High-rise may replace Dalston’s Kingsland Centre

* Criterion will present its Kingsland plans at Stoke Newington Town Hall, Church Street N16 OJR on Tues 25 Feb 2014 at 6.30pm. It will be what is termed a pre-application meeting, at which the public are not usually allowed to speak. Hackney council has not said why it has scheduled a meeting of great importance for Dalstoners in its northernmost town hall. The article below was written in spring 2013.

FOURTEEN FLOORS could rise above Kingsland High Street when the long-awaited demolition of Dalston’s shopping centre takes place.

Hackney architect Andrew Waugh has prepared plans to develop the site into what is being termed an “urban quarter”.

A family investment company, Criterion Capital, owns the land, which sits between the high street, the cross-London railway to the north and the southern and eastern curves of Dalston Lane. It includes part of the Eastern Curve Garden.

Criterion described the scheme as a “multimillion pound regeneration”. Michael Hughes, the firm’s development head, said the scheme would “deliver millions of pounds of investment, providing hundreds of new jobs”.

The new shops would draw more people to the area and, alongside others already in the high street and retailers in Ridley Road Market, would enhance Dalston as “a retail destination”.

Criterion said the scheme “reflected Hackney council’s Dalston Area Action Plan, which calls for the redevelopment of the shopping centre to create a pedestrian-friendly destination that will attract more shoppers to the area and increase footfall for existing local businesses”.

The council plan does not refer to the possibility of 14-floor buildings but states that “any redevelopment of Kingsland Shopping Centre would need to avoid/minimise overshadowing of the market”. New development should respect the “vertical rhythm and existing scale of Kingsland Road / High Street”.

Shoppers will be able to use Sainsbury’s and other stores in the mean time: building work will take place in phases so that existing shops can continue as the changes are being made.

Loving Dalston reported on the Criterion-Waugh scheme in July 2011. Criterion will hold a public launch next month June 2013 before it submits its plans to the council.

David Altheer 210513

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