Dalston supplementary planning document

In 2018 the Council launched the Dalston Conversation – where the Council spoke to people that live and work in Dalston, business owners, visitors and commuters alike, about their community and how change can and has affected the local area.

A record 5,000 people took part in the Dalston Conversation, to ensure residents’ ambitions were at the heart of the Council’s work in the rapidly changing area.

Following these conversations, the Council is now producing a new planning and regeneration document for Dalston in the form of a Dalston Supplementary Planning Document (Dalston SPD).

The Dalston SPD, also referred to as the Dalston Plan, will support the delivery of the growth strategy for Dalston set out in the Local Plan 2033 (LP33).

The 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 Plan.

The Local Plan and the Dalston Plan, once adopted, will supersede the current Dalston Area Action Plan (adopted 2013).

The Dalston Plan will aim to create better places for people; physically, economically, environmentally and socially, and will set out objectives and proposals for the town centre.

It will embed the Council’s Inclusive Economy Strategy and will guide development and improvements across the town centre, including sites for redevelopment and surrounding public spaces.

It will also provide guidance on issues such as the town centre and shops, community safety, development, and the quality of the environment.

Before we start producing detailed plans for the area and for specific sites, we would like your views on key issues and objectives set out in this document that seek to address the aspirations and concerns of the local community, to see whether we are on the right track.

What’s happening now

On 27 January 2020, we launched a 6-week Towards a Dalston plan: key issues and objectives consultation, which closed 13 March 2020.

This was the first stage of producing the Dalston plan, before progressing to develop a first draft document. The objectives included:

  • green space and open space
  • shopping and town centre
  • Ridley Road
  • transport and movement
  • buildings
  • workspace and employment
  • housing
  • culture, evening and night-time economy
  • inclusive and safe environment

The key issues and objectives consultation is now closed and we are in the process of collating all the comments to produce a consultation report.

The consultation findings will help inform the next stage of the project, the production of a first draft Dalston plan. There will be another opportunity to provide feedback later in the year, when the first draft is complete.

If you are interested in getting involved or would like to receive updates on the progress of the Dalston plan, please contact us: planmaking@hackney.gov.uk.

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

A consultation on the development principles for four Council-owned sites in the Dalston Quarter, as identified in the Dalston AAP, 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 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

Further information on the original Dalston Quarter principles consultation including a summary of responses:

The evidence base studies completed at the time are below:

Previous Dalston Conversation consultation

Due to some of the concerns raised in the previous consultation on the Dalston Quarter principles in 2017, we launched a broader consultation, the Dalston Conversation, on 9 September 2018.

Our approach was about early, ongoing and honest dialogue with those who live, work and visit the area so that they can influence change in their community. The primary way of hearing your experiences of Dalston has been through the Dalston Conversation website.

Dalston Conversation website

This platform provided a key way to collect information, giving us a better understanding of the place and how it is perceived by the local community. Over 4,000 people visited our website, and shared over 2,000 comments or added agreements or likes to these. We supplemented this online engagement through public workshops and focus groups, community events, neighbourhood walkabouts and stalls at Ridley Road Market and Hackney Carnival. Full feedback and analysis of this outreach work is provided in the consultation report.

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, along with the feedback from the wider Dalston Conversation, helped inform this next stage, the key issues and objectives document that we are now consulting on.

Studies so far

Over the past year we have updated and expanded the evidence base on the social, economic and environmental characteristics and requirements for Dalston.

This has helped us develop a new strategy for Dalston, by identifying key issues and potential objectives for the forthcoming Dalston Plan. So far, the background research we’ve commissioned includes:

Page updated on: 9 April 2020

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