The Dalston Connection

by Paul Fitzpatrick

In a renewed bid to ‘regenerate’ Dalston plans were last year unveiled by the London Development Agency for the area just south of Dalston Junction. The development, as part of  the Dalston Area Action Plan, will include housing, retail units and a new library. The development is tied in with the opening of East London Line there  in 2010 and the London Olympics in 2012.

Local campaigners OPEN, while welcoming the arrival of the long-overdue Underground station, say that the proposals will have a massive impact on the environment for decades to come. It would mean the destruction of  4-14 Dalston Lane including the Dalston Theatre/4 Aces club and other historic buildings.  


“We have been watching a continuing process of the municipal vandalism of our local heritage and economy and the disregard of our community’s views” says OPEN spokesman Bill Parry-Davies “This group of buildings, like many others at risk nationally, uniquely reflects local architectural, cultural and social history and lends great character to the area.”


This follows on from what many people consider the deliberate running down of (not to mention mysterious fires at) late Georgian terraces at 48-76 Dalston Lane and their  subsequent cut-price sale to an off-shore company.  

There are clear parallels between what happened in Broadway Market several years ago and the recent property disposals in Dalston Lane (where fourteen properties were sold to a single developer for £1.4 million less than what the local leaseholders, many of whom have now been evicted, were prepared to pay,).

The large amount of private housing (up to 450 homes) proposed for the Dalston Junction  site is likely to be sold primarily to investors, ending up as buy-to-let property.The plans show  tower blocks rising above the surrounding buildings.After years of pulling down  high-rises in Hackney the Councils plans to build more on Dalston Lane seems misguided to say the least

OPEN recently won a court order blocking demolition of Nos. 4-14 and a judicial review is set to take place on February 6.

“We believe that the public should have a say, not just a few council officials” says Mr Parry-Davies, “the buildings potential for regeneration of the wider area is being dismissed in the name of ‘best value’ and the scramble for short-term financial gain.”


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