WHEN THE primary school in Wilton Way, Dalston, was sold for flats almost 20 years ago, a part of it was to be preserved — for ever.
The grade II-listed pottery store at the Elrington Road E8 3EE end of the school grounds was safeguarded “in perpetuity” for use as a community space, and a peppercorn rent was established.
Perhaps that should read “supposedly safeguarded”: the owner of the property, a low-profile company called Metroscope, has applied to Hackney planning office to have the clause lifted so the handsome 1886 building can be turned into a one-bedroom house and garden — and residents are not happy.
Such a home could sell for almost £1 million but locals Stephen Cutler and Matt Kelly have posted an online protest petition.
The protesters say possible users could include a parent-toddler group, art class, yoga or gardening club.
Dalston ward councillor Peter Snell has helped to organise a meeting to try to save the pottery building.
He told Loving Dalston the meeting was being publicised in the catchment area of the former Graham Road Neighbourhood Association, “which asked for the original condition, to set up a shadow board to manage the building for community use”.
Metroscope’s planning consultant did not respond to requests for a press statement. The company has given its address to Companies House as ℅ Tish Leibovitch, 249 Cranbrook Road, Ilford, Essex IG1 4TG.
The Hackney Society said: “If the applicant’s evidence is to be taken at face value, then nothing has been done to implement the promised community facility.”
Community groups and small enterprises needed spaces such as the pottery store – but at hourly, not commercial rents.
David Altheer 280615
* Public meeting, Labour Room, Hackney Town Hall, Mare Street E8 1EA, Tuesday 30 June 2015 at 7pm
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