Worried business owners fear Crossrail 2 will plough ahead with plans to bulldoze half of Bradbury Street, “devastating” the local community.
Representatives from the rail project met with residents and shop-keepers last Friday to discuss proposals to demolish the south side of Bradbury street, paving the way for the new station entrance and ticket hall.
They said they had taken on board local concerns about the impact of the station entrance on Bradbury Street.
But many in the audience were unconvinced. Fiona Duffelen, owner of the shop Fee Fee La Fou on the north side of the street, doubts that Crossrail 2 chiefs will be influenced by the concerns expressed at the meeting.
“We’re being included now, but I know how things work around here,” she said. “The new station would probably devastate us. I can’t even begin to imagine what the impact would be.”
Vibrant Bradbury Street runs west from Kingsland Road, just north of Dalston Kingsland station. It is lined with independent shops and restaurants and is home to the residents of adjoining Bradbury Mews.
But under current plans businesses and residents on the south side will be turfed out, while buildings on the north side will face years of construction works and be left facing the side of the new station, whose busy entrance will sit on Kingsland Road.
Residents and business-owners from both sides of the street have banded together to campaign for the station to be built elsewhere.
Clifton Hodge owns the Tuck Inn restaurant and has lived in the area for 47 years. The small, independent shops on Bradbury Street are “soft targets” and “easy pickings” for developers, he said.
Ro Rai and his wife Sanju Tamang run Mero Retro, a vintage clothes shop on the north side of Bradbury Street. Mr Rai left the meeting feeling “more optimistic”, but is still worried about what they stand to lose.
“We’ve all been working really hard together to try to improve the street and make it more welcoming,” he said. “We all stand to lose if Bradbury Street gets turned into half a street. All the people who live in the mews are our customers and our friends.”
Hackney Council has blasted proposals to demolish the Bradbury Street buildings, saying they make “a real contribution to the area’s architectural heritage”.
Guy Nicholson, Hackney Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “The council supports the opportunity of a Crossrail 2 station in Dalston, but it should not come at the expense of residents, local businesses or the area’s much-loved character.”
Michele Dix, TfL’s Managing Director for Crossrail 2, said: “At Dalston it is important that Crossrail 2 interchanges with both Dalston Kingsland and Dalston Junction London Overground stations. We have tried to find sites that minimise the local impacts of our proposals whilst enabling us to build the scheme.
“We continue to analyse the results from the consultation and listen to feedback and this includes looking at alternatives including a potential site using part of the Kingsland Shopping Centre. We will continue to work closely with the London Borough of Hackney as our plans progress.”
Crossrail 2 is due to provide an update on its plans in June./ 16 February, 2016