Docstoc

Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy

Document Sample
Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy Powered By Docstoc
					Tall
                     GILLESPIES I DONALDSONS I ARUP




Buildings
Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy
 Phase 2 Report
 URBAN ANALYSIS AND CONSULTATION

 Issue D - FINAL

 February 2005



 London Borough of Hackney




Strategy
                     Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                    1
                     Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – Issue C – January 2005
GILLESPIES I     DONALDSONS         I   ARUP
GILLESPIES I DONALDSONS I ARUP




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                    2
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – Issue C – January 2005
GILLESPIES I DONALDSONS I ARUP




Table of Contents

1.0             Introduction                                        Page 6
1.1             Overall Approach
1.2             Urban Analysis: Method
1.3             Urban Analysis: Layers
1.4             Layer Content: Building the Strategy
1.5             Values assigned to Urban Analysis layers
1.6             Opportunities and Constraints
1.7             The Tall Buildings Strategy Plan
1.8             Further Refinement

2.0             Urban Analysis                                      Page 13
2.1             The Borough in Context

3.0             Views and Visual Experience                         Page 15
3.1             View Types and Methodology
3.2             Strategic Views
3.3             Important Townscape View Setting
3.4             Prominent Buildings and Focal points
3.5             Linear View Corridors
3.6             Significant Views to and from Open Space
3.7             Local Views
3.8             Conclusions: Visual Experience

4.0             Topography                                          Page 20
4.1             The River Valley
4.2             A Gently Sloping Heartland
4.3             Conclusions: Topography

5.0             Transport Infrastructure and Capacity               Page 23
5.1             Public Transport- Rail and Transit Oriented Development
5.2             Public Transport- Bus Services
5.3             Public Transport- Accessibility
5.4             Public Transport- Cycle Routes
5.5             Transport- Main roads
5.6             Conclusions: Transport Infrastructure and Capacity

6.0             Conservation areas                                  Page 33
6.1             Defining Conservation areas
6.2             Planned Areas
6.3             Layered Areas
6.4             Groupings of Listed Buildings
6.5             Landmark Listed Buildings
6.6             Conclusions: Conservation Areas

7.0             Commercial Centres                                  Page 36
7.1             Major Centres
7.2             District Centres
7.3             Local Centres
7.4             Conclusions: Major, District and Local Centres




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                               3
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – Issue C – January 2005
GILLESPIES I DONALDSONS I ARUP




8.0             Tall Building Activity                             Page 39
8.1             Areas of Existing Tall Buildings
8.2             Opportunity Areas
8.2             Conclusions: Tall Building Activity

9.0             Social Infrastructure                              Page 42
10.0            Open Space                                         Page 44
10.1            Tall Buildings in Areas Surrounding Open Spaces
10.2            Open Space Capacity
10.3            Regional Parks
10.4            Metropolitan Parks
10.5            District Parks
10.6            Neighbourhood Parks
10.7            Local Parks
10.8            Linear Parks
10.9            Open Spaces and Historic Settings

11.0            Telecommunication & Flight Path Constraints Page 47
11.1            Telecommunications
11.2            Flight Path Constraints

12.0            Regeneration Areas                                 Page 49
13.0            Opportunities and Constraints                      Page 52

14.0            Conclusions and Next Steps                         Page 58


Appendix A           Tall Buildings Telecommunications Planning Issues




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                              4
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – Issue C – January 2005
                                                                         1.0
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




                                                          An aerial view of Shoreditch
                                                          with tall buildings dotting
                                                          the skyline including
                                                          Shoreditch Church and
Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                           several residential towers
                                                                      5
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




1.0            Introduction
This report represents the second main phase of work associated with the
development of a tall buildings strategy for the London Borough of Hackney
(LBH). This document identifies, through a rigorous process of urban analysis,
areas of the Borough that are able, unable or that are potentially able to
absorb the impacts of tall buildings. The key findings of this report will form
the basis of the final tall buildings strategy.

1.1            Overall Approach

The overall approach taken to the study is in line with CABE and English
Heritage’s ‘Guidance on Tall Buildings’ (2003), which supports the strategic
level identification of areas of the Borough that are either suitable or that are
unsuitable for tall buildings.

“Such an approach will ensure that tall buildings are properly planned as part of
an exercise in place-making informed by a clear long-term vision, rather than in
an ad hoc, reactive, piecemeal manner.” (CABE & English Heritage, 2003)

The ‘areas of search’ identified through the urban analysis process set out
below will enable a number of more detailed area specific studies to be
undertaken in the next phase of work.

1.2            Urban Analysis: Method

The urban analysis process utilised for this study uses a ‘layered’ or ‘sieve’
methodology, which has been used in a number of other similar studies across
the UK. This layered method;

      Uses the broad themes identified in the project brief and through the
      phase 1 baseline study as individual layers in the process (refer section 1.3
      and Figure 1).

      Plots areas of the Borough, in relation to each theme (i.e. transport
      capacity), that are suitable, unsuitable, or potentially suitable for tall
      buildings.

      Combines all of the layers together as a way of clearly and robustly
      identifying those areas of the Borough that have the highest potential for
      tall development as well as accurately plotting those that should be seen
      as areas of exclusion.

      Utilises the areas of potential identified through this process as the basis
      for a number of specific area studies which will be undertaken in the next
      phase of work.




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                  6
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




Figure 1: A diagram describing the layered approach to the identification of suitable
sites and their ranking in order of influence


1.3            Urban Analysis: Layers

The urban analysis layers that have been identified through the first phase of
study, the project brief, and from precedent studies are set out below and
graphically described in Figure 1 above. The layers have not been prioritised or
given a quantitative value in the development of the opportunities and
constraints plan and therefore the Tall Buildings Strategy Plan. However the
layers have been generally ranked in order of relative importance and are as
follows;

1.3.1         Views and Visual Experience
The first layer of the urban analysis identifies the strategic view cones and
corridors, including those set out in the London Plan, by adjacent local
authorities, and that have been identified through early consultations with LBH
officers.

1.3.2           Topography and Landform
This layer of the analysis process identifies the various topographical
conditions within the Borough and illustrates those areas, that because of their
elevation and resultant visual prominence are either suitable or unsuitable for
tall buildings.

1.3.3          Transport Infrastructure and Capacity
This layer identifies the strategic level capacity of existing, as well as proposed,
transport infrastructure within the Borough. This assessment provides a clear
picture of the overall accessibility of the Borough and makes an important
contribution to understanding areas of the Borough that are able to absorb the
infrastructure impacts associated with an increase in densities through tall
buildings. The layers within the transport infrastructure and capacity layer
include:
     Public transport- Rail services
     Public transport- Bus services
     Public transport- Cycle Routes
     Public transport- Accessibility
     Transport- Main roads


Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                    7
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP



1.3.4          Conservation areas
Hackney contains 22 conservation areas, all of which have particular
sensitivities in relation to tall buildings. This layer identifies each of the
conservation areas within the Borough and makes a strategic level assessment
of their cumulative ability to absorb the impacts of tall buildings..

1.3.5          Commercial Centres
Commercial centres offer obvious foci for intensification and form the subject
of the fifth layer of the analysis. The layer identifies the major town and
district centres which are outlined in the Hackney UDP and the London Plan.

1.3.6          Tall Building Activity
This layer of the analysis process sets out the location of existing tall buildings
including identifying emerging clusters within the Borough. In addition areas of
Hackney that are seen to be under significant market pressure for taller
development are plotted. Market pressure is also illustrated by the location of
recent or current planning applications for tall buildings within the Borough.
The areas of development pressure were provided by LBH officers as part of
the early consultations undertaken for this phase of the study. These elements
illustrate both historic and likely tall building activity.

1.3.7          Social Infrastructure Capacity
Intense forms of development such as tall buildings have significant impacts
on the provisions of social infrastructure such as health and educational
facilities. This layer of the urban analysis process identifies existing social
infrastructure that is either likely or unlikely to have the capacity to support
tall buildings within the Borough.

1.3.8          Open Space
Access to open space and open space provision is a key issue in determining
whether or not a site is suitable for the level of intensification associated with
tall buildings. In addition, Hackney contains a number of historic parks and
gardens, which are sensitive to the visual impacts of taller development. This
layer sets out the open space within the Borough that is seen to be able to act
as a resource to the occupiers of any new tall buildings.

1.3.9          Telecommunication and Flight Path Constraints
A number of planning constraints, in particular those associated with
telecommunications ‘shadowing’ and dedicated flight paths will have an
impact on the viability of tall buildings in certain parts of the Borough. This
layer plots areas of sensitivity only to the known flight path constraint issues.

1.3.10        Regeneration Areas
This layer of the analysis process identifies a number of regeneration areas
within the Borough. The regeneration areas are identified as Area Action Plans
that have been or are currently being prepared by LBH. Also included on this
layer are the ‘Opportunity Areas’ which have been identified in the London
Plan, which is the Mayor’s overarching spatial strategy for the city. These
regeneration areas seek to focus the inward economic investment in the
Borough to the areas most able to accommodate intensification and
potentially taller development.




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                  8
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP



1.4            Opportunities and Constraints

The information on the layers described above is brought together to create an
opportunities and constraints assessment that clearly highlights areas for
further investigation. This plan is then refined through iterative analysis to
produce the tall buildings strategy plan for Hackney. The opportunities and
constraints plan has been assembled using the following method, content and
values.

