Dalston area action plan

The Dalston area action plan (AAP) is a comprehensive strategy for co-ordinated development and design that reflects local aspirations for the future of the area. It is a guide to balanced development and provides confidence and certainty to developers and other public sector bodies.  

The purpose is to establish the basis for shaping the regeneration of the area and to ensure the continued role of Dalston as a major town centre whilst respecting its unique character. The AAP has a strong focus on implementation and forms a statutory component of the local development framework.

Current stage

The final version of the AAP incorporating the changes arising from the inspector's final report were approved for adoption by cabinet and Council on 17 December 2012 and 30 January 2013 respectively.

The Council would like to thank everyone who engaged in the various rounds of public consultation and the examination in public.

Contact us

If you have any questions or would like copies of any of the documents please phone 020 8356 8038 or email ldf@hackney.gov.uk.

Dalston Quarter 

The opportunity 

Dalston's cluster of unique cultural, creative, community and third sector industries are major assets to the character of the town centre and play a key role in both attracting and sustaining significant regeneration opportunities and economic growth for the local area and across the borough as a whole.

The Council has a unique opportunity to embark on a journey to use Council owned sites and buildings around Ashwin Street and Dalston Lane to create Dalston Quarter, a collaborative part refurbishment, part development project to strengthen the role and presence of these industries and businesses to create a centrepiece of cultural and creative urban regeneration.

What sites in Dalston are being considered?

There are four main sites that could be improved:

  • site 1: Dalston Lane South
  • site 2: Ashwin Street West
  • site 3: Ashwin Street East
  • site 4: Abbott Street

See our map of potential Dalston Quarter sites [pdf, 4.13Mb] .

What's happened so far

The planning framework for the Quarter is established in the Dalston area action plan (AAP). The AAP recognises the importance of the existing community, creative, cultural and third sector uses and seeks to retain and build upon these uses, which are considered to be major assets to the character of the town centre.

The designation of a cultural, creative and community quarter around Ashwin Street and Dalston Lane, as part of a balanced approach to land use in the town centre, received much local support as part of the adoption of the AAP in January 2013. 

Following a Cabinet decision in November 2015, the Council has been looking at a strategy to explore options to create the Quarter, including how we will engage with local people, organisations and businesses.

The first step involved completing some evidence base studies and using the findings of these, alongside engagement with local community groups and businesses, to work up number of draft principles in line with the AAP, which will guide any future development proposals for the Dalston Quarter.

The evidence base studies completed include a heritage survey, a structural and measured survey and a contamination and ground condition survey:

In addition to the above a report was also produced by some of the existing organisations in the Dalston Quarter, which highlights their contribution and social value to the area.

What's happening now

We undertook an initial engagement consultation on development principles for the Dalston Quarter with key stakeholders and the local community for an extended period of ten weeks from 20 February to 30 April. We published a consultation brochure and questionnaire [pdf, 515.92Kb] for comment, supported by a number of drop-in sessions and public meetings in the Dalston area. There was a high level of engagement in the consultation from across the local community - 2,136 people responded by questionnaire or email, providing over 10,000 individual comments. 

While there was significant support for all of the ideas initially proposed for the four Council owned sites that make up the Dalston Quarter, the consultation also identified concerns about the wider area and the consultation process, including:

  • concern about the future of the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden
  • protecting the role of existing organisations including Arcola Theatre, Cafe Oto, Hackney CVS, Bootstrap and V22
  • the importance of ongoing engagement, especially in relation to local communities and existing organisations
  • the importance of preserving and enhancing the existing cultural offer, including the local arts and built heritage of the area
  • concern over the affordability of any new residential or business units
  • the importance of good design, and ensuring the appropriate type and density of new development
  • some distrust regarding the intentions and actions of the Council within Dalston
  • criticisms of the clarity of the consultation material

We want to reassure everyone that we've listened to the consultation and will be working with the community to prepare a wider strategy for Dalston. We're currently putting together an engagement strategy which we'll be launching early next year, so we can make sure the local community and the existing organisations are involved throughout the process.

Further information and original consultation responses:

Points of clarification

Is the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden included in the consultation?

The consultation is focused on 3 draft principles that could shape what could happen on 4 Council owned sites in the Dalston Quarter (Labelled as Site 1, Site 2, Site 3 and Site 4). The garden is largely on privately owned land, but its entrance, which houses a number of temporary buildings associated with the garden, does fall within the boundary of 'Site 3,' and some of the other sites also adjoin the garden.

As set out in the Dalston area action plan adopted in 2013, all of the sites included will need to respond to each other and the 'Eastern Curve' public open space, on which the majority of the garden is located. In this context the Council is open to exploring the potential to retain a community garden as set out in draft Principle 3 of the consultation.

It should be noted, that the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden has now been added to the Dalston Quarter Development Sites map to avoid confusion.

What will the public realm proposed in the AAP be like?

The adopted 2013 AAP designates an 'Eastern Curve' public open space linking the southern part of Dalston Lane, beside the peace mural, and the top of Dalston Lane. This would consist of a series of inter-linked spaces of different character and atmosphere, including spaces for play, recreation, leisure and relaxation. This new public open space would enhance the town centre and be open to everyone. It is however too early to tell what this would look like, as no designs have been commissioned or submitted at this stage.

What is the historical value of No. 10 - 16 Ashwin Street? 

The consultation brochure incorrectly states that only the frontage of No. 10 - 16 Ashwin Street is of historical value; however, as outlined in the heritage survey, the front and rear of No. 10 - 16 Ashwin Street is of high historical value. This issue will be addressed in all future consultation material

Speak to us about the Dalston Quarter

If you would like to speak with a planning officer about the Dalston Quarter project, you can email the Delivery Team at deliveryteam@hackney.gov.uk or call 020 8356 1318.

Page updated: 08/01/2018 10:32:32