Development of Kingsland Shopping Centre: Dalston Eastern Curve Garden is at risk

The Dalston Eastern Curve Garden is an exceptionally beautiful and special green space in the heart of Dalston (which is bereft of green spaces) and it is at risk of ‘development’. The developers are showing their plans for the space and the Kingsland Shopping Centre today and tomorrow (see the informattion from the Curve Garden newsletter below). Please take the time to go and see the garden for yourself and find out what the developer’s plans are. This is a key community asset that must be protected. Plans for the redevelopment of the Kingsland Shopping Centre and the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden Friday 19 July & Saturday 20 July 2013Criterion Capital who own the Kingsland Shopping Centre are starting to make public their plans for the demolition and redevelopment of the site. They are working with the architects  Waugh Thistleton to build new retail space approximately 500 new flats and new public space. Their plans also include the redevelopment of the land on which the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden is located which prior to its creation was derelict. Part of the land on which the Garden sits is also owned by Hackney Council. Criterion Capital have loaned their land since 2010. Their current plans now envisage the development of the Garden into a paved route to the new shopping centre.Criterion Capital are now holding a public exhibition to gather responses from the public to their redevelopment plans on the following two dates: Friday 19 July 2pm – 7pmSaturday 20 July 11am – 2pmYou can read more about their plans and see images at  www.kingslandconsultation.comThe exhibition will be held at the Kingsland High Street entrance to the shopping centre in an unused unit opposite KFC.If you can’t make it along to the consultation this weekend you can let Criterion Capital know what you think by phone or email:Phone 0845 262 0138 info@KingslandConsultation.comThe day to day management of the Garden is by a social enterprise which was set up by local residents who have been involved with the Garden since it was first created. Discussions with representatives of Criterion Capital and Waugh Thistleton have taken place over the last six weeks about their proposals and the future of the Garden.This Friday 19 July 1-8pm and Saturday 20 July 11am-6pm we will be holding drop-in sessions at the Garden to share the discussions we have had with Criterion Capital and Hackney Council to date. We hope you can make it along to hear more about these conversations and to discuss the future of theDalston Eastern Curve Garden.


  1. @jamieb  Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t Dalston Eastern Curve Garden fully aware that they were given permission to use this land on a temporary basis as it was earmarked for development?Surely kicking up a fuss about it now just disincentivises other land owners from making similar offers to community groups in the future?

  2. Indeed they were. And they’ve managed to convert a completely derelict (in fact borderline toxic) wasteland into an exceptional public space. Plans can change. I’m sure the developers can adapt and work around it.

  3. It’s a beautiful space @benjamin have you been a great asset to the community with live music pizza oven and a very stunning garden. Perfect spot for those in flats without any green area as its a proper garden not an open park it gives those without a garden an opportunity to settle in amongst the green and forget you’re in a big city. It would be amazing if the developer celebrated such an initiative it would be a massive benefit to the new residents and promote something very special amidst a sea of concrete.  More home grown projects to balance out the commercialisation of the area.  It is projects like these that draw the developers (and people) in the beginning lets not lose some magic.

  4. @shoestringstylist Yes, it’s very nice, but;a) the garden was built with full knowledge that it was a temporary enterprise.b) the site is situated in a key position for foot access to the new curved pedestrian shopping street;eastern curvec) the developers have included in their plans significant green space at this location;eastern curve gardenand d) trying to make the garden permanent when its creation with the permission of the landowner was on the proviso that it was temporary only deters any similar permission being granted in the future.The CGI available is only a rough guide of course but it looks pretty good to me.”

  5. @benjamin Are you working for the developers by any chance??!

  6. @shoestringstylist when reason fails, resort to libel.

  7. As mentioned by Benjamin, this is private property, that thanks to the good intentions of the owners, was handed over to become a temporary park. Its not a case of ‘saving’ it because by law the owners can do what they want, within reasonable planning limits. There is of course a solution, to which everyone might be happy. That land is worth, what, £25 million? Everyone who really appreciates it (and its a niche audience so not really a case of a public asset) should club together to form a Trust to purchase it. I’d say something like £200,000 per person could do it? If of course it was somehow done by compulsory purchase at a rate at which the developer lost out (which Im not actually sure can even happen) then it wouldnt be just this developer, but every developer everywhere that would balk at the idea of such a generous act in the future. In other words, its very counter-productive in the long term to try to ‘save’ the Eastern Curve in its current form. What people who want to keep the garden aspect of it should be doing is positively working with the developer rather than against them, and if that means supporting increased massing elsewhere to even out the numbers, then so be it, I guess.

