* UPDATE 241018: excavation for the 5m-deep basement starts… see above
* UPDATE 311019: The building and the basement take shape, right
WORK HAS STARTED on a block of flats and offices that will include a bespoke basement for a Dalston youth club. It will mean months of dust and disruption for residents and delays for bicycle, bus and car commuters.
The Hackney firm told club leaders and Hackney council that it would dig St Matt’s a 5-metre basement, high enough for a basketball court, below nine flats on five floors.
But the scheme was delayed when squatters occupied the premises last year 2017, to be followed by permitted minder-occupiers.
The youth club has since had to make do with a premises on the Wilton Estate, Hackney, a far cry from the spacious venue it had enjoyed for years.
Further dismay came when it looked as though East Eight, run by De Beauvoir resident Nicole Bremner and businessman Avi Dodi, would build the basement down to only 3m — too small, argued the club — for basketball. East Eight said that a 5m hall would cost £600,000 more than budgeted.
The money has been found and the builder has sent in a demolition team, which first removed the roof. Demolition should be finished by July 2018, when excavation of the site and erecting the new scheme will start, taking at least a year, with obvious nuisance to local residents and hold-ups to through-traffic.
Parents who send teenagers to the club will be hoping all goes well. The need for local youngsters to be kept off the street or away from radicalisation influences is greater than ever. More than 60 people, most of them young, have been killed by knives or guns in London this year. A man in his 20s died of knife wounds in south London today Sunday 20 May 2018.
David Altheer 200518
* Backstory: Youth club is out on the streets; I sold the club; Hackney developer makes big profit promise to crowdfund investors; Flats future for Dalston youth club; Council evicts squatters to prepare house sale; Hackney estate takes on druggies
* Photographs © DavidAltheer [at] gmail.com, and for sale for reproduction. Bigger format versions are usually available.
* 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.