1.5            Layer Content: Building the Strategy

Elements on each of the analysis layers that are seen to be able to support the
development of tall buildings will be given a 10% colour value so that when all
of the layers are Borough are overlaid together, the areas with highest
potential for tall buildings will be those with the most intense colour, those
with some potential will have a mid level of intensity, and those areas
unsuitable for tall buildings will have either no colour or a very low intensity.
As there are 10 urban analysis layers, the 10% maximum colour value per layer
is appropriate as a 100% ‘colouration’ is theoretically achievable for each area
within the Borough. This process allows for a rigorous assessment of tall
building opportunities across the whole Borough.

Each layer will be assessed as follows;

      A fine mesh grid of 50 x 50 metres over-layed on mapping of the Borough
      to provide a consistent framework within which to plot information.

      Red squares (10% colour value) within that grid that identify matrices
      that are seen to be able to successfully support the development of tall
      buildings in relation to the subject of that particular layer. For example
      areas of Hackney that are seen to be suitable for tall buildings in a public
      transport capacity sense might not be suitable for tall buildings due to the
      proximity of a conservation area.

      Pink squares (5% colour value) within the grid are areas that are
      potentially suitable in that they are neither overtly positive nor negative in
      terms of their capacity to support tall buildings.

      Blank squares (0% colour value) are those areas seen as unsuitable for tall
      buildings in relation to subject of a particular layer.

1.6            Values assigned to Urban Analysis layers

The analysis method outlined above indicates an over-layering of each urban
analysis element to define areas which have the most capacity to
accommodate tall buildings. Each grid square within the layer will be assigned
a red, pink or blank square which make it suitable, somewhat suitable or not
suitable according to the characteristics of the particular location. For
example the presence of strategic view corridors is considered inappropriate
for tall buildings and is therefore assigned a blank square.

The following outlines the values which have been attributed to each layer in
the process of assembling the opportunities and constraints plan.

1.6.1          Views and Visual Experience (refer Figure UA1)
Red            Absence of both strategic views corridor and important local
               views or townscape settings.
Pink           Presence of important local views or townscape settings.
Blank          Presence of Strategic London views corridor




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                   9
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP



1.6.2          Topography (refer Figure UA2)
Red            Levels below 25 metres
Pink           Levels between 25-35 metres
Blank          Levels above 35 metres

1.6.3        Public Transport Infrastructure & Accessibility
             (refer Figure UA6)
Red          Highly Accessible Areas (Areas with access to existing stations
             with London Underground, mainline AND bus services).
Pink         Accessible Areas to public transport (areas within 800m of a rail
             OR underground station OR within 400m of a bus route).
Blank        Low Public Transport Accessibility (areas of low accessibility to
             both rail and bus services).
N.B. Accessible areas are located within 800m of Rail or Underground stations
and/or within 400m of a bus route.

1.6.4          Conservation areas (refer Figure UA8)
Red            Areas outside of conservation areas
Pink           Area adjoins a conservation area
Blank          Presence of a conservation area

1.6.5          Commercial Centres (refer Figure UA9)
Red            Presence of a major or district commercial centre
Pink           Area within accessible walking distance to commercial centre
Blank          Absence of a commercial centre

1.6.6          Tall Building Activity (refer Figure UA10)
Red            Presence of existing tall buildings
Pink           Areas of development pressure for tall buildings
Blank          Absence of existing tall buildings and development pressure

1.6.7          Social Infrastructure Capacity (refer Figure UA11)
Red            Presence of at least two elements of social infrastructure
Pink           Presence of one element of social infrastructure
Blank          Absence of social infrastructure

1.6.8          Open Space (refer Figure UA12)
Red            Area adjoining open space
Pink           Area within accessible walking distance of open space
Blank          Area not accessible to open space

1.6.9          Flight Path Constraints (refer Figure UA13)
Red            Absence of flight path constraints
Blank          Presence of flight path constraints

1.6.10         Regeneration Areas (refer Figure UA14)
Red            Presence of an Area Action Plan or Opportunity Area
Blank          Absence of an Area Action Plan or Opportunity Area


1.7            The Tall Buildings Strategy Plan

The tall buildings strategy plan outlined in the later section of this report, and
based on the process set out above, provides a spatial strategy for the Borough
in terms of its capacity for tall buildings and will form a key tool in assessing
the locational appropriateness of tall building proposals within Hackney.




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                10
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




1.8            Early Consultations

Early consultations have been undertaken with representatives from the
London Borough of Hackney including development control, planning,
transportation and housing officers. These consultations have been extremely
helpful in determining the areas of development pressure within the Borough,
the locations of current and outline applications for tall buildings and the areas
of the Borough that are considered most sensitive to the impact of tall
development. The involvement of these officers has been essential to the
success of this section of the study as it will be these officers who use the final
tall building strategy as a planning and development control tool for the LB
Hackney.

1.8            Further Refinement

The tall buildings strategy plan will be refined through further consultations
with LBH officers.




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                 11
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
Recent tall
development in
South Shoreditch
                   GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP



                                                                                  2.0




                   Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                           12
                   Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES    I DONALDSONS I       ARUP




2.0             Urban Analysis
The process of analysing the urban characteristics of Hackney will assist in
identifying key aspects that will be important in developing a strategy plan for
tall buildings. The objectives of this analysis process include the retention and
enhancement of key strategic views and the identification of elements of the
natural and built environment that are essential to the character of the
Borough.      Consideration has also been given to the economic and
infrastructure conditions and the possible monitoring and regulation of the
skyline to preserve the character of the Borough.

This analysis is based upon the extensive work already undertaken by the
London Borough of Hackney and other statutory bodies, which have
documented the historical, cultural and natural assets of the Borough and the
surrounding Boroughs.

2.1          The Borough in Context

The development of Hackney was heavily influenced by the growth of London.
Until 1965, the current London Borough of Hackney was three separate
metropolitan Boroughs - Shoreditch, Stoke Newington and Hackney. Each had
distinct histories stretching back to the Middle Ages, although urbanisation,
industrial innovation, and ethnic diversity are common themes which link the
three areas. Hackney was first recorded in 1198, Shoreditch in 1148, and Stoke
Newington in 1274. For the next 400 years all three were farming
communities in the Middlesex countryside.

After about 1660, as south Shoreditch in particular became increasingly built
up, the aristocrats who had constructed large country houses in the area
moved away. Their big houses were turned into schools or private lunatic
asylums. Developments such as Charles Square and Hoxton Square were built
for prosperous people who wanted to keep up a connection with the City.
From being a rural area outside the City of London, Hackney has developed
into the vibrant, multi-cultural Borough it is today. Yet it still retains traces of
its history in its buildings: from the old country residences such as Sutton
House, almshouses such as those now occupied by the Geffrye Museum,
through to the warehouses of Shoreditch, a more recent reminder of Hackney’s
industrial past.

After the railway came to Hackney in 1850 it became possible for the less well
off to commute daily from Hackney into the City. This led to the construction
of the Victorian villas and terraces which make up a large part of Hackney
today. The Victorian period also saw the development of industry in the
Borough of which large areas still remain even after the large relocation of
industry in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. By the late 19th century much of the
housing of industrial workers, particularly in Shoreditch, was recognised as
unsatisfactory. Programmes of slum clearance were implemented. The three
Metropolitan Borough Councils of Hackney, Shoreditch and Stoke Newington,
undertook a number of projects to re-house many people in better conditions.
This lead to the large scale construction of many of the Boroughs’ council
estates, many of which included high-rise towers.

During the 1950’s high rise flats became more common as land became even
scarcer. The trend for high-rise living continued in the 1960’s and the big
tower blocks that were built became known as ‘streets in the sky’. Their
popularity dropped dramatically though in 1968 when part of an estate tower
block, Ronan Point, collapsed. However many do still exist and can be seen all
over London and in particular Hackney, although the Boroughs’ policy of
removal of towers has seen many removed and replaced with other forms of
dense housing development.




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                  13
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP



The urban pattern of Hackney is therefore diverse, ranging from homogenous
areas of Georgian or Victorian terraces to the industrial warehouses of South
Shoreditch and the Lee Valley. The Borough also sits within the Greater
London Metropolitan Area offering connections between the city and areas to
the north and east. This has resulted in a porous urban structure with few
urban or architectural gateways to the Borough. The intensification of the
Borough should be focused on areas with the most capacity in transport, retail,
open space and infrastructure terms. However, this approach requires
consideration of some of the more detailed conservation area and visual
impact issues associated with the historic areas of the Borough which, will be
explored in the following pages.




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                             14
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




3.0            Views and Visual Experience
There is an established relationship between strategic views within a city and
tall building development. Although this correlation has generally been seen
negatively, this need not always be the case. In some circumstances the
sensitive addition of tall buildings may serve to consolidate clusters of existing
high-rise development and unify the skyline. Certain landmark structures may
also have the effect of adding interest to the skyline and creating a
recognisable way finding device within a city’s urban form, much as the Swiss
Re Tower and Tower 42 guide people towards London’s financial district.

3.1            Theory of View Types

For the purposes of this study the types of views experienced which are of
strategic importance have been categorised into five types which combine
both the viewing place and the view to achieve a view experience. The
following are five theoretical view types relevant to Hackney:

3.1.1          Contained Urban View
The contained urban view is best illustrated in Hackney by the views obtained
at the train stations, primarily Dalston Kingsland and Hackney Central stations.
The overall experience is defined by a round view of a cohesive urban
experience. The quality of the public realm and architecture are dominant in
these views.

3.1.2         Unfolding View
The unfolding view type is generally experienced within a through space and is
characterised by a constantly evolving, changing view along major routes. This
type is evident along some of Hackney’s main vehicular routes including
Kingsland Road and by train along sections of the North London line route by
train. The linear view along the Regents Canal is also typical of this unfolding
view type.

