A website & blog for residents (and neighbours) of Dalston Square

Planning

Holy Trinity School Addendum

Further to my last post, it seems some may be having trouble with the link I posted to the GLA webcast. The link is actually for the direct download of a desktop shortcut for the file. The GLA do not seem to allow actual downloading in full, but rather give you a shortcut that when double clicked, will run the webcast through your default media player (rather than via your web browser). So, if you are also having trouble, visit the GLA HERE, look under the heading ‘November 2013’, and click on the ‘ Holy Trinity School representation hearing’ link. If you continue to have problems, leave a comment on this post and I will attempt a work-around.

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Xmas Social, Holy Trinity School, Dalston Futures

A big ‘Thank You!’ to everyone who voted in our poll to decide what to do for our Christmas social this year. The winning option, with 70.59% of the vote was (imagine a drum roll)…….. The Cafe Route option. Therefore, without further ado, I am very pleased to announce we are going to do something completely different. ūüėĮ ūüėÜ

So, set for Friday 20th December, from 6pm to 8pm (although you are welcome to stay for extra merriment if you wish), the event will be held in the cosy ‘winter quarters’ of the Eastern Curve Garden (namely the large main greenhouse complete with it’s, when lit, crackling glowing wood burning stove). Mulled wine and toasted chestnuts (fresh from the aforementioned stove) will be available for purchase (all funds go to the garden), and everyone is encouraged to bring a mince pie or three (or something similar) to share with your neighbours. ¬†Poster coming soon.

Next up, news from the recent public hearing regarding the development of Holy Trinity School. After excellent presentations from both Hackney Council and local residents explaining their support for the school expansion, while still very much against the 7 storeys of flats proposed to sit atop it, Mayor Boris Johnson decided to overrule Hackney Council’s decision of earlier in the year and allow the development to go ahead. The 36 meter high (equal to 12 storeys)¬†concrete mass will be taller than all it’s neighbours and will put many existing properties, to it’s West, North, and East, into shadow. Anyone interested in viewing a webcast of the proceedings (where the full picture of the arguments against the structure can be heard) can do so HERE.

Next, Dalston Futures. 45 local residents attended their second meeting recently (much better than the 10 for the first), so momentum is building. THIS from them regarding that meeting, their call for financial assistance through donations, and the next meeting, scheduled for Tuesday 10th December from 6:30pm to 8pm (again in the Trinity Centre on Beechwood Road). The online magazine East London Lines is currently carrying a video recorded at the last meeting which you can view HERE.

One last thing before I finish, many thanks to those who answered our Twitter call for pics of the Christmas Market held in the Square on Sunday. If you missed it yourself, you can see how successful it was by checking our Twitter feed @DalstonSquareRA.

 


Bitter & Sweet

First the bitter. You will by now all be aware of the plan by Telford Homes to use the doubling of capacity at Holy Trinity School (possibly a good thing, depending on your view of faith schools) as an excuse to build 101 flats ¬†above said school, at the south-eastern corner of Dalston Square. The plans for the development were rejected by Hackney Council earlier in the year (on the grounds of it’s impact on the area, current and future tenants adjacent to the site, and the school children themselves), but Telford then took their plans to the GLA (the offices of Mayor Boris Johnson) who provisionally overruled Hackney Council’s decision pending a public hearing. Well, that hearing is now upon us: This coming Monday, 18th November, 3pm at City Hall, Committee Rooms 4 & 5. The school is organising buses to transport parents/supporters of the scheme to the hearing (one has to wonder if parents are fully aware that the only play area for children will be an open ‘floor’ of the building between the school and the multiple stories of flats above, with, therefore, no open sky), so it is imperative that anyone against the proposal should also attend if they possibly can. Full details of the hearing, the proposed development, and the GLA’s own report, can all be found on the GLA’s website HERE.

Now the sweet. The Christmas market scheduled for the Square on December 1st will not just allow you to shop at the stalls, eat at the food stalls, and be entertained by a procession of local artists and performers. Oh no. You can also take part as a performer yourself. This just in:

Calling All Singers!

