Young couple in Eastern Curve Garden

Behind the Curve: a young couple stroll through the garden.

The popular Eastern Curve Garden in Dalston faces the chop if council proposals to redevelop the area go ahead.

The Town Hall is currently inviting feedback from the public on the plans, which would see the community-run garden make way for a thoroughfare linking Dalston Square with the Kingsland shopping centre.

Open Dalston blogger Bill Parry-Davies has urged the community to fight for the garden, which he describes as an “essential community resource”.

He said: “The Eastern Curve Garden is a place where people meet plants. It’s where children can learn and play safely – a place for growth, creativity and solace amidst the hustle and bustle of Dalston Town centre’s redevelopment. It is an urban wildlife corridor.

“We will have to convince the council of the need to preserve and enhance this essential community resource. If we fail, there will be one very disappointed and angry community.”

The garden opened in 2010 on the site of a disused railway. In a social value report submitted to the council, local organisations described how the place has “grown with its community to become a unique resource”.

It has hosted festivals, workshops and even welcomed BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time, which broadcast an entire episode from the site two years ago.

In 2015, the council announced plans to redevelop four sites across Dalston to create a “cultural quarter”. One of those sites includes a chunk of the garden and its Peace Mural entrance.

The council, whose plans for the garden retain some green space, says the thoroughfare is needed to provide “pedestrian permeability” from Dalston Lane to the shopping centre.

But Parry-Davies added: “The presently secure and intimate environment of the existing Eastern Curve Garden, and its economic self-sufficiency, would be lost forever.”

The council says it is “gathering views from residents, businesses and community groups until 17 April on the draft principles which could shape the development of the Dalston Quarter”.

Town Hall planning chief Guy Nicholson said: “The consultation is focusing on four Council owned sites and a set of guiding principles that could shape the future development of these sites.

“Everyone knows how popular the Garden is and the real need for green spaces in Dalston, and that’s why the long term aim is to have more permanent green space in the area.

“At the moment, the Garden exists due to a temporary agreement with a private landowner. It is important that we focus our combined efforts on keeping the Eastern Curve Garden and appeal to the commercial landowner who holds the key to its long term future.”

For more information about the consultation, please visit the council’s website here.

This article was updated at 16:58 on Monday 6 March 2017 to include a comment from Cllr Guy Nicholson.

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