3.1.3         Panorama
A panoramic view is usually experienced from an elevated position or viewing
area and gives a wide view from outside of the area looking in. The only
identified panoramic view of Hackney is possible from the elevated point of
Finsbury Park just outside the north west boundary of the Borough.

3.1.4          Contained Prospect
This view type is usually experienced from open space within the city and gives
a broad view with a clearly defined edge. This view type is best illustrated by
views within the London Fields area where development around the park
restricts longer views.

3.1.5           Broad Prospect
The broad prospect view is characterised by a wide view which has a changing
edge condition. This is usually experienced within a corridor setting. This view
type is best illustrated by the linear views along the River Lee path.


3.2            Views and Visual Experience in Hackney

The London Borough of Hackney’s Unitary Development Plan (1995) does not
specifically propose a visual framework policy for the Borough as a whole but
is addressed in some cases through protecting the setting of historic landmark
buildings and important views within conservation areas.

Retaining and enhancing key strategic views through the sensitive siting of
tall buildings is a key objective of this study



Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                15
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




This layer of the analysis process aims to reveal at a strategic level areas of the
Borough that are particularly visually sensitive to the intrusion of tall buildings.
Five types of strategic views have been identified and investigated in the
Borough. These views include:

     Strategic Views

     Important Townscape View Setting

     Prominent Buildings and Focal Points

     Linear View Corridors

     Significant views to and from Open Space

Obviously significantly more views of importance exist within the Borough
than those identified here. Further strategic view points may exist as the ones
contained in this analysis directly relate to the built environment of Hackney
and tall developments’ impact upon it. The following is a description of the
views which have been mapped on Figure UA1.

3.2.1         Strategic Views
This type of visual experience is generally a ‘panorama’ or ‘prospect’ involving
varied elements such as pastoral scenery, urban development, ridges and the
sea. The fore, middle and backgrounds are usually viewed as part of a cohesive
whole. Incongruous elements within these views are readily identifiable.

The strategic view occurring in Hackney is:

     The background setting of the protected view from King Henry’s Mound in
     Richmond Park to St Paul’s Cathedral.

This view is contained in the London Views Framework and is intended to
protect the prominence of St Paul’s and therefore all tall development within
this setting must be carefully considered. The Mayor of London has recently
released a draft of the revised London View Protection Framework. The
background setting to the linear view is no longer included within the
protected framework. The view has been included here to indicate the
prominence of this location. This area should not necessarily be seen as an
area of exclusion for tall development although any tall development proposed
in this area must demonstrate that it does not detract from the background
setting of St Paul’s.

3.2.2         Important Townscape View Setting
This view is typically of a ‘contained urban view’ type. It involves the viewer
with a rounded view of a cohesive urban experience. Focal points serve to
strengthen the overall view experience.

This view type is experienced within Hackney at:
     Dalston Kingsland Station
     Hackney Central Station/ Mare Street

Station sites also offer the opportunity to enhance the public realm and
improve first impressions of a space upon arrival.




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                  17
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




3.2.3          Prominent Buildings and Focal points
This visual experience generally involves a ‘contained prospect’ view type of
the historically tall built elements with a city such as church spires and
industrial structures. In some cases development around some of Hackney’s
landmark structures have detracted from the overall visual experience.
Protection and enhancement of these key assets will result in an improved
setting for these elements. Examples of this view type in Hackney include:
     St Augustine’s Church in Hackney
     The Kingsland Road Mosque
     Shoreditch Church
     St Mark’s Church, Dalston
     St Mary’s Church, Stoke Newington
     The Castle on Green Lane
     St Thomas, Clapton
     St John of Jerusalem Church, South Hackney

3.2.4         Linear View Corridors
This visual experience is typically the ‘unfolding view’ type. The linear nature
of this experience changes along the route depending on the edge condition,
open or contained. This view type is experienced within Hackney in several
places:
     Regents Canal
     Lee River Path

The linear view along the Regents Canal is generally one contained on either
side by buildings many of a traditionally industrial character. The view along
the River Lee Path on the eastern boundary of the Borough often affords open
panoramas over the adjoining open space.

3.2.5         Significant Views to and from Open Space
This type of visual experience is generally a ‘panorama’ or ‘contained prospect’
involving glimpses of open space or conversely, built elements from areas of
open space within the Borough. Examples of these views occur generally on
the Borough’s boundary and include:
     Views into Victoria Park
     Views from Finsbury Park
     Views into the Lee River Valley

Views along the north eastern boundary of the Borough out into the Lee Valley
Regional Park and Hackney Marshes are an important part of its’ urban
character. Views of this type are also available from the south east boundary
into Victoria Park. A very significant visual experience also exists just outside
of the north western boundary from Finsbury Park down over the Borough.
Some tall development exists along the Park edge but it is generally of poor
quality and could be improved.

3.2.6         Local Views
Significant local views also exist within the Borough but have not been
analysed due to the strategic nature of this study. Although a detailed analysis
of these local views has not been undertaken as part of this study that does
not diminish their importance to the local character. Views such as the
contained axial views along minor residential streets to the city, and glimpses
of church spires down local streets between existing development form a
strong and memorable part of the visual experience of the Borough. It is
recommended that a thorough analysis of the visual impact of any new tall
building proposals be conducted which would include these local views and
their impact on surrounding urban character.




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                               18
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP



3.3            Conclusions: Visual Experience

An analysis of the visual experience of Hackney focusing on Strategic Views,
Important Townscape View Settings, Prominent Buildings and Focal Points,
Linear View Corridors and Significant views to and from open space reveals the
following conclusions.

Preserve the Setting of Landmark Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas
The quantity and quality of Hackney’s historic architecture is one of the
Borough’s greatest assets. The visual setting of these buildings is of great
importance and should be protected from the visual intrusion of tall buildings.
There is limited scope for the integration of tall buildings into conservation
areas that have developed over time and are currently less intact than rigidly
planned areas such as De Beauvoir Square. New tall development in these
conservation areas must fully consider the visual impact on their setting and
prospect.

Protect and Enhance the Visual Experience
Hackneys’ visual character is highly variable across the Borough from streets of
intact Victorian terraces to the more recent tower block estates. This
heterogeneity should be protected and enhanced where desirable. The
development of new tall buildings should undertake extensive analysis of the
visual impact of proposals on key strategic view points, approach experiences,
points of arrival as well as important local views. New development should
not block these views but may have the potential to add to the legibility of the
Borough’s skyline and urban form if the development is of the highest design
quality.

Improve or Remove Existing Poor Quality Tall Buildings
In some cases the poor architectural quality and siting of existing tall buildings
seriously detracts from the overall visual experience of the Borough. There are
significant opportunities to improve the visual impact of existing tall buildings
by refurbishment or by their removal and replacement with higher quality
buildings.

Utilise Areas of Existing Tall Buildings to Develop Clusters
Areas within Hackney that are already characterised by tall buildings provide
the opportunity to consolidate these zones into clusters of taller development,
providing a stronger skyline, mitigating their visual impact, and relieving
pressure on other, more visually sensitive parts of the Borough. The poor
quality of some of the tower blocks evidenced along Hackney’s skyline would
be strengthened by the formation of clusters.

A Views Framework for Hackney
It is recommended that a comprehensive study be undertaken to identify all of
the strategic view points, approaches and important visual experiences within
the Borough. This may also encompass important local views. This type of
policy would give added weight to the visual quality of the Borough and aid in
its’ protection and enhancement.




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                19
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES    I DONALDSONS I       ARUP




4.0          Topography
An analysis of the landform on which the Borough is based, in conjunction
with an analysis of strategic views, can help to reveal which areas of the city
are visually and physically able to absorb tall development. Figure UA2 sets out
the major features of the landform, which are analysed and described through
the following points.

4.1          The River Valley

The topography of Hackney rises from the south and from the east to rise to
its highest point in the north west corner of the Borough. The Borough’s
lowest point is along the eastern and north eastern boundaries which generally
follows the course of the River Lee. The landform in the north east corner of
the Borough rises sharply from the river along what is known as the ‘Hackney
Cut’.

This area is perhaps the most visually sensitive in terms of topography and tall
development. A tall building sitting on the higher ground above the river
valley would generally be of an imposing character and could obscure views
from the open space of Walthamstow marshes and along the river back into
the Hackney. Sensitive architectural treatment of a tall buildings’ form may
negate some of the negative effects, but generally this area should be seen as
one presumed not to be appropriate for tall buildings.

The visual impact of tall buildings along the edge of the river valley must also
take into account the visual impact from surrounding Boroughs. Views from
the flatter and more visually exposed areas of the Borough along its eastern
boundary should be carefully analysed by any tall building proposal.

4.2          A Gently Sloping Heartland
The gently sloping topography of the majority of the Borough from the north
towards the south allows many long views along the main routes. Views of
the Docklands cluster of towers and the cluster forming around the Tower 42
and the Swiss Re tower are possible from many points in the north of the
Borough especially along Kingsland Road and from the elevated ground of the
north London rail route.

The gradually rising topography of the majority of the Borough offers both
opportunities and constraints to the siting of tall development. If longer
outward views are not possible from a particular location then the scale and
form of the immediate surroundings becomes paramount. Inserting tall
development within these flatter areas can provide a local landmark or way-
finding device if the surrounding scale of development can successfully
accommodate it. This also puts increased importance upon how the building
relates to the scale of surrounding development and the general streetscape
character. It may be possible to lessen the negative effects of a tall building by
setting a tower back from the street and reducing the overall imposing effect.