Do you like to sing? No matter if you have experience or not, come along and join in!

Led by vocalist and choirmaster, Iris Ederer, we will be singing uplifting popular tunes in a one and a half hour workshop where you will get to know a-cappella arrangements of well-known tunes from gospel to pop. In the vocal workshop we will do a quick body warm-up Рcomfortable clothes are suggested Рsome voice warm-ups and sound exercises Рbe prepared for some fun! All age groups welcome.

The workshop will take place¬†at Dalston C.L.R James Library at¬†12:15 on 1st December 2013,¬†and at 2.15pm we will sing our songs on stage at Dalston Christmas Market in Dalston Square ‚Äď a public performance for you and your families. To sign up (and don’t forget this is open to all, no matter what your level of experience or abilities) please email talent@cityshowcase.co.uk¬†and label your email IRIS.

Join in, join us, and invite all your friends and family to watch you perform.
And speaking of events in the Square, I have also received the minutes of the latest Dalston Square Culture & Community Engagement Forum (available for download from our discussions forum HERE¬†– scroll down to last entry), as well as the third edition of Hackney Council’s Dalston Square Cultural Programme Newsletter (download HERE¬†– again, scroll down the page to find it). Let’s show our thanks to the council for their work to make the Square a fun place to live in the best possible way: Get out there and support and participate in every event we can. See you there?

Holy Trinity Planning Objection Advice

Hi all, sorry for the late notice on this one. As most of you will be aware, a group of residents from the southern end of the Square have organised themselves into a group to fight several aspects of the proposed development of the Holy Trinity School site (more details can be found over at our forum in THIS thread). To this end they have arranged a meeting with a representative from Planning Aid (website HERE), who will be offering advice and answering questions. The meeting is set for today (again, sorry for the short notice), at 2pm, in Cafe Route, here on the Square in Gaumont Tower (why not arrive nice and early and have a spot of lunch first: I can testify that the food really is very good).


Holy Trinity School Consultation

I have been contacted by Sophie Hoskin of Telford Homes with details of an upcoming drop-in event planned for Wednesday 3rd April from 4pm – 8pm. This is the last of 5 events that have happened over the last 4 months or so that allows local residents to view the plans for the proposed development which will greatly enhance the facilities of the school and provide 101 new homes. And with representatives from ‘The Team’ (hopefully the school, Telford Homes, and the architects), this will be your last opportunity to ask questions before Hackney Council’s planning¬†committee make their decision as to whether to give this project the green light. I would like to think that residents of the Square will be receiving flyers in their post boxes, but just in case, you can click the thumbnails below for full details.

school flyer


Updates To Previous Posts

Hi all, hope this post finds you well. The first item is not so much an update as a reiteration. You may have noticed Sean Stone’s note on the notice boards, and should of received your letter from Consort, regarding next week’s meeting, called by Consort, to explain to us all the reasons for the rises in the coming year’s service charges. (Regarding the letter, please note there is a mistake contained therein: Charges will rise from the current range of ¬£900-¬£3800, depending on block and size, to a range of ¬£1000-¬£4000. Not, as it is poorly written, an increase of ¬£1000-¬£4000). Those of you registered with the DSRA (via the forum or by attending our regular meetings) will have today received my email but I will again publish here a note from Ben Collins, Chair of the DSRA, regarding this meeting:

