Hi all. As promised I have a bunch of news and updates for you, but have decided that rather than bore you all with a monster long post, I will break it down into, probably, 3 posts of related topics. To get the ball rolling then is news of recent and upcoming development proposals that are close to home.
First off, the proposed development of the Holy Trinity School site at the south-east corner of Dalston Square. I have referred to this development several times over the last 6 months or so, and there are a couple of threads over at the forum (HERE and HERE) that document the work of a truly dedicated team of Dalston Square residents (who have been battling to stop Telford Homes’ ludicrous plans), and so will go no further into the details. The news though is the decision, decided at the council’s public planning meeting last Wednesday, that the application has been rejected. This is excellent news and proof that democracy and a well presented argument can still stop big developers in their tracks. Whilst plans to expand the existing school to provide much needed school places was generally accepted as a good idea, Telford’s attempt to use this as an excuse to build 101 apartments that would have seriously affected current and future residents of both Dalston Square and the Rhodes Estate, it was argued, was simply unacceptable. The application was rejected on the grounds of not sticking to the council’s own DAAP (Dalston Area Action Plan), and issues with the design of the proposed structure. After celebrations had died down, the Dalston Square team unanimously decided that an approach would be made to the principal of the school to see if any assistance could be offered with regard finding sources of funding that would allow the school to go ahead with expansion, without the need to involve big property developers. A magnanimous gesture I am sure you will agree.
Now though, there is a new cloud on the horizon. Ben Collins, as Chair of the DSRA, was recently approached by a consultancy with regard a pre-planning meeting on the proposed development of the Kingland Shopping Centre. If you are unfamiliar with this proposed development, Loving Dalston did a piece on it HERE, and Dalstonist covered the story HERE. More high-rises (up to 14 stories in places), more high-rent retail space (no doubt to be filled with the same chains you find on every high-street these days), a serious threat to Ridley Road market, and the loss of the Eastern Curve Garden are all on the drawing board. The DSRA is discussing where we go from here and will work on a plan to ensure that, as with the school development above, the interests of developers do not drive forward a project that is in the interest of neither local residents nor local businesses. If allowed to proceed as currently planned this would completely change the village we love. Watch this space for updates as the consultation process progresses and more details become available.
That’s it for this post, the next installment of news……..