4.3            Higher Ground
The highest ground in the Borough occurs in the north west corner adjacent to
Finsbury Park. The highest point in the park occurs outside of the Borough but
is an established viewing point down over the Lee River Valley. Localised views
over Woodberry Down are also possible from this viewing point. Some tall
development currently exists along the edge of Finsbury Park. Issues relating
to the visual intrusion into open space and blocking of longer views are the
most significant in considering tall and very tall buildings within this area.




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                20
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




4.4           Past Mistakes
A number of mid rise to tall estate towers exist scattered across Hackney
serving as a legacy of the wholesale housing redevelopment of the 1960’s and
70’s . The majority of these towers serve little purpose as way finding devices
or indicating the major commercial centres of the Borough. For example the
De Beauvoir Estate towers are visually dominant over the Regents Canal
environment as is the Littleton Court Estate over the East Reservoir in the
north east of the Borough.

4.5         Conclusions: Topography
Considered as a factor in isolation, the topography of Hackney presents a
number of opportunities for taller development.

Focus Taller Development within Valleys and Low-Lying Ground
The Lee River Valley corridor that follows the eastern boundary of the Borough
provides significant opportunities to mitigate the visual intrusion of taller
development, reinforce the edge of the Borough and aid the regeneration of
particular areas.

Conversely, taller development should be discouraged from ridgelines and
hillsides, which are visually prominent and would block longer views into open
space or prominent landmarks.

Identify Specific Opportunities within the Borough
The flatness and scale of the spaces that exist in the southern and middle
sections of the Borough offer opportunities to further highlight areas that are
important in terms of commercial or municipal activity. Subject to more
detailed assessments, opportunities for taller development exist within these
regions to strengthen the visual appearance of the Borough, to aid
regeneration and provide way finding opportunities that currently do not exist.
Tall development must maximize the benefits associated with it whilst
minimizing any negative visual of physical impact on its surrounding area.

Strengthen the Prospect of Solitary Towers
A number of visually prominent tall buildings, primarily residential towers,
already exist in Hackney. Many are of poor architectural quality which
provides the opportunity to either strengthen their prospect by creating a
cluster of tall development surrounding them, refurbish and enhance them, or
replace them with alternative forms of development in the longer term.




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                             22
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
             GILLESPIES    I DONALDSONS I       ARUP




             5.0          Transport Infrastructure and Capacity
             The aim of this layer of the analysis process is to reveal the areas of the
             Borough that are able to support increased density in transport terms.

             Accessibility and the capacity of movement networks play a major role in
             determining appropriate locations for tall buildings within the Borough. The
             development of tall buildings and the resultant increase in urban densities,
             places significant additional pressure on the transport systems of the entire
             city. This combined with government objectives to encourage sustainable
             transport choices places additional pressure on tall development to be fully
             integrated with a variety of modes of transport. With this in mind the
             following analysis of the major transport systems both within the Borough and
             in adjoining Boroughs provides a critical layer of analysis in identifying areas
             for tall buildings within Hackney. The analysis of transport in the Borough
             includes:
                  Public Transport- Rail Services (London Underground and Mainline Rail).
                  Refer Figure UA3
                  Public Transport- Bus Services. Refer Figure UA4
                  Public Transport- Cycle routes. Refer figure UA5
                  Public Transport- Accessibility to rail and bus services. Refer figure UA6
                  Transport- Main Roads. Refer figure UA7

             5.1       Public Transport- Rail and Transit Oriented Development
             Rail transit has the ability to deliver high-speed connections between the LB of
             Hackney, surrounding Boroughs, Greater London, and other areas of the UK
             and thus has a major role to play in encouraging sustainable travel options and
             in supporting the development of denser and taller buildings.

             The principles of transit oriented development (TOD’s), largely developed by
             Peter Calthorpe, outline a number of basic principles aimed at improving the
             connectivity and liveability of our cities. Key amongst these is the idea that
             areas within walking distance of rail or high frequency bus transit should
             contain a mix of moderate to high-density residential, commercial and
             employment uses that create a place with an active public realm and a focal
             point for transit trips.

             Basing tall buildings around rail stations also provides users and residents with
             increased transportation choices and access, especially for those without cars
             as well as reducing traffic congestion, air pollution and energy consumption.
             Focusing development in these areas also enables developer contributions to
             be put toward improvements to the public realm rather than costly road
             widening that might be required to increase the traffic capacity in areas not
             serviced by public transport.

             The Borough is primarily served by mainline rather than London Underground
             rail services.

             Figure UA3 shows the current gap in accessibility to London Underground
             services, by considering an 800m1 radius from each of the stations.

             Accessibility to London Underground services is currently limited to the area in
             the northwest of the Borough around Finsbury Park / Manor House and in the
             southwest around Old Street Station. The proposed East London Line Extension
             with three new stations in the Borough in Dalston, Haggerston and Shoreditch
             will provide a greater level of coverage for the south-west corner of the
             Borough. The future East London Line stations have not been taken into
             account in the current accessibility map.



1
 The Institution of Highways & Transportation, Guidelines for Planning for Public Transport in
Developments, March 1999.

             Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                23
             Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
            GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




            There is a greater level of accessibility to rail when the mainline services are
            also considered. Figure UA3 shows the gaps in accessibility to rail, when an
            800m walk distance from the all of the stations in the Borough is considered.

            The gaps are in the northwest around Clissold Park, in the far northeast, in the
            east around Hackney Marsh, in the south around Victoria Park and in the
            southwest. Accessibility in the southwest will improve if the proposed East
            London Line extension is implemented.

            There are several London Underground interchanges outside the Borough that
            connect with rail services within the Borough. There are a few that are also
            located within an acceptable walking distance to selected parts of the Borough
            (these are highlighted in bold below and in Figure XX):

                 Highbury & Islington (Victoria Line);
                 Seven Sisters (Victoria Line);
                 Finsbury Park (Victoria Line and Piccadilly Line);
                 Stratford (Central Line);
                 Old Street (Northern Line);
                 Moorgate (Circle Line, Hammersmith & City Line, Metropolitan Line);
                 Liverpool Street (Circle Line, Hammersmith & City Line, Metropolitan
                 Line, Central Line).

            Although the coverage of accessibility to rail services seems reasonable, the
            service provisions on the three mainline services vary significantly in servicing
            the area.

            The North London Line that runs east-west through the Borough is a core
            orbital rail link between Richmond in the southwest and North Woolwich in
            the east. In addition to servicing passengers, this is a heavily used strategic
            freight route. The use of the route as a freight route potentially limits the level
            of additional service provision for passengers and has also already raised
            vibration concerns to residents. 2 This line is also expected to service the
            Eurostar, to the North Pole Deport, once it goes through to St Pancras in 2007.

            Of the stations on this line located in the Borough, Dalston Kingsland, Hackney
            Central and Homerton attract similar levels of patronage in the peak periods
            (an average of around 3,500 entry/exit over the three hour peak period).
            Hackney Wick attracts a significantly lower level (<1,000).

            The average service frequency during peak periods is around 12 minutes. Off
            peak the frequency ranges between 15-30 minutes. On the weekends services
            are also variable, ranging from 15 minutes to hourly depending on the time of
            day. Information from Silverlink indicates that in the peak direction (e.g.
            westbound in the morning) more than half of the trains are loaded above their
            seating capacity.

            The Lee Valley Line to/from Liverpool Street that runs north-south through the
            Borough has two lines: Seven Sisters and Clapton. Hackney Downs has the
            highest service frequency as both arms pass through it. The Clapton Line has
            two arms: Stanstead Airport and Chingford. The services on the Stanstead
            Airport arm are limited with no services on a Saturday, hourly services on a
            Sunday and no more than four services over the three hour peak periods. The
            Chingford arm has a service frequency ranging from 15 minutes to hourly
            depending on the time of day. The Seven Sisters arm peak period service
            frequencies are generally less than 20 minutes, then hourly.




2
 Press Release from Rt Hon Paul Boateng MP Monday March 1st, 2004 Boateng Takes Network Rail to
Task Over ‘Bad Vibrations’ http://www.paulboateng.labour.co.uk/ViewPage.cfm?Page=9273

            Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                 25
            Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP



5.2          Public Transport- Bus Services
Hackney is well served by the London Bus network. The major and most
regular bus routes within the city (refer Figure UA4) follow the major roads
and connect with rail stations, thus supporting the principle of focusing taller
buildings and increased density either in these areas or along corridors with a
number of bus routes.

To understand the current levels of accessibility to bus services, Figure UA4
shows the bus service frequencies in the peak period and classifies them into:

       10 Buses per hour
     > 10- 20 Buses per hour
     > 20 Buses per hour

The highest bus service frequencies serve the majority of the main roads in the
Borough. Lower frequency services provide an additional level of coverage via
less busy roads.

5.3           Public Transport- Cycle Routes
An analysis of the main cycle routes through the Borough as indicated on
Transport for London’s cycle map shows the general development of an
integrated cycle route network. The map does indicate some general areas in
the Borough where sign-posted or traffic-free routes are absent. The Borough
also has a relatively low number of traffic-free routes where cyclists are off-
road. The main existing traffic-free routes include along the River Lee and the
Regents Canal.




