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Crossrail threat to ‘vibrant’ Dalston town centre

PUBLISHED: 08:10 07 January 2016 | UPDATED: 08:10 07 January 2016

Sites in Dalston which have been threatened by Crossrail 2. Looking across to site C from Kingsland High St

Sites in Dalston which have been threatened by Crossrail 2. Looking across to site C from Kingsland High St

Archant

Georgian and Victorian buildings and a vibrant shopping street could be demolished, while Ridley Road Market and a primary school would be hugely disrupted under plans to build an underground station for Crossrail 2 in Dalston.

Sites in Dalston which have been threatened by Crossrail 2. Bradbury Street south sideSites in Dalston which have been threatened by Crossrail 2. Bradbury Street south side

The NatWest building in Kingsland High Street, and Bradbury Street in Dalston are two of five spots that Transport for London (TfL) says it needs to build the £20billion north-south rail route, which will link Wimbledon and New Southgate with Tottenham Hale via central London by 2020.

It is holding a consultation until tomorrow (Friday)

But Hackney Council has called for a “fundamental rethink” of the plans which could take up to eight years to build, saying they threaten the vibrant town centre’s architectural character.

Half of Bradbury Street could be demolished to pave the way for a station entrance and ticket hall.

Sites in Dalston which have been threatened by Crossrail 2. Looking across to site C from Kingsland High StSites in Dalston which have been threatened by Crossrail 2. Looking across to site C from Kingsland High St

On the other side of Kingsland High Street, the area around Birkbeck Mews, which is used for storage by Ridley Road market traders, could be used for construction of a northern station shaft and escalator connection to the platforms.

A block of handsome Victorian buildings, including the locally listed Italianate NatWest Bank building, designed by Horace Cheston in 1891, has also been pinpointed as necessary for building works.

Christopher Costelloe, director of conservation charity the Victorian Society, questioned whether the nearby Kingsland Shopping Centre, already earmarked for demolition, could instead be a potential site.

He said: “The society appreciates that Crossrail 2’s huge advantages for London cannot be achieved without demolishing some buildings, however, every effort must be made to use those sites which would minimise its impact on London’s unique and historic environment.”

Further south down Kingsland Road, the area around Bentley Road car park would be used as the main site to build tunnels and a southern shaft.

The row of Georgian houses directly opposite is also under threat to make way for a station entrance and ticket hall for an interchange with Dalston Junction Station.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The council has made it clear to TfL that it cannot support the proposed demolition of properties in and around Bradbury Street, and is supporting residents and businesses in calling for a fundamental rethink on the proposals.

“This is a vibrant part of Dalston town centre and home to a number of residents and valued independent businesses in buildings that make a real contribution to the area’s architectural character.

“There is also a great deal of concern about the proposals to construct a ventilation shaft in nearby Birkbeck Mews.

“This could have a serious impact on the day-to-day running of Ridley Road Market as well as the nearby Colvestone Primary School.”

He continued: “Constructive discussions are being had with Transport for London about how any negative impacts from Crossrail 2 on the borough can be minimised, while planning for the opportunities this major public transport scheme will create as and when it’s built.”

Michèle Dix, TfL’s managing director for Crossrail 2, said “demolition is always a last resort”.

“While some buildings, including some Victorian buildings, are shown to be within proposed Crossrail 2 worksites they may not necessarily be needed during construction,” she said.

“Safeguarding does not give us permission to build the railway and no final decisions have been made.”

Responses to the consultation will be accepted until tomorrow at crossrail2.co.uk.

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