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Hackney embroiled in yet more development furore as Arup wins green light

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Arup Associates has won planning permission for a massively controversial project in east London.

Despite heavy and organised local opposition, Hackney's planning committee gave the scheme, which is part of a project to redevelop a site around the new Dalston Tube Station, the green light on Thursday.

The scheme involves the construction of a highly dense residential development on Dalston Lane, including a 19-storey tower.

Locals object to it for two main reasons. The first is that it involves no affordable housing, a move accepted by the council because of the huge cost of building a slab over the new station.

And secondly, the proposed plot is adjacent to the hugely contentious Dalston Theatre site, which is also proposed for redevelopment.

The move to approve the station site proposals gives a clear indication that these theatre plans, by John McAslan, will also go through.

These local groups have reacted to the news of the green light for the Arup Associates scheme with dismay.

Jon Aldenton, chief executive of local charity the Bootstrap Company, said: 'This is an absolute disgrace. Dalston has been lumbered with a bad, unsustainable and misconceived development.

'Allowing Transport for London to get away with ignoring the standards Hackney usually sets for development creates a really dangerous precedent. The committee made a weak decision last night and it is the people of Dalston who will suffer in the long term.

'We are hugely disappointed that Ken Livingstone is allowing such a poor scheme to go ahead,' Aldenton added.

by Ed Dorrell

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