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                  26
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP



5.4            Public Transport- Accessibility
This layer of the urban analysis combines the following layers:
     Public Transport - Bus services
     Public Transport - Rail services

The location and frequency of these services determine the areas of the
Borough that are Accessible, Highly Accessible or Not Accessible to either bus,
rail or both transport services. Cycle routes are not considered in accessibility
assessments as it is seen as an element of infrastructure that can be gradually
enhanced or improved, especially if a contribution was made from a tall
building developer. Access to main roads is also not included in this
accessibility assessment as best practice guidance on this issue clearly
emphasises the need for tall buildings to be integrated into the public
transport system to reduce congestion on roads and improve access. The most
frequent bus services do occur along the main roads of the Borough which is
reflected in the accessibility assessment.

This layer attributes accessible areas for both bus and rail services including:

     The areas of low accessibility to bus services (i.e. No bus service within
     400m of the route, with 10 or more buses per hour).
     The areas of low accessibility to rail services (i.e. No underground or
     mainline station within 800m or 10 minute walking distance)
     The areas of low accessibility to both Rail and Bus services (i.e. No bus
     service within 400m of the route, with 10 or more buses per hour AND no
     underground or mainline station within 800m).
     Areas accessible to either a bus or a rail service.
     Areas of high public transport accessibility (i.e. Areas accessible to more
     than one mode of transport –bus, mainline or underground station.)

The plan identifies three areas of high public transport accessibility within the
Borough which are also reflected in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy and shown
in Figure UA6:

     In the north west near Finsbury Park / Manor House
     Shoreditch In the southwest of the Borough
     In the centre around Hackney Downs where the three mainline services
     cross (although this area is not accessible by Underground, the access to
     three rail lines gives it a high accessibility level)

The current gaps in bus accessibility are up near Stoke Newington, around
Dalston, Hackney Marsh, Lower Clapton and peripheral areas in the north-east,
and south/south-west. The current gaps in rail accessibility are also indicated
on Figure UA6. These areas of low accessibility combine to identify the areas
of overlap which indicate areas of low accessibility to both rail and bus
services. These areas of low accessibility are:

     A section north of Haggerston Park along Queensbridge Road
     A section adjoining the southern Borough boundary along Victoria Park
     A large area including Clapton Park and westwards to Hackney Marsh
     An area in the north east corner of the Borough
     An area running to the north east from the top of Clissold Park




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                    29
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




5.5           Transport- Main roads
A number of major vehicular routes provide connections between the city,
outlying settlements and London. These routes are the most common means
of accessing and moving around the Borough and have, given their width, scale
and extent, some capacity to support increased density.

In particular those routes, which combine bus priority measures and encourage
cycling and walking, are most suitable for the development of tall buildings.

5.5.1         Vehicular Interchanges with the Capacity for Intensification
Major road junctions and intersections can provide highly efficient locations
for denser development such as business parks, which might not be suitable for
inner urban sites.

5.5.2         Parking Standards
Parking standards should be seen as a powerful tool in assessing development
applications in the Borough and as an effective means of encouraging
sustainable transport. This guidance aims to reduce reliance on private vehicles
in the Borough by reducing the required levels of parking associated with new
development in central areas and by encouraging public transport use.

This layer includes all of the Boroughs’ roads as classified in the Mayor’s
Transport strategy as:

      Main Roads- those managed by Transport for London
      Main Roads- ‘A’ roads managed by London Borough of Hackney
      Secondary Roads- ‘B’ roads managed by London Borough of Hackney and:
      Other roads- all other roads managed by London Borough of Hackney.

5.6            Conclusions: Transport Infrastructure and Capacity
A broad synopsis of issues relating to tall buildings and accessibility reveals the
following conclusions.

Focus Intensification around Mainline and Underground Rail Stations and
Major Bus Routes
In line with best practice, and in the interests of achieving an efficient urban
form, intensification should be focused in particular areas that are in the
proximity of rail stations and major bus routes.

Integrate Tall Buildings within Areas of High Accessibility
The development of more intense urban forms should respond to the
Borough’s emerging planning policies and The London Plan policies that
encourage sustainable transport choices. Tall buildings should be developed in
proximity to accessible and highly accessible areas within the Borough.




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                 32
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES    I DONALDSONS I       ARUP




6.0          Conservation areas
In support of the issues and conclusions dealt with in the wider review of
conservation areas contained within section 4.0 of the Phase One report this
layer of the analysis process aims to define, at a strategic level, the extent to
which tall buildings can be sited within or adjacent to Hackney’s conservation
areas.

Hackney contains 22 conservation areas, which are represented on Figure UA8,
all of which have particular sensitivities in relation to tall buildings. This layer
identifies each of the conservation areas and further defines the Conservation
Appraisal areas which have been identified by LB Hackney. In general,
conservation areas should be seen as areas presumed not to be appropriate for
tall development but not as areas of total exclusion dependant on the nature
of the particular conservation area. Some areas may therefore be seen as
areas of complete exclusion and some as areas with some limited potential for
sensitively sited and scaled taller development.

The Borough contains a rich diversity of conservation areas and settings
mostly associated with the Victorian and Georgian legacy of growth in the
area. Taken from the LBH local plan (1995) the following key conservation
areas will have an impact on the ability of tall buildings to be developed in
certain past of the Borough.

Hackney has 22 conservation areas. They vary greatly in age, size, character
and style. They include the historic core of Hackney, centred on Clapton
Square, and also historic urban open-spaces, such as Clapton Common and
Broadway Market. Conservation areas also protect large areas of Georgian and
Victorian housing developments, such as De Beauvoir Town, and areas of
industrial heritage, such as South Shoreditch.

The following conservation areas are located on the Figure UA8:

       Clapton Square
       Clapton Pond
       De Beauvoir
       Clapton Common
       Clissold Park
       Albion Square
       Victoria Park
       Hoxton Street
       Stoke Newington
       Queensbridge Road
       Fremont and Warneford
       Newington Reservoirs, Filter Beds and New River
       Sun Street
       Underwood Street
       South Shoreditch
       Shoreditch High Street
       Broadway Market
       Town Hall Square
       Graham Road and Mapledene
       Kingsland
       Mare Street

6.1          Defining Conservation areas
In broad terms the conservation areas within Hackney can be defined as areas
that are examples of rigid and uniform growth such as De Beauvoir Square and
areas that have been the subject of layered change over a long period.


Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                  33
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




6.2            Planned Areas
The highly planned conservation areas of the Borough, because of their
homogeneity and uniformity, are generally the least suitable parts of the city
for tall buildings. Conservation areas of this character will be presumed to be
areas of exclusion for tall development.

However, planned conservation zones that are made up of rigid urban patterns
but that have areas within them that, because of transport, topography, or tall
building precedents, are seen to have some limited potential for taller
buildings. In these areas, towers terminating vistas or flanking major roads or
open spaces would characterise tall building activity rather than clusters or
concentrations of taller development.

6.3           Layered Areas
A number of conservation areas have been the subject of incremental growth
and have an urban form which is heterogeneous and often visually complex
and is of a less uniform character than those areas described above. Some of
these areas are particularly sensitive because of their complex composition,
often-small scale, and sometimes industrial character.

Amongst the conservation areas that are characterised by a less formal style,
several areas have some limited capacity, usually on edges of the areas or
along major vehicular routes, for taller development. Typically tall building
activity in these areas would be on a site specific basis and should be designed
to be integrated with the fine grain of the surrounding townscape.

6.4          Groupings of Listed Buildings
In general, all listed buildings, particularly those that form intact historic
groupings, should be protected from the visual intrusion of tall buildings.

6.5           Landmark Listed Buildings and their Settings
A number of landmark listed buildings, such as churches and mosques, exist
within the Borough. These buildings and their settings are of particular
importance in maintaining the character of the areas surrounding them. The
setting of listed buildings is an essential part of the buildings character,
especially if a garden or grounds have been laid out to complement the
buildings character or function.

The backdrop or setting of these buildings should be protected against the
visual impact of tall buildings and should be identified in detail through further
area specific studies.

6.6          Conclusions: Conservation Areas
The following broad conclusions can be drawn from the analysis of the
conservation areas within Hackney.

Areas of formal historic townscape are less able to absorb tall development
The formally arranged estates and rigidly planned areas of the Borough are,
because of their overarching consistency, far less able to absorb the differences
in height associated with taller development unless it too is formally arranged
in places such as at the termination of vistas.

Areas of more layered historic development have some limited potential
for tall buildings
Conservation areas that are characterised by a pattern of progressive
development are usually less ordered and more visually complex. This
complexity allows for the integration of taller development forms, which can
help to accentuate and reinforce the diversity of forms in the area. In
exceptional circumstances tall buildings may be appropriate in these areas
provided they are of the highest design quality and provide additional benefits
to the surrounding area.




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                34
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES    I DONALDSONS I       ARUP




7.0          Commercial Centres
The aim of this layer of the analysis is to accurately identify the Borough’s
commercial centres and use them to refine the broader areas of tall building
potential identified in previous layers.

The Mayor of London has set out a robust policy on London’s Town centre
network in the London Plan aimed at strengthening and enlivening existing
centres across the city. Hackney does not contain any International or
Metropolitan centres as defined by the Plan. Major, district and local centres
are the focus for much of the existing commercial and retail development in
the Borough. These centres, as highlighted in Figure UA9 and set out in the
London Plan and Hackney UDP, are foci for investment, in some cases
regeneration, and are already are relatively developed.

7.1             Major Centres
Dalston is the only major centre in the Borough focused on commercial and
retail activities. The area runs along Kingsland Road and is centred on Dalston
Kingsland Station. This area, in commercial terms, has the most capacity for
taller development. The area has good accessibility to both rail and bus
services with the presence of Dalston Kingsland Station. Considerable
development pressure already exists in this area for tall development. Part of
the southern section of this area is contained within a conservation area which
will need more detailed investigation.