  8. The land is part owned by Hackney Council and I would be surprised if land with a value of £25m was being used for a path and a few planters. I’d also hardly describe it as niche. Perhaps you haven’t been along to it recently but it’s very well used indeed, free to access and open every day. So I would definitely call it a public asset, especially for a part of the borough which has zero existing green space, and minimal green space provided in the master plan. Very occasionally these meanwhile leases lead to the creation of a jewel that deserves to be protected.. It’s very rare so I sincerely doubt that it will have a chilling effect on this kind of activity. Given that none of the shopping street has been built yet, I’m sure the developers and architects have the wit to come up with an alternative plan.

  9. @jamieb The site as proposed isn’t just \for a path and a few planters” but as one of the main pedestrian routes from Dalston Lane to a large shopping and residential district. Direct access from Dalston Junction station to the area will be of key importance to developer and planner alike.I’ve no idea whether the figure @gavinredknap mentions is accurate but the site is significant in size and location.I went to the consultation this morning and I overheard that the path as illustrated in the CGI above is around 5 metres wide but they’ve had a rethink and believe that a path of just 1.5 metres wide will suffice leaving more area for greenery.Personally I reckon that 1.5 metres is no where near wide enough – they’ll have to accommodate for at least wheelchair and pushchair useage in both directions. I’d guess it’ll creep back up to nearer 3 metres. “

  10. I’m sure both the shoppers and residents are sufficiently adaptable that they could manage an extra 50 to 100m on their journeys. Plus they could have a cup of tea and rest their weary feet in the Curve Garden. That would be a pretty good end to the day for flat dwellers and shoppers alike.

  11. I do really appreciate the desire to keep it as an open space, particularly in Dalston. Wresting it off of a developer who had no need to offer it up as a temporary garden sets such an awful precedent though. If you want the greenery to be maintained, try to work with them. Otherwise such a gesture will never be repeated again, leaving huge swathes of undeveloped land barren when it could have been used in the good way that the Eastern Curve has.

  12. i don’t go often but, when i do, i so enjoy the garden. it would be a fabulous gesture by the developers to maintain the space in some form within their plans. this is a quiet haven rather than bustling outdoor space as shown in the artist’s rendition. at any rate, i look forward to seeing the plans shaping up

  13. Theyre not going to offer to keep it as it is, simple as that. The path is essential to the entire scheme.

  14. @jamieb You might be interested in getting involved with another similar community garden venture in Somerford Grove Dalston that’s being set up; here;

  15. We’ve just posted an article which attempts to explain what’s happening with the garden:

  16. From the Dalston Eastern Curve newsletter:

    Tuesday 25 February at 6.30pm
    Stoke Newington Town Hall
    Stoke Newington Church Street
    N16 0JR

    Redevelopment of Kingsland Shopping Centre and future of Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, Hackney Council Planning Sub-Committee meeting

    On Tuesday 25 February 2014 at 6.30pm, Criterion Capital the owners of the Kingsland Shopping Centre are presenting the latest version of their redevelopment plans to Hackney Council Planning Sub-Committee. These plans will impact on the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, as most of the land on which it sits is owned by Criterion Capital. Hackney Council own the remaining part, at the entrance to the Garden. Criterion Capital made their initial proposals public for the first time last summer.

    Criterion Capital’s website for the redevelopment of the Kingsland Shopping Centre currently states:
    “Since the beginning of the public consultation and following comments from local residents and stakeholders significant changes have been made to the proposals including… Keeping the garden at the western end of the Eastern Curve.”
    Criterion Capital have now had several meetings with Hackney Council to discuss their proposals. You can read what the Hackney Planning Department’s response to these plans is here.

    Please come along on Tuesday night to hear what the developers are planning for this major development in Dalston, in particular about ‘keeping the garden at the western end of the Eastern Curve’.

    Tuesday night’s meeting will not decide on planning permission, Criterion Capital intend to submit their formal planning application later in the year. Hackney Council are holding this meeting to offer the developers an opportunity to present their plans in advance of making that planning application and to allow the Planning Sub-committee to ask questions about the proposals. Members of the public are invited to attend the meeting, but unfortunately are not allowed to ask questions or make comment.

    We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at Stoke Newington Town Hall on Tuesday evening!

