THIS IS WHAT HACKNEY council insisted should replace a Georgian terrace in Dalston Lane.
The terrace was crumbling by the time Hackney assigned it to its development partner, Murphy, but the contractor, which is also a builder, was not allowed to remove a brick until a lively legal-based campaign by conservationist group Open Dalston had run its protracted course.
Construction was delayed by bad weather. But by spring 2017 Murphy was able to start marketing the first phase of 24 flats in a style described as “heritage likeness” and, appealingly for speculators, without any of those troublesome “lower”-class tenants likely to buy because not one flat was classified as affordable.
Never mind. Hackney lost historic buildings in both the first and second World Wars so why should anyone worry about another council-neglected row of 1830s houses with Victorian shop frontages?
Just think of the benefits that will accrue from investors piling into flats costing between £615,000 and not much under £1 million. Yes, you’re probably still trying to think of one.
And if you think the “heritage likeness” look of the Dalston Lane frontage is unconvincing, wait till you see inside. Anodyne is how Loving Dalston would term the interiors: neat, not badly laid out, almost swish, yet lacking in any lovable style, as these photographs of the two and three-bedroom flats — sorry, apartments — taken by a reader, show.
The first phase, of one-bedders, is sold; the last phase is likely to be completed next year 2018. Murphy and Mare Street will be hoping the property slide doesn’t slow the sale of those flats, especially with the rising cost of money as interest rates start to go up.
As for that shadiest branch of the property business, the offshorers who buy and sell freeholds in anticipation of rising ground rents, they’ll be salivating: these specious charges start at £300 a year. Unlike a service charge, ground rent gives the leaseholder no service — apart from an expectation of regular rises.
Local authorities that own huge amounts of land have been called “property agents”. Whatever would Hackney council, which was led by its first mayor, Jules Pipe, when Murphy came on the scene, make of that label?
Hamish Scott 121117
* The reader who sent the pix of the interiors has kindly given copy- right to this site. The other pictures are © David.Altheer [at] gmail.com and are for sale for reproduction. Bigger format versions are usually available.
* Backstory: What was lost; Council gung-ho for demolition; Demolish Dalston Lane, says Hackney; New hope for Dalston Lane terrace; Hackney to succeed where Nazi bombing failed; Investment opp. for offshore speculators
* 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. Most photographs can be visually enlarged by pressing on them.