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Report of RCRA Meeting to discuss Dalston Conservation Area

May 15, 2015

Organised by the Rio Cross Residents Association, a meeting was held on May 12th, 2015, in the Rio Basement to discuss the proposed Dalston Conservation Area (DCA). Thanks to Oliver Meek and the Rio Cinema for their hospitality.

Lisa Shell presented the plan, drawing attention to several points that would arise if the CA was put in place:

  • Property owners in the area would require planning permission for some things currently allowed under ‘permitted development’, including:
    • Change of use from commercial to residential (in areas outside of exclusion map boundary)
    • Installation of solar panels, biomass flues or cladding (stone or timber)
    • Rear extensions that are wider than existing width of property or greater than one storey
    • Roof alterations and additions
    • Demolition of commercial properties
  • Planning applications need to demonstrate that proposals will preserve or enhance the special character of the DCA
  • Tree felling and pruning would be more tightly regulated
  • There is already in place a Dalston Conservation Area Advisory Committee (CAAC) who would be notified by Hackney of all planning applications in the new DCA
  • It seemed likely that the introduction of the DCA would lead to an increase in property values
  • It could also lead to an increase in rents in the area which might have negative social implications for mix of residential and commercial/ retail occupants (but hard to disentangle these from general social trends in the area resulting from gentrification, development and government policy).
  • Having the DCA in place would make it difficult for properties within the Area to be demolished.
  • Having the DCA in place would give additional protection to views of/from properties in the Area.

There is concern for Hackney’s capacity to enforce new tighter development regulations.

The boundaries of the proposed DCA were then discussed in detail and the following points were raised:

  • Numbers 4-10 Sandringham Road (the terrace with shop-fronts between Birkbeck Mews and Birkbeck Road) should be included
  • Ridley Road should be included or protected in some other way (e.g. as part of another Conservation Area). And Birkbeck Mews should be regarded as an integral part of Ridley Road Market and also included/protected on the same basis.
  • Ashwin street (including the former Reeves Paint Factory, the terrace on the east side and the Pentecostal Church) and the surrounding area north of Dalston Lane should also be included in a CA. A Dalston Ward ‘Hackney Heritage’ meeting is being held this Monday 18th May 7pm at the Eastern Curve Garden where representatives from Hackney are to update concerned residents about the future and protection of these buildings. All welcome.
  • Number 37 John Campbell Road (at the Islington end of the street) should be given the status of ‘Building of Townscape Merit’ which has been attributed to the houses of John Campbell Road
  • Number 2A John Campbell Road (the front part of which, running under part of 2 John Campbell Road, is currently included in the scheme, while the back part is not) should be included in the DCA in its entirety.

Members were encouraged to give their views to Hackney Council by emailing consultation@hackney.gov.uk and using DALSTON as the subject of the email.

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