FOUR MONTHS since the proposal for a skyscraper, the Dalston Green Ecotower, next to Dalston Kingsland station, was toppled by Hackney council, the owner of the Peacocks site has a new plan for the prime location.
The owner, property investment company Rothas, which is led by businessman David Pearl, has promised to unveil the plan to the public at the CLR James Library on Wednesday. Rothas says it wants members of the public to offer their views between noon and 7.30pm.
Rothas last year hired a prestige public-relations firm to build support for the initial 18-floor proposal,and won the approval of Hackney council planning department. But on 7 March 2012 the application to erect the skyscraper at 51-57 Kingsland High Street was thrown out by planning subcommittee councillors.
After Rothas’s wish to build the high-rise flats and offices next to Dalston Kingsland station was reported by Loving Dalston, on 27 August 2011, protests grew. A few months later Open Dalston, a local environmental group, organised a protest petition, and presented it to the council with more than 1,300 signatures.
After the humiliation this spring, Rothas is taking a tentative approach, claiming on the internet that it wants public reaction. It has set up a website that diffidently says: “Before a planning application is submitted to Hackney council we would like to show you the brand new plans for the site and listen to what you have to say… Please use the tabs above to find out more information.”
More information is what there is not. The site offers not a hint about its “brand new design”. The architects are also new — no second chance with Rothas, it seems — so Dalston Green Mark II “not only deals with the difficulties raised last time but provides a building that Dalston and Hackney can be proud of”.
But not informed of: even Dalston ward’s three councillors, Sophie Linden, Michelle Gregory and Angus Mulready-Jones, are in the dark, saying in an email to local Labour Party members that “this will no doubt still be a controversial planning application”. At a meeting last week, however, Mulready-Jones said that a tall building was “inevitable”.
David Altheer 090712
* Main picture: architect’s drawing of the revised 19-floor project for the heart of Hackney E8
* The consultation is at CLR James Library, corner Dalston Lane and Roseberry Place, Dalston E8 3AZ, Wed. 11 July 2012, noon-7.30pm.
* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.