This area, because of the points raised above, has the most capacity to be
developed upward as it is highly accessible and mostly outside the visual
envelope of conservation areas. It is also of sufficient intensity to warrant the
additional investment associated with mid rise to tall building proposals (refer
to definitions in Section 5 of the phase one report). Further study should focus
on the actual capacity of this area which must be assessed in respect of its
ability to absorb high quality tall buildings.

7.2           District Centres
District centres commonly service community needs for a variety of shopping,
leisure, and commercial services and are an important focus for surrounding
communities. District centres form the second tier in the hierarchy of the
Borough’s centres. There are two district centres within the Borough which are
located along Mare Street in Hackney and along Stoke Newington High Street
from Stoke Newington moving north to Stamford Hill.

7.3            Local Centres
Local centres are generally small conurbations of shops and offices and are
scattered across the Borough. These centres generally have limited capacity for
tall buildings given their generally low rise residential setting, but might form
the focus of a landmark mid rise building on a suitable site.




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                               36
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP



7.4 Conclusions: Major, District and Local Centres

In studying the location and potential capacity for taller development within
existing centres the following broad conclusions have been made.

Ensure tall buildings make a positive contribution to the centre
Tall buildings have the ability if designed well to enliven an existing centre by
providing activity, surveillance and promoting the economic development of
an area. Tall buildings should complement the existing character, uses, and
urban structure of existing centres so that they enhance the vibrancy and
attractiveness of the area rather than compete with it.

Use existing centres for intensification through tall buildings
Subject to appropriateness in terms of conservation issues, transport capacity
and visual intrusion, tall buildings should be focused in existing centres rather
than on isolated sites, thus strengthening the image of the centre, levels of
investment, and avoiding unnecessary competition between established
centres and new tall development.




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                               38
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




8.0            Tall Building Activity
This layer in the analysis process outlines the areas of the Borough in which
tall buildings already exist as well as the areas in which pressure exists for the
development of tall buildings. This mapping will define the current and
emerging pattern of tall buildings within the Borough.

As discussed in the introductory sections of this study, tall buildings are the
manifestation of a generally buoyant property market, increasingly scarce
developable land, and a Central Government position on the Urban
Renaissance agenda which aims for an intensification of towns and cities
across the UK. These factors combine to inform a significant pressure to
maximise the development capacity of land in Hackney, particularly where the
Borough adjoins the City of London, and results in significant tall building
activity.

8.1          Areas of Existing Tall Buildings
A number of areas within the Borough of Hackney, are already broadly
characterised by development that is significantly taller than its surroundings,
either by a solitary or several distinct towers. These areas provide
opportunities to create more dramatic and sustainable clusters of tall buildings.

The largest concentration of existing tall buildings is in the southern part of the
Borough in Shoreditch and Hoxton. Areas surrounding Regents Canal,
Homerton and Hackney Central/ Mare Street area also contain tall buildings.
The majority of these buildings are residential towers, many of which are of
poor architectural character and suffer from inadequate maintenance regimes.
It could be argued that the poor quality of these buildings is the reason for the
generally negative manner in which tall buildings are perceived by the
community. Many are poorly integrated with the massing, alignment and
scale of the street and surrounding area

These locations of existing tall buildings are shown in Figure UA10.




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                 39
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




8.2           Other Areas of Development Pressure
Other areas of the Borough which are under development pressure for tall
buildings include the area surrounding the Regents Canal, adjacent to Finsbury
Park, Dalston/ Kingsland Road, Mare Street and parts of Hackney Wick. These
areas may come under pressure because they provide ready access to open
space and amenity value or are close to the areas of most commercial activity
within the Borough. In many cases these areas also coincide with conservation
areas which make a thorough assessment of visual impact necessary for any
tall building application. Applications in these areas will also need to
demonstrate sufficient access to the wider public transport network and their
proximity to other forms of infrastructure.

8.3         Conclusions: Tall Building Activity
In reviewing the level of tall buildings activity and sites for potential
development in the city the following conclusions can be made.

Utilise Areas of Existing Tall Buildings to Develop Clusters
Areas that are already characterised by tall buildings provide the opportunity
to consolidate these zones into clusters of taller development, providing a
stronger skyline, improved services, and relieving pressure on other, more
visually sensitive parts of the Borough, to accommodate tall buildings. In
particular the area surrounding Dalston Kingsland Station provides
opportunities to consolidate urban form.

Recognise the Value of Underutilised Sites for Increasing Urban Capacity
In undertaking this analysis a number of underutilised sites, or sites with the
potential for redevelopment have been identified. It will be important to
recognise the opportunities that groupings of such sites represent in terms of
tall buildings and increasing the density of particular areas.




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                             40
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




9.0            Social Infrastructure
Intense forms of development such as tall buildings have significant impacts
on the provisions of social infrastructure such as health and educational
facilities. This layer of the urban analysis process identifies existing social
infrastructure including:
      Schools (nursery, primary and secondary)
      Higher Education (colleges),
      Libraries,
      Health facilities and
      Sites for community use (may include community centres and meeting
      places as defined in the London Borough of Hackney UDP, 1995.)

A broad assessment of the capacity of these resources is important in
determining if an area is capable of supporting tall building development as
well as identifying areas of the Borough where additional social infrastructure
capacity will need to be delivered.

An overview of the current social infrastructure in Hackney is represented in
Figure UA11.

9.1            Schools

General investigations into the accessibility of primary and secondary schools
within Hackney highlights that there is overall good access to these resources.
Detailed investigations into the capacity of surrounding local schools should be
determined as part of the application for a tall building especially those with a
residential use. Contributions from the development may be sought for
expanding the capacity of local schools if required.

The provision of social infrastructure in areas proposed for intensification and
tall development is extremely important to the success of a development.
One of the mistakes of past estate developments, including towers, was their
isolation from basic community services and facilities and the attendant social
problems that this caused.

9.2            Conclusions: Social Infrastructure

In reviewing the provision and location of social infrastructure within Hackney
the following conclusions can be made.

Understand and Assess Local Capacity
All new development applications which include tall buildings should
adequately assess the quality and capacity of the surrounding social
infrastructure. This should include an assessment of the current gaps in
provision and lack of capacity in existing facilities.

Contributions to Social Infrastructure
New taller development within the Borough should contribute to improved
social infrastructure within the area. This contribution may be in the form of
on-site facilities or contributions to off-site infrastructure.




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                               42
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




10.0           Open Space
The open space framework of the Borough, illustrated in Figure UA12, is an
important element in defining the overall urban character of Hackney. This
layer of the analysis process identifies areas of open space which, although
areas of exclusion for development, provide potential foci for the
intensification of areas surrounding them.

10.1          Tall Buildings in Areas Surrounding Open Spaces
Open spaces have an important role to play in maintaining quality of life
standards for those who live and work in tall, or indeed densely populated,
buildings. These areas provide some small respite from the pressures of urban
living and are often the leisure and recreational foci for communities. They
also provide the opportunity for gatherings, festivals and relaxation. A greater
population density also contributes to the level of surveillance and therefore
the safety of an area of open space

10.2          Open Space Capacity
The open spaces of the Borough have a varying degree of capacity, however it
is generally accepted that all are well used. An open space strategy is currently
being developed for the Borough as part of a parallel key evidence study in
support of the emerging LDF. This strategy should highlight areas of capacity
or identify the need for creating further open space. It is not yet entirely clear
whether, as a network, there is capacity to absorb the open space
requirements of an intensified population. In general new schemes will require
creating open spaces integral to the development, or to contribute to the
enhancement of existing spaces.

10.3          Regional Parks
The Lee Valley Regional Park is a key open space resource for the Borough.
Running along the eastern boundary of the Borough it incorporates the Lee
River which is an important linear route for passive and active recreation. The
park also forms an important green visual resource as it sits at a lower
elevation and is visible from higher points within the Borough. The edges of
the regional park are therefore visually sensitive, but because of their scale and
capacity, may be appropriate places for the sensitive integration of taller
development.

10.4          Metropolitan Parks
Both the Hackney Marshes and the Lee Valley Regional Park function as a
metropolitan park within the Borough. There are also two metropolitan parks
accessible from the Borough; Finsbury Park (just outside the northern Borough
boundary) and Victoria Park (just outside the southern Borough boundary). All
of these parks also contain Metropolitan Open Land. The boundaries to these
large areas of open space may be appropriate for the location of tall buildings
subject to visual impact and conservation issues.

10.5           District Parks
District Parks are an important open space resource providing a wide range of
general facilities for recreation within landscaped surroundings. Their facilities
may include playing fields, children’s play areas, nature conservation areas and
support facilities. Some of these spaces have the capacity to be enhanced and
enlivened through intensification of the surrounding areas. The District Parks
in Hackney are:
     Clissold Park
     Hackney Downs
     London Fields
     North and South Millfields
     Springfield Park
     Well Street Common
     Shoreditch Park
     Haggerston Park
     Abney Park Cemetery


Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                44
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP



10.6    Neighbourhood Parks
Neighbourhood parks function as the open space resource for a neighbourhood
area within the Borough and include the facilities necessary for the
community’s recreation needs. These spaces also have some capacity to be
enhanced and enlivened through intensification. The neighbourhood parks
within Hackney are:
    Butterfield Green
    Mabley Green
    Clapton Common
    Stoke Newington Common
    Shepherdess Walk
    Stonebridge Gardens
    Daubeney Fields.

