A fair recovery for Dalston – new town centre plan approved
New dedicated planning guidance to safeguard much-loved local institutions like Ridley Road Market and Dalston Eastern Curve Garden have been approved as part of Council plans to deliver on feedback of the local community and ensure a fair recovery from the pandemic for Dalston.
The changes, set out in the draft Dalston Plan and approved by the Council’s Cabinet last night (24 May), are the result of over three years of dialogue, challenge and collaboration between the Council and the local community since the launch of the Dalston Conversation, Hackney Council’s biggest ever local engagement exercise which saw input from more than 5,000 people.
The plan sets out how the changes that are needed to accommodate new homes and jobs can take place while putting local residents and businesses first and addressing the challenges of affordable housing and workspace. This includes identifying ten opportunity sites that can accommodate over 600 new homes as well as workspaces and commercial space for a growing town centre.
These have been developed in response to feedback from the Dalston Conversation to ensure the things local people value most about Dalston – such as Ridley Road Market, Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, the unique and diverse shopping offer and the renowned arts, culture and nightlife scenes – are protected.
The Dalston Plan includes details of Council projects that are delivering on this feedback, including a £1.5 million investment in Ridley Road Market and Ashwin Street, tackling antisocial behaviour issues at Gillett Square, and progressing plans for Hackney’s first 21st Century Street at Colvestone Crescent.
When we began the Dalston Conversation three years ago, I made clear that – while we can’t control all change in a growing town centre – we would do everything we can to ensure that local people and businesses are the first to benefit.
As we work to ensure a fair recovery from the pandemic, the Dalston Plan will deliver on that commitment in line with the feedback we’ve heard from the Dalston community – demonstrating how we’re recognising the importance of affordability and safeguarding much-loved places like Ridley Road Market and the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden as part of a cleaner, greener, safer and more accessible town centre.
With Dalston growing to accommodate new homes, jobs and workspaces, we’re using every tool we have to shape this change in line with the priorities of the local community and the need for affordable housing, so that the benefits of this can be felt by everyone.
These are set out in the Dalston Plan, which shows how we’re investing here and now in places like Ridley Road and Ashwin Street, using Council-owned sites to support the needs of local people, but most importantly putting clear, strong guidance in place to ensure new development works for the town centre and protects what makes Dalston special.
The Council will now consult with residents, businesses and organisations in Dalston on the draft plan this summer to address any feedback before it is adopted later in the year.
What’s happening in Dalston
The Dalston Plan:
The Dalston Plan is a Supplementary Planning Document that will shape the future of Dalston based on the local community’s priorities through the Dalston Conversation and the Towards a Dalston Plan engagement, setting out objectives and site proposals for the town centre and a clear delivery plan on how the Council and partners can deliver these. Consultation on the draft plan will begin on 2 June.
Ridley Road Market:
Final proposals for a £1 million investment in Ridley Road Market will be released this June, including better facilities for traders, improved public spaces throughout the market, and dedicated character areas such a hot food stall zone and market garden. Work is expected to begin on site later in 2021.
The Ridley Road improvements will be complemented by investment in public spaces on Ashwin Street, home to some of Dalston’s iconic destinations including Cafe Oto and the Arcola Theatre. The proposals will include new signage, street trees, planters and paving to help build on its reputation as a focal point for Dalston’s creative and cultural organisations while making it greener, more accessible and more pedestrian and cycle-friendly. Work is expected to begin on site later in 2021.
The Council is continuing to work alongside the police to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour in Gillett Square including additional police and Council enforcement officer patrols, ten new high definition CCTV camera, and new lighting due to be installed later this year.
This summer the Council will be updating on plans for Hackney’s first 21st Century Street at Colvestone Crescent, with proposals to remove a stretch of parking spaces to provide new greenery, cycle storage, electric vehicle charging points, seating and play equipment.