Dalston Eastern Curve Garden could be ‘plunged into darkness’ after development plans signed off

Dalston Eastern Curve Garden in Dalston Lane. Picture: Donald Judge/Flickr/Creative Commons licence

Dalston Eastern Curve Garden in Dalston Lane. Picture: Donald Judge/Flickr/Creative Commons licence CC BY 2.0 - Credit: Archant

The Dalston Eastern Curve Garden could be “plunged into darkness” now that plans for a high-rise development next door have been given the green light.

Capital Services has got permission from Hackney Council’s planning sub-committee to demolish a storage building in Hartwell Street next door, and replace it with three blocks of three, seven and eight storeys.

Analysis from the town hall states 77pc of the garden will receive at least two hours of sunlight a day, which is above the minimum requirement. Only a small area right next to the new building will be in shadow by 2pm on summer days.

But opponents fear the impact on the community garden in Dalston Lane, and say that gardens need light.

Alex Armitage, who narrowly missed gaining a seat for the Green Party in Dalston in May’s elections, was part of a demonstration outside the town hall ahead of the decision Wednesday night.

He told the Gazette: “I’m angry about Hackney Council’s decision.

“This is a development that our community does not need, which is being pushed through against our wishes at the expense of one of our most precious assets.

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“The Dalston Eastern Curve Garden Is the only public place in Dalston where you can look up and see the sky unblighted by urban jungle.

“During the election campaign I had hundreds of conversations with local residents, and a common theme was the psychological stress of living in such a busy built up area. Many people cited the garden as a place they could escape to - a mental pressure release valve.

“An imposing building like the Thames House Development will totally ruin this atmosphere.”

Developers revised their initial plans to reduce the tallest block from nine to eight storeys, in the new build, which will include 36 homes – 11 for social rent and seven at “intermediate affordable”.

Mr Armitage, an A&E doctor, continued: “I have a deep distrust of the current model of housing provision, which is to try and squeeze as many “social rent” homes out of private developments. There is much council-owned land in Hackney that we could use to affordably build new council housing.”