10.7          Local Parks
There are approximately 33 local parks with Hackney and are usually small
open areas or squares laid out as gardens often with small facilities such as
children’s play areas. London Squares are also classified as local parks within
the Borough and are an important local resource for the community and have
special protection for their conservation status. Many of these local parks may
be at capacity and therefore unsuitable for intensification of the surrounding
area.

10.8          Linear Parks
The following linear parks are important amenity and nature conservation
spaces within the Borough. They provide for active and passive recreation
along their length and are also important visual resources for those who live
adjacent to them. These areas subject to accessibility and visual impact
concerns have a high potential for intensification of the surrounding areas.
The linear parks in Hackney are:
    Regents Canal
    Lee Navigation
    River Lee
    New River
    Holmleigh Cutting

10.9          Open Spaces and Historic Settings
The Borough is in parts characterised by formal historic environments, such as
Clissold Park and Abney Park cemetery, that focus themselves on ordered open
spaces. These green spaces, because of their value as intact historic
environments, typically do not provide any opportunity to support the
development of tall buildings. The local plan also sets out these parks and
gardens which are included on English Heritage’s register of parks. These
visually and historically sensitive resources provide limited opportunity for
surrounding taller development that would affect the setting and character of
the area.

10.10          Conclusions: Open Space

Assess Ability of Local Open Space Network to Absorb Impacts of Tall
Buildings
Tall building applications should assess the capacity and quality of the local
open space network to determine whether additional capacity will be required
or existing spaces can be enhanced or refurbished.

Preserve and Enhance the Character of Historic Parks and Gardens
Contributions should be sought from tall building developments to improve
the quality of historic parks and gardens proximate to the new developments.

Maximise the Benefits of Intensification of the Fringes of Open Space
Tall building applications should explore the impacts, positive and negative, of
tall development adjoining open space and maximise the benefits this offers.


Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                              46
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES    I DONALDSONS I       ARUP




11.0 Telecommunications & Flight Path Constraints
11.1             Telecommunications

There are a number of planning issues associated with telecommunications in
relation to tall buildings. These are summarised below and through a detailed
note included in Appendix A of this report.

A tall building, usually resulting in a high level of occupancy, means a greater
use of telecommunications services. This increase in demand for
telecommunications services calls for an increase in the supply of such
services. The developer will wish to give consideration to the mix of uses for a
tall building: maximising the efficient use of information and communications
technology in the building will be a factor. The local planning authority will
need to be aware of these considerations.

A tall building by its very nature can act as a supplier of services in the
telecommunications sector, by becoming for example a host for transmitting
or re-transmitting radio/TV and mobile telecommunications services. Use of
space in the building for telecommunication services should be considered by
the developer - in discussion with the telecommunications sector and the local
planning authority.

In the wireless/mobile age, the tallness of a building may sometimes be a
disadvantage in that it can hinder or distort radio/TV transmissions. Planning
authorities need to make sure that guidelines are available so that such
negative impacts are minimised. The local planning authority can, in this
context, consider with the developer the mitigation measures needed, so that
these can be included in any Section 106 agreement.

11.2         Flight Path Constraints

The information contained in Figure UA13 illustrates the areas that are
constrained by flight paths into the London City Airport. These areas represent
a consultation zone for any tall development over 90 metres in height. Any
new tall building application including a building over that height must consult
with the London City Airport authorities. This does not automatically rule out
buildings of this height, only that the developer must consult with the Airport.

11.3         Conculsions: Telecommunications & Flight Path Constraints
Assess Impacts on Telecommunications in Detailed Proposals
All tall buildings proposals should liaise with all relevant authorities to assess
the potential impact on telecommunications. Applications should also take
into account the potential benefits possible through the use of tall buildings to
boost telecommunications capacity.

Consultation with Airport Authorities for Very Tall Buildings Will Be
Required
Any proposed development approaching 90 metres in height will be required
to consult with the London City Airport authorities. Heathrow Airport
authorities should also be consulted to determine whether there are any
potential impacts.




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                47
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES    I DONALDSONS I       ARUP




12.0 Regeneration Areas
As part of the implementation of the new planning system, the London
Borough of Hackney is undertaking the preparation of Area Action Plans
(AAP’s) for five areas of the Borough. These areas include:
    Woodberry Down AAP
    Dalston AAP
    Hackney Central AAP
    Lower Lee Valley Joint AAP and Opportunity Area Planning Framework
    South Shoreditch/ City Fringe AAP

The boundaries of the AAP and Opportunity Areas are represented in Figure
UA14.

These areas represent significant planning control and attempt to achie area-
wide regeneration in a cohesive and coordinated manner. These areas have
the potential to attract investment and to overcome existing problems
associated with their urban structure whilst providing additional space for
employment, residences, open space, leisure and community uses. Focusing
regeneration effort in this manner will lead to a comprehensive redevelopment
strategy which will overcome the negative consequences of previous
piecemeal development.

12.1          Opportunity Areas
The Mayor’s London Plan has identified ‘Opportunity Areas’ and ‘Areas for
Intensification’ as part of its overarching spatial policies. The Borough contains
two opportunity areas:
    Bishopsgate/ South Shoreditch Opportunity Area in the southern corner of
    the Borough
    Lower Lee Valley Opportunity Area in the east of the Borough.

These areas will be covered by the above AAPs and will seek intensification of
urban form and increase their economic performance. The Bishopsgate/ South
Shoreditch area is already under significant pressure for taller development as
redevelopment moves northwards and east from the City of London’s financial
district. Several development applications for tall buildings are currently under
consideration and it is likely that more will follow in the absence of strategic
guidance for taller development within the Borough. This area also contains
significant conservation areas within which the impact of tall buildings must
be carefully considered.

12.2         Conclusions: Regeneration Areas

Exploit the Positive Impacts of Tall Buildings for Regeneration
Areas which have been identified as being opportunity areas for intensification
could benefit from the many positive impacts of tall buildings which include
attracting investment and contributing to the positive image of an area. The
potential regeneration benefits from tall buildings should also be considered
for the major centre and district centres of the Borough which are already
experiencing development pressure. The potential negative impacts such as
visual intrusion and local climatic impact should also be investigated through
detailed study of a particular area.

Fully explore the potential of AAP areas for tall development
As part of the preparation of the Area Action Plans in Hackney, the potential
for siting tall development within the each area should be fully explored. Tall
buildings can assist in increasing local social infrastructure and open space
capacity. The comprehensive redevelopment of these areas also allows for the
integration of tall buildings into the overall massing and scale of new
development sites.



Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                49
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
13.0   GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




                                                                 The remaining tower block on
                                                                 the Holly Street Estate.
                                                                 Originally one of three towers,
                                                                 this tower was refurbished and
       Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                           the others were demolished in
                                                                        51
       Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A   the 1990’s and the area
              GILLESPIES    I DONALDSONS I       ARUP




13.0                       Opportunities and Constraints
This section of the report aims to refine and analyse the conclusions of the theoretical review (Phase 1
report) and the results of this urban analysis document. In addition to the physical, infrastructural and
environmental factors of the Borough listed below, the local plan policies such as employment, housing
and retail are extremely important and have helped to refine the opportunities and constraints and work
toward the tall building strategy plan.

Figure UA15 outlines the opportunities and constraints described below, and is a graphic representation
of the process described in sections 1.5 and 1.6.

13.1       Urban Form

The historical development of Hackney, which has been directly influenced by the economic
development and urban expansion of the City of London, has also been shaped by sloping topography in
the north and the Lee River valley in the east. These pressures have lead to its characteristic and
heterogeneous urban form. The Borough has developed a multi-centred form as a result of the early
villages which were established at the intersection of roads emanating from the City. This form has
translated into a strong development focus along the main routes of the Borough. The tallest, most
dense development however is not always located along these main routes but are scattered across the
Borough.

This relationship between major routes and commercial centres continues to impact on the visual
character of the Borough today and points toward tall development being focused in a few key
locations rather than scattered across the Borough as was previously undertaken. However, many of
these areas coincide with conservation areas that make the integration of significantly taller
development form difficult and in most cases inappropriate.

13.2       Visual Impact

Issues of visual impact are the main cause of objections to tall building proposals, particularly in areas
with a significant number of historic environments such as Hackney. As a result, it is important to
understand the potential wider visual impact that new tall buildings could have on the skyline of the
Borough.

13.2.1     Strategic Viewpoints
The protected strategic viewpoint and important local views provide both opportunities and constraints.
These viewpoints should not be obstructed by tall buildings, particularly in the foreground, as they
represent key vantage points that are important in navigation and the interpretation of the Borough.
However, the sphere of visual experience that extends from some viewpoints may be able to include
some tall buildings that enhance the definition or composition of the view. Each application should be
required to assess the extent to which the proposal enhances strategic views.

13.2.2     Local Views
Although not specifically dealt with at this strategic level, local views generally represent more intricate
compositions and as a result are far more sensitive to the intrusion of tall buildings. It is recommended
that during further stages of investigation detailed analyses of local views be undertaken to ensure that
ones of particular relevance or importance are protected.

13.3       Landform

Closely linked to issues of visual impact are those of landform. The topography of the Borough, as
identified in section 4, broadly consists of a valley in the east associated with the Lee River and a
landform that gently slopes down from the highest point in the north west corner of the Borough to the
south and east.

13.3.1     Lower Elevations
In general the lower-lying areas of the Borough provide the greatest opportunity to integrate tall
buildings into the form and fabric of the city whilst having the least impact on the overall visual
experience of the Borough.




              Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                52
              Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
              GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




The highest elevations within the Borough, surrounding Finsbury Park, because of localised opportunities
associated with transport accessibility and regeneration benefits, do have opportunity for sensitive
integration of tall development. The park surrounds also offer opportunities for overlooking onto open
space and access to this space for residents and workers. Any development in this area must thoroughly
assess the visual impact of tall buildings so as not to block the wider panorama over the Lee Valley and
towards the City of London.

13.4       Transport Accessibility

The layout of the existing network of bus, rail and road infrastructure, and its existing and potential
capacity to cope with the urban intensification brought about by tall buildings, is a key consideration in
determining appropriate locations for tall buildings. Areas in which several modes of transport intersect
are considered to be highly accessible, or have the potential through investment to become highly
accessible, and thus form potential foci for tall buildings.

Rail stations, particularly Finsbury Park, Hackney Central/ Hackney Downs and Old Street as they have a
good existing service frequency, and because unlike bus services they are largely ‘fixed’ infrastructure
elements, form a focus for tall buildings.

13.4.1     Finsbury Park Station
Finsbury Park Station, just outside the north western edge of the Borough is an area of high public
transport accessibility. As the area also adjoins the large open space resource of Finsbury Park it forms a
logical focus for intensification through tall buildings. However it is also constrained by the potential
visual impact of tall development on views from the higher elevations of Finsbury Park across the
Borough.

13.4.2     Hackney Central/ Hackney Downs Stations
The area encompassing Hackney Central and Hackney Downs Station is of Borough-wide transport
significance and is also integrated with major bus routes. The presence of the two station allows access
to three mainline routes, north and south and therefore has high transport accessibility. Part of this
area contains a conservation area with a number of residential areas to the north and several existing
tall residential blocks the east. As a result the Hackney Central and Hackney Downs Station area
represents one of the opportunity areas for tall buildings within the Borough.

13.4.3     Old Street Station
The area surrounding Old Street Station, which is located just outside the Borough boundary, is an area
of high transport accessibility. The area encompasses a large part of Shoredicth in the south of the
Borough and also includes good access to Liverpool Street further to the east. Part of the area contains
a conservation area and the background setting of a strategic view to St Paul’s from Richmond Park. An
Area Action Plan is currently being considered for part of this area which has the ability to greatly assist
regeneration efforts.

13.5       Tall Building activity

Hackney is already characterised in many areas by existing tall buildings. These areas, when considered
in conjunction with other localised opportunities such as transport and topography, provides further
potential to consolidate taller development and potentially form clusters. The Shoreditch area currently
includes a number of existing tall buildings which could be strengthened and enhanced by the presence
of other tall buildings.


13.6       Local, District and Major Centres

Major, District and Local centres are not currently the focus for the majority of existing tall buildings in
the Borough although they are likely areas for future investment and intensification. The commercial
centres in Hackney are set out in section 7. Major commercial centres have the greatest potential for
tall buildings because of their generally highly accessible nature and the likelihood of increased
investment. In particular the Dalston major centre is seen to have the most potential to absorb tall
buildings. Whilst the following district centres have varying levels of potential for tall buildings:




              Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                54
              Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
             GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP



13.6.1    Hackney Central
Despite the visually sensitive nature of this centre, the area is the administrative and cultural heart of
the Borough and is therefore a likely focus for future investment. The presence of several conservation
areas within this centre poses a serious constraint on integrating tall buildings within this area.
However areas to the east and west of the main centre may have some capacity for taller development.

13.6.2      Stoke Newington
Stoke Newington as the second district centre within the Borough provides opportunities for the siting
of tall buildings. There are several existing tall residential buildings around Stoke Newington Station
which could possibly be built upon to develop a small cluster of mid-rise development.

13.7      Conservation

The areas of fine historic townscape within Hackney create a number of constraints when considering
tall buildings. In general, conservation areas are presumed to be excluded from tall development.

13.7.1     Areas with Limited Potential
Some parts of certain conservation areas do represent some limited opportunities for tall development.
As outlined in section 6, these areas predominantly relate to the least intact parts of conservation areas
that are characterised by visual complexity and ongoing change.


13.8      Open Space

Open spaces that have been identified as having potential to form the recreational and leisure focus for
intensified areas of the Borough include the following.

13.8.1      Hackney Downs
The size and location of Hackney Downs in close proximity to Hackney Downs Station and a number of
existing tall buildings in the area provides significant opportunities for tall buildings within the area.

13.8.2     Hackney Marsh
With close proximity to Hackney Wick and Stratford Stations, and the significant open space resources
of the Lee River Corridor and Hackney Marshes provides opportunity for further tall development in that
area to maximise the use and benefit of the open space.

13.8.3    Finsbury Park
The scale of Finsbury Park and the lower elevation of the Hackney edge of the park provides substantial
opportunities to act as the open space focus for new tall buildings, subject to detailed analysis of the
visual impact.

13.8.4     London Fields
The historic environment of the London Fields common land, due to its proximity to London Fields and
Hackney Central Stations as well as the district centre of Hackney Central, provides some limited
opportunity for development in the areas adjoining it to the south east and west. It also offers the
opportunity to provide for the open space requirements of tall buildings in that area.

13.8.5     Shoreditch Park and the Regents Canal
The large recreation grounds of Shoreditch Park and the linear recreation space of the Regents Canal
represents a large open space resource for this area. The area is also accessible to public transport and
therefore offers opportunities for tall building development. Contributions could also be obtained from
the development to enhance and upgrade the surrounding open spaces. Issues such as overshadowing
and wind tunnelling should also be carefully considered in these areas.




             Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                55
             Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
             GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




13.9      Conclusions: Toward a Tall Buildings Strategy Plan

The theoretical review and urban analysis process have been gradually refined to reflect a series of
broad areas of exclusion and opportunity in relation to tall buildings. These are the subject of further
refinement before becoming the tall buildings strategy plan and are broadly defined as follows.

13.9.1      Finsbury Park East
The area to the south and east of Finsbury Park along Seven Sisters Road and extending towards the
East and West Reservoirs provides an ideal location for tall buildings due to its high transport
accessibility, its lower elevation than the park and the strong open space focus available to residents or
workers in tall buildings. Issues of visual impact and blocking views from the park must be considered
by tall building proposals. Taller development also offers the opportunity to strengthen and enhance
the urban edge of the park.

13.9.2      East Reservoir
Located to the east of the East Reservoir, this small area of opportunity for tall buildings provides the
possibility of enhancing the existing tower blocks of Lincoln Court and creating a cluster focused on the
reservoir. The value of the visual amenity of the Reservoir would make this an attractive location for
taller development. The area’s proximity to Stamford Hill Station also makes it a good location in term
of accessibility to public transport.

13.9.3     Abney Park East
This area of Stoke Newington flanking either side of Kingsland Road to the east of Abney Park cemetery
offers an area of limited opportunity in terms of taller development. Its proximity to Stoke Newington
Station and the presence of several existing tall buildings suggests the possibility of creating a high
quality node of tall buildings to create an intensified focus to this district centre. This supports the
Mayor of London’s policies of focusing new development within important commercial areas. The
presence of adjacent conservation areas limits the potential of this area and places additional emphasis
on the design quality and visual impact of any tall building proposal for the area.

13.9.4     Hackney Downs
This area to the north and west of Hackney Downs provides an opportunity for tall buildings. Proximity
to Rectory Road Station and the open space resource of the Downs contribute to its tall building
potential. The presence of under utilised industrial sites in the area also suggests the possibility of
enhancing the urban form through high quality taller development.

13.9.5      Lower Clapton
Located to the south east of Hackney Downs in Lower Clapton this relatively confined area offers
opportunity for taller development. The presence of existing tall buildings in the area and the short
distance to Hackney Central and Hackney Downs stations contribute to its potential. There is also the
possibility of this area performing a support role for the district centre of Hackney central and extending
its range northwards.

13.9.6     Dalston
The area centred around Dalston Kingsland Station offers an excellent opportunity to locate tall
buildings. The area is the only major centre within Hackney and has high transport accessibility which
makes it an ideal focus for taller development. Strengthening the commercial and retail functions of the
area would be possible through tall buildings and improving the quality of the urban environment would
add to the vitality of the area.

13.9.7    Hackney Central
As areas of limited opportunity these two areas, set back on either side of Mare Street, in Hackney
Central have high accessibility to public transport and good access to the administrative and
commercial functions of this district centre. Located in close proximity to both Hackney Central and
Hackney Downs station these areas offer the choice of different transport modes and could contribute
to the vitality of the area through taller development. However the presence of high quality
conservation areas and areas of important townscape character limit its potential for tall buildings.




             Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                56
             Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
             GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP



13.9.8     Mabley Green
This location to the north of Mabley green and bordering the Lee River provides an area of opportunity
for tall buildings. The proximity to an important open space resource and its low lying topography
contribute to its potential. The area is also accessible to Hackney Wick Station which has capacity to
grow as a transport hub for the area.

13.9.9 Hackney Wick
This area of opportunity centred around either side of the Lee River is an area of variable urban form
making the siting of taller development possible. Access to open space and the lower elevations of this
area would make it an ideal tall building location as would its access to Hackney Wick and Stratford
stations. Tall buildings could also offer further community and leisure activities within the area.

13.9.10 London Fields
These two areas of opportunity for tall buildings lie to the south east and south west of London Fields
common area. Proximity to London Fields Station and the important open space resource combine to
offer an opportunity for the sensitive siting of tall buildings. The sensitive nature of the conservation
areas close to these areas highlight the need to carefully consider the visual impact of any tall building
proposals.

13.9.11 Regents Canal
Centred on the Regents Canal in the south west of the Borough this area provides significant
opportunities