OPEN Campaigners win hearing over ‘Georgian Disney’ development

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.”