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Heritage and public space facing a ‘tsunami of new development’

11:24 21 January 2013

Bill Parry-Davies, founder of Open Dalston, an organisation opposed to a private development by TfL on public land on Kingsland High Street

Bill Parry-Davies, founder of Open Dalston, an organisation opposed to a private development by TfL on public land on Kingsland High Street

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Residents will take their campaign against a proposed private gated development in Dalston to Mayor of London Boris Johnson next month.

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London Assembly Member Andrew Boff requested the meeting with Mr Johnson after TfL submitted proposals to develop two sites in Kingsland High Street, Dalston into a mainly private development, which will be eight stories high at the highest point.

Campaigners believe the scheme would damage the area’s heritage and are unhappy that public space would be off limits to those not living in the exclusive development.

Bill Parry-Davies, founder of Organisation for Promotion of Environmental Needs (OPEN) Dalston, which campaigns for sustainable business and residential communities, said: “The main issue is the development – on land owned by TfL and subsidised by £1.3million from Hackney Council – which has very little public benefit in terms of green space, and there are only 10 proposed flats for social rent out of a total of 108.

“What is being proposed is a substantial almost entire privatisation of public land without leaving any public communal space.

“We’ve been talking to TfL’s development partners Taylor Wimpey since April and they said that the only open green space would be for use of residents within the development.”

He added that the design would damage the environment’s heritage by obscuring views of buildings and reducing sunlight.

The proposal will go to a committee for approval later this month and, if approved, to a planning committee on February 6.

Mr Parry-Davies urged residents to go online and comment on the application at Hackney’s planning website, adding: “We’ve seen TfL’s development at Dalston Junction, which demolished our heritage buildings and left us with a hard landscaped, overshadowed, windswept canyon as a public square.

“Dalston is facing a tsunami of new development plans in 2013. A leaked Design for London (GLA Agency) report says that the character, distinctiveness and unique identity of Dalston is at risk and the area has wholly inadequate protection presently.”

The Mayor has yet to respond to residents with a date for a meeting.

In a joint statement TfL and Taylor Wimpey said: “The plan has been carefully developed by a team of architects and urban design specialists in accordance with the planning policies of the London Borough of Hackney and the GLA.”

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