers concluded its structural survey was insufficient.

In a court appeal last week OPEN challenged a decision made by the council in March 2014 to forge ahead with the scheme. The judge ruled in favour of a one-day judicial review which will take place in late November.

The council maintains that is impossible to retain the building’s façades. Earlier this year a council spokesperson said: “Due to structural instability, it will not be possible to keep the entire façade, though where possible shopfronts and brickwork will be re-used.”

OPEN Campaigner Bill Parry-Davis said: “Despite its proclaimed conservation policy, which our community campaigned for, Hackney has for thirty years idly stood by and watched these heritage buildings deteriorate to a perilous condition.

“Hackney propose total demolition and a Disney Georgian replica crammed with private flats. The historic character and spirit of Dalston Lane will be lost forever.”

A spokesperson for Hackney Council said: “It’s not appropriate to comment on as-yet unresolved legal matters.”

/ 6 October, 2014

3 Comments on “OPEN Campaigners win hearing over ‘Georgian Disney’ development

Toby McCulloch
October 6, 2014 at 5:23 pm

If there was ever a site that screams redevelopment this is it. People in London desperately need homes. This site and many more like it can make a massive difference. People who try and block this kind of development simply drive up the massive costs involved in planning applications and investment. In the long run we will simply end up pushing house prices to a point that London will not function as the people that make the city function will not be able to afford to live here. If you want high quality teachers, nurses, care staff, police, even doctors… you need more housing. Shame on the campaign for its short sighted and selfish approach to the needs of London.

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Bill Parry-Davies
October 7, 2014 at 10:28 am

Interesting points,Toby, but misinformed regarding this site. The Hackney/Murphy scheme will have none of the affordable homes for key workers which are desperately needed. The scheme which OPENDalston backs, with Housing Association involvement, will have 24.
The massive community support for OPENDalston’s challenge suggests people share its view that a conservation scheme for this terrace has significant public benefit.
Dalston has already contributed very significantly to development of new housing – for example Dalston Square and Kinetica tower plus the consented Western Curve and Peacocks tower developments are in the pipeline.
Mitigating inflated house prices is a complex issue, but I suggest housebuilders drip-feeding the market and the government’s corporate welfare subsidies like “Help to Buy”, and its tax avoidance schemes, are very significant in maintaining unaffordable house prices.

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Citizen
October 15, 2014 at 9:13 pm

The Council are trying to apply a clumsy one-size-fits-all approach when, in fact, some of these houses can be refurbished, as the Alan Baxter report shows. Dalston Lane is too special for this kind of treatment.

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