Dalston is changing – take part in the Dalston Conversation

Residents’ priorities will be put at the heart of the Council’s work in Dalston as part of a major Hackney Council campaign to listen to their ambitions for the future of their community.

By taking part in the Dalston Conversation, residents, businesses and visitors will be able to share what they love about the area, what they want to see improved and how they feel about the changes already happening.

Dalston’s population has gone up 12% in just four years, and the prospect of Crossrail 2 – a proposed high-speed train line that would link the town centre directly to north, central and south-west London – means developers and landowners are likely to want to build more tall buildings in the area.

While some of these changes will be out of the Council’s control, it wants to make sure it is using every tool at its disposal to maximise the benefits of growth for local residents and achieve the objectives of Dalston’s communities – whether that’s having a say in what the town centre looks like in the future and what kind of buildings can be built, improving public spaces, or ensuring everyone has access to new jobs, education or arts and culture opportunities.

To start the conversation, the Council has made a series of pledges about its work, committing to:

  • Protect and improve Ridley Road Market

  • Be a champion for existing businesses and culture

  • Secure the future of the Eastern Curve Garden

  • Deliver affordable spaces for local businesses

  • Be honest about plans for the future

  • Use feedback to shape change

  • Keep and promote diverse shops, restaurants and nightlife

Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney
Hackney has seen huge change over the last 15 years, with massive investment bringing better education, more job opportunities, new businesses and a transformation in transport links.

But residents in places like Dalston have also been clear that they are worried that future plans might put the area’s heritage and character at risk, or exclude some people from new opportunities.

If Dalston is to remain a place that works for everyone, we need to hear the voices and views of everyone who lives, works and visits here so we can best plan for how to achieve their priorities.

That’s why we’re taking a step back to start the Dalston Conversation. I’m determined that through this open and honest dialogue, we’ll find out how we should approach change.
Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney

Anyone can have their say by visiting the Dalston Conversation website or speaking to council officers at events across Dalston throughout autumn. Detailed workshops based on the key issues facing the area will follow later this year.

Last year, the Council consulted residents on planning principles for a new creative quarter in Dalston, with more than 2,000 people taking part. While residents who responded supported plans for council-owned land, many raised concerns about the Eastern Curve Garden and the language used in the consultation.

The Dalston Conversation will be an opportunity for residents to give broader feedback about the future of the area, rather than simply on planning policies. The Council will use this to set out clear objectives for the area and publish a delivery plan to show how it will achieve them.