Service Charge increases 2013- 2014
Consort Meeting 
Tuesday March 19th
6.30 pm
CLR James Library 
Some of you will be aware that our Service Charges are due to increase again this April.
In some cases, we the Residents Association believe, these could be very significant. (From our estimates this could possibly be more than 25% in the case of some buildings)
Leaseholders received a letter this week from Consort Property Management (dated March 12th), which is somewhat confusing. It describes ‘an increase of between ¬£1000 and ¬£4000 per apartment…¬†dependent¬†on the block’.
If these figures are correct, they are alarming. They do not reflect the provisional figures the DSRA committee was given in a recent budget review meeting with Consort, but they do confirm the need to attend the meeting next Tuesday, to ask questions.
For the past three years the Residents’ Association has asked for greater¬†transparency in¬†budgeting¬†and more¬†accurate predictive information for Service Charges for each apartment, to be sent out well in advance of the new financial year. This is to avoid the surprises many of us have had in past years from late notices of increases, based on unexplained or questionable¬†cost¬†increases in running our¬†buildings.
The increase in Service Charges will impact on ALL residents including tenants.
We are very concerned about the confused message from Consort and hope that as many residents as possible will attend the meeting on Tuesday March 19th, at 6:30 in the library. We need a strong showing to impress upon Consort that we expect better from their financial management, and better value for money for their Service Charges. If you can, please come to the meeting to make your case.
Ben Collins
Chair
Dalston Square Residents’ Association
I cannot stress enough how important it is for as many residents as possible to attend this meeting. And that includes renters as well as owners: If costs continue to rise for owners, eventually rents will increase to compensate.
Next, an update on the proposed development of the Holy Trinity School. Further to my announcement HERE (down near the bottom of the post), the plans have now been submitted to Hackney Council. There is a forum thread discussing this issue in depth HERE. Anyone wishing to object to this development can do so on the Hackney Council website HERE.
Lastly an update to my post including details of Land of Kings (HERE, second paragraph). Nick has sent through a copy of their event poster and full event details which I have included below. Click each thumbnail to see the full size version. Further details on the family oriented Land of Kids will follow.
poster pg1 pg2 pg3

A Bit Of This And…..

Quite a lot to tell you all about so I have used our forum for all the details. I will summarise each topic here and link you through to the forum to get the full story.

First off, some more meeting minutes, this time from the Finance Sub-committee. These from 2 meetings held so far with regard our Consort service charges for 2013/14: HERE and HERE. It is not good news I am afraid. If you have difficulty with those links, see my last website post where this is addressed (HERE, second to last sentence of the first paragraph).

Next up, one for all you Tweeters out there: We have long had a Twitter account but it hasn’t been used in an age and I have been unable to track down whoever controls it. So a new one has been created: @DalstonSquareRA. Christine (Chair of the RA’s Social Sub-Committee,¬†and my better half) created it and will monitor it. Any responsible persons who wish to tweet relevant info in the name of the RA should contact her for the account password. Please do so via the forum.

Next, some good news from Bootstrap, our neighbours over in Ashwin Street (owners of the roof garden over there among other things): They are changing the programme of how the roof garden will be used, and offering us a place to hold our DSRA meetings free of charge (rather than the £50 the library charge. More HERE.

Just 2 more items, and they are loosely connected. The first of the these is regarding a couple of evenings in May/June when The lost Picture Show are hoping to screen a couple of free to attend movies here in the Square. The question is, will there be objections? Details HERE. And last of all, a couple of current licence applications currently with Hackney Council. I do not foresee any issues with one of them (the Council applying to itself to run free events in the Square for the enjoyment of all), the other though could well garner quite a bit of  opposition. Again a forum link, all the details HERE.

That’s it for now. I wish you all a great weekend, and please do pop over to the forum to share your thoughts on all the issues posted.


Posters & Flyers

Hi folks, couple of things. Firstly a reminder that our residents winter get-together is this Sunday: From 6pm, 3rd floor roof terrace of Gaumont Tower. Click the thumbnail below to see the full size poster. Secondly, Maisie Collins has asked that I let you all know that she has changed the time and venue of her first meeting for anyone interested in her ‘Dalston Square Collective’ for freelancers and small business owners that reside on the Square. New details are on Maisie’s forum post HERE. Lastly, did we all receive the Holy Trinity Primary School flyer below (click on the thumbnail for the full size image), which I found in my mailbox earlier in the week? I intend to attend the meeting on Monday and will report back with my findings. A forum thread has also been started about this planned development HERE. Have a good weekend all!

PosterFlyer