Hackney Wick Conservation Area preserves unique character

Hackney Council has taken the unusual step of designating a new conservation area ahead of public consultation so that it can safeguard the unique character and architecture of Hackney Wick.

The immediate implementation of the Hackney Wick Conservation Area is due to its location adjacent to the 2012 Olympic Park where there is significant investment pressure from developers.

This is only the second time the Council has implemented a conservation area ahead of public consultation and means it can ensure that historic buildings and new development contribute to the area s character.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, said: “By adopting this conservation area the Council can ensure that those buildings and streets which contribute to the character of the Hackney Wick neighbourhood can be protected where necessary, and new development is to be designed in a way that enhances that distinctive character.”

Designation means the Council can resist the loss of historic buildings and open spaces, such as working yards, and alteration of the historic street pattern to preserve the area’s character. It also enables the Council to require any proposed development to be of high quality and appropriate to the area.

The conservation area gives the opportunity to positively inform future development, for example, by incorporating and re-using the historic buildings as a basis for new developments to add economic value and create a distinctive sense of place. This has been successfully achieved in other parts of the borough such as South Shoreditch and Stoke Newington.

The Hackney Wick Conservation Area is located in the north-east of the borough, immediately north of Hackney Wick Station. It is predominantly industrial in character with industrial buildings and associated yards and open spaces dating from 1860 onwards. Its street pattern remains relatively unaltered since the late Victorian period.

During the 19th century, the Hackney Wick area became an integral link between Essex, the Docklands and the City itself, attracting industries which used water directly as a mode of transport for raw materials and finished products. The wider area is characterised by small clusters of historic industrial buildings which in the past occupied a range of activities such as dye, waterproof cloth, chemical, varnish and printing works.

Hackney Wick masterplan – public consultation

The designation of the Hackney Wick Conservation Area is part of the Council’s efforts to shape and guide future developments in Hackney Wick.

A public consultation on a draft masterplan for Hackney Wick is running until 9 Feb. The final version will sit alongside the Hackney Wick Conservation Area Appraisal. The two documents combined will set out clear planning guidance for any proposed development.

Have your say on the Hackney Wick masterplan: or call: 020 8356 8150.