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  18. Dare I hope that the developer has seen the light? Sorry to say I can’t make this but fingers crossed.

  19. Looks pretty green, and quite substantial, according to this render. It wont of course please everyone (Bill) but that looks like a great compromise to me.

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  22. By all accounts the turn out last night was pretty big, Hackney Gazette are reporting that the path is non-negotiable, but proposed joining part of the garden to another piece of land – which is not owned by them – as a potential solution.

    “The aspiration is that the community garden will spread through the whole development and it will become increasingly available to the local community.” The proposals revealed an increase in green space at the development.

    Dalston Eastern Curve on twitter say

  23. Via Dalston Eastern Curve’s newsletter:

    “A big thank you to all the people who came along on Tuesday to see Criterion Capital present the latest version of their redevelopment plans to Hackney Council Planning Sub-Committee. Over 100 garden visitors of all ages crowded inside Stoke Newington Town Hall, with many more unable to gain access.

    Tuesday night’s meeting was not to decide on planning consent and there was little detail. Criterion advised that they will not be ready to submit a planning application until June 2014 at the earliest. Hackney Council gave their response to the proposals which you can read here. and commented on how successful the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden is. Criterion’s architect Andrew Waugh presented images of their proposed development. The main message we took away was that they want to have a wide paved thoroughfare along the Garden with 24 hour access. Inevitably if this happened it would dramatically change the character of the Garden and limit the activities that could take place here.

    We have arranged a meeting with Hackney Council’s Planning Department next week to discuss their ambitions for the Eastern Curve and will also be meeting with Criterion to continue the dialogue we started with them last summer. We are confident that we can work with all involved to find a creative solution that will secure the future of the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden.”

  24. The more I look at this the more shortsighted and selfish the objections to development appear to be to me. The developer has already significantly changed its plans in order to retain part of the garden as is. Its also patently clear to anyone with even a rudimentary idea about people flows that once the curve is open in its entirety, people and cyclists will go through it as a short cut between the Overground station and upper Dalston Lane, meaning a path through the garden is necessary anyway. Finally, there’s the point that all other developers will look at this as a precedent and be in no mood whatsoever to allow temporary usage on otherwise idle land. Really, really stupid.

  25. From what I heard at the meeting, it seemed like that the architects had discussed with the Eastern Curve folks about keeping the new garden space fenced-off from the thoroughfare. However, apparently the feedback from the GLA planning folks was that they wouldn’t be happy with an enclosed space either side of the thoroughfare, which I can kind of understand if they want to maximise permeability of the site. Anyway you look at it, it’s going to impact the peace and quiet of the garden, as there will be substantial amounts foot traffic going through it post-development.

    I wonder if there’s any possibility of TFL permitting the stretch of the Western Curve site along Dalston Lane to be used as a replacement for part of the Eastern Curve garden, once construction of flats on the Kingsland High St part of the Western Curve has finished. The Dalston Lane bit of the site isn’t suitable for building anything higher than 1-2 stories on for structural reasons, and as it stands there are no plans from TFL to develop it. Assume it might be needed in time for the Crossrail 2 station, but that’s not going to be for another decade or so at best.

    Also, there was quite a lot of discussion at the meeting about the proposals for the Thames House site (where Street Feast was) and how some of that land could be used for the garden, to make up for the thoroughfare. Anyone know what’s going on with that development, as the previous application (which was pretty far advanced) for the site has been withdrawn?

  26. Well actually you can build a skyscraper on top of a railway track (as they did and will do again and again on the approach to Liverpool street) but its an idea. I find it odd that these days we seemingly cant afford to do this, yet a century ago we could (as is the case with Hackney Downs, which has the Chingford line running underneath it).

    I believe there are plans in place for the Western Curve stretch that involve new buildings, though.

  27. The bits of the Western Curve running either side of Kingsland High St are going to be built on, and plans already approved. However, seem to remember reading that the remaining bit of the site directly opposite Dalston Junction station entrance has a less robust structure underneath, and would need a lot spent on it to support a taller building. Probably not worth doing given the size of the site.

  28. @clubbster Regarding your suggestion for a relocation site for garden; On the plan posted above (19 July ’13), do you mean the pink bit adjacent to Shiloh church and/or the pale blue bit?
    Regarding the ‘Thames House’ site; I was under the impression that this was given permission and was going ahead;
    Is there now doubt that that is the case?

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