Local Authority: Hackney
Summary: South Shoreditch lies at the heart of what is known in London development contexts as the ‘City fringe’, the future of which is a major public policy issue for Londoners. The dominant and distinctive character of this area derives from its history as a major centre of the furniture trade from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th.
Description: English Heritage carried out a detailed assessment to develop a co-ordinated planning approach. The assessment resulted in a small number of fresh designations and, importantly, the information helped to frame new conservation policies which now underpin the South Shoreditch Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).
Issue: English Heritage, in partnership with the London Borough of Hackney and the Greater London Authority, has explored co-ordinated approaches to planning in South Shoreditch.
Strategy: To inform the debate English Heritage carried out a detailed assessment which traced the development of the area, identifying workshops, showrooms and other buildings of historic or architectural interest.
Outcome: The assessment identified a number of buildings of either local significance or townscape merit that contribute to the overall quality of the area. The South Shoreditch SDP provides detailed guidance for conservation and design issues affecting these buildings, and seeks to protect plot patterns, historic street layout and local views. It includes criteria relating to the design quality of materials, scale and relationship to context – issues which had been identified in the assessment. The SPD aims to achieve a balance between high-quality, large-scale development on the edge of the City areas, whilst ensuring that development within conservation areas reflects the prevailing scale, character and form of the furniture trade’s architectural legacy. As the resulting publication in English Heritage’s ‘Informed Conservation’ series put it, these policies aim to ‘ensure that these areas retain the essential character that makes them such attractive places in which to live and work.’.
Keywords: ASSESSMENT AND CHARACTERISATION
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