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Dalston supplementary planning document

The Dalston SPD will support the delivery of the growth strategy for Dalston set out in the forthcoming Local Plan 2033 (LP33). LP33 will be the key strategic planning document used to direct and guide development in the borough up to 2033. It includes a series of place policies which provide high level guidance for the Council to develop area based plans such as the Dalston SPD. The Local Plan and the Dalston SPD, once adopted, will supersede the current Dalston Area Action Plan (adopted 2013).

The SPD will provide a comprehensive spatial strategy for the coordinated development of the town centre including Council owned sites around Ashwin Street and Dalston Lane, the existing Dalston Kingsland shopping centre site, and surrounding public realm. The document will be informed by significant forthcoming changes in the area, including the potential introduction of a new Crossrail 2 station into the town centre.

The purpose of the SPD is to establish the basis for place shaping regeneration that respects the existing unique character and social value of Dalston town centre, and to ensure the continued role of Dalston as a major town centre.

What’s happening now

We’re currently updating and expanding the evidence base on the social, economic and environmental characteristics and requirements for Dalston. This will help us develop a new strategy for Dalston in the form of a new Dalston supplementary planning document. So far, the background research we’ve commissioned includes:

The evidence base documents are currently being considered alongside the feedback from the Dalston Conversation and the previous Dalston Quarter Principles consultation, to inform a vision and objectives that will be subject to further consultation through the Dalston SPD. The evidence base documents provide ideas and guidance only and are not proposals or policy documents.

Due to some of the concerns raised in the previous consultation on the Dalston Quarter principles in 2017 (see ‘what’s happened so far’ section), we launched a broader consultation, the Dalston Conversation, on 9 September 2018. The feedback received was used to inform our work during the consultation and continues to do so since coming to a close at the end of spring 2019.

As part of the Dalston Conversation, we wanted to hear from everyone who lives and works in Dalston, about ambitions and priorities for the future of the area.

Have your say

As part of the Dalston Conversation, we ran a series of workshops with the local community looking at key topic areas including buildings and heritage, social value, and town centre connectivity.

The feedback from these workshops will help inform the production of the SPD, along with the feedback from the wider Dalston Conversation and the ongoing background research undertaken.

Following the Dalston Conversation, which closed at the end of Spring this year, we are  producing a draft vision and objectives for the Dalston SPD which will be consulted on in the autumn.

What’s happened so far

The Dalston area action plan

The current planning framework for Dalston town centre was established back in January 2013 with the adoption of the Dalston area action plan (AAP). The AAP recognises the importance of the existing community, creative, cultural and third sector uses and seeks to retain and build upon these uses, which are considered to be major assets to the character of the town centre.

The designation of a cultural, creative and community quarter around Ashwin Street and Dalston Lane, as part of a balanced approach to land use in the town centre, received much local support as part of the adoption of the AAP in January 2013.

Previous consultation on Dalston Quarter Development Principles

Dalston’s cluster of unique cultural, creative, community and third sector industries are major assets to the character of the town centre and play a key role in both attracting and sustaining significant regeneration opportunities and economic growth for the local area and across the borough as a whole.

In the 2013 Dalston AAP, the Council recognised a unique opportunity to embark on a journey to use Council owned sites and buildings around Ashwin Street and Dalston Lane to create the Dalston Quarter, a collaborative part refurbishment, part development project to strengthen the role and presence of these industries and businesses to create a centrepiece of cultural and creative urban regeneration. The evidence base studies completed included a heritage survey, a structural and measured survey and a contamination and ground condition survey:

In addition to the above, a report was also produced to highlight the contribution and social value added by existing organisations in the area.

A consultation on the development principles for the Dalston Quarter was undertaken for an extended period of ten weeks from 20 February to 30 April 2017. We published a consultation brochure and questionnaire for comment, supported by a number of drop-in sessions and public meetings in the Dalston area. There was a high level of engagement in the consultation from across the local community with 2,136 people responding by questionnaire or email, providing over 10,000 individual comments.

While there was significant support for all of the ideas initially proposed for the four Council owned sites that make up the Dalston Quarter, the consultation also identified concerns about the wider area and the consultation process, including:

  • concern about the future of the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden
  • protecting the role of existing organisations including Arcola Theatre, Cafe Oto, Hackney CVS, Bootstrap and V22
  • the importance of ongoing engagement, especially in relation to local communities and existing organisations
  • the importance of preserving and enhancing the existing cultural offer, including the local arts and built heritage of the area
  • concern over the affordability of any new residential or business units
  • the importance of good design, and ensuring the appropriate type and density of new development
  • some distrust regarding the intentions and actions of the Council within Dalston
  • criticisms of the clarity of the consultation material

We want to reassure everyone that we’ve listened to the consultation and are now currently working with the community to prepare the Dalston SPD. This will build on the initial work undertaken for the Dalston Quarter and look at Council owned sites strategically in the context  of the wider town centre (see ‘What’s happening now’ section). Further information on the original Dalston Quarter principles consultation including a summary of responses can be viewed below:

Page updated on: 25 June 2019

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