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Plans for controversial 15-storey tower in Dalston approved

PUBLISHED: 18:33 17 February 2014 | UPDATED: 18:33 17 February 2014

An image of how the 15-storey Rothas development will overshadow Kingsland Road

An image of how the 15-storey Rothas development will overshadow Kingsland Road

Archant

Plans for a controversial 15-storey floor residential tower have been approved in Dalston.

The tower will be located on the Peacocks site, which was built in the 1960s/70s, next to Dalston Kingsland Station and was approved by Hackney Council’s planning committee earlier this month.

It is the second time it has gone before the council.

The plans aroused public anger when they were touted by developers Rothas Limited more than two years ago. The initial plans were for an 18 double-storey skyscraper with 130 luxury flats - rising more than 50 metres into the air - with different entrances for private and affordable homes.

About 1,328 people originally signed a petition against the scheme after the developer dropped plans to develop affordable housing and fund £1.7 million worth of upgrades to Dalston Kingsland Overground station - despite council policy which states that new developments should provide 50 per cent affordable homes.

People were also concerned that the height and scale of the building would overshadow neighbouring buildings and block the sunlight of neighbouring residents. The plans were overwhelmingly rejected at a planning meeting on March 7, 2012.

The current scheme now comprises of 98 flats - 15 of which are affordable. There will also be 1,200 of retail space on the ground floor - which is slightly less than the existing space.

According to a planning report, a petition of 275 signatures opposing the development and 82 letters of objection were returned, along with 55 letter of support during the consultation period in 2013.

Many of the objections apparently centred on the building being “ugly, an “eyesore”, out of scale with its surroundings and lacking affordable housing.

Islington Council condemned the scheme, saying: “The amended proposal includes a 15-storey tower in a location that is highly inappropriate for a tall building. The proposed tower fails to respect its context, and would be visually intrusive in views from Islington. The recent 5-storey reduction in

height makes the proposed cylindrical tower appear more stocky and inelegant.”

Commenting on the development Bill Parry-Davies, the founder of OPEN Dalston who had objected to the proposals, said: “Although public opposition defeated the previous, grossly overscale plans, we are still now left with a building which will overbear the High Street and dominate its historic buildings. It will be an exclusive development of 98 private flats with none for affordable rent and only 15 “affordable sale” flats which most Hackney residents simply cannot afford to buy. The developer will, of course, make millions.”

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