The Mayor of London’s office has confirmed it is looking into concerns raised over a proposed 8-storey building in Dalston, some are referring to as a ‘gated community.’
The property has been proposed by developers Taylor Wimpey and Transport for London, and is intended for a plot on Kingsland High Street near Dalston Junction railway station. The site is owned by TfL.
Community advocacy group, OPEN Dalston, who are campaigning against the bid, said that the planned structure would be “a private gated community which will have very little ‘affordable’ housing and no public open space whatsoever.”
Bill Parry-Davies, founder of OPEN Dalston, has promoted the need for public green spaces in the neighbourhood and claims TfL has a history of ignoring the needs of the community.
Speaking to Eastlondonlines, he said: “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. These planned new developments similarly disrespect our local environment and needs.”
At the December 19, 2012 Mayor’s Question Time, Conservative London Assembly member Andrew Boff went so far as to say, “I don’t think TfL really care about Dalston,” an accusation that Boris Johnson vehemently denied.
During the same Assembly meeting, Boff encouraged the Mayor to meet with campaigners about the TfL proposal, promising beneficial changes could be made in time. Johnson tentatively agreed to the discussion and his office has confirmed this consultation will take place.
Hackney Council responded that this planning application will go through the “same processes as any other”.
They added: “We do not have a specific policy in Hackney which addresses gated developments but the council does seek to resist them through building high quality, accessible developments.”
A spokesperson for TfL and Taylor Wimpey said: “We believe we have created a design that will breathe new life into two redundant sites and will significantly enhance the appearance and character of Dalston town centre.”
“Although there is no scope to create public open space within the site itself, due to restrictions of size, the application will allow for the enhancement of Dalston’s public realm by investing in a nearby green space project as part of the scheme.”
The date of the meeting between the Mayor’s office and OPEN Dalston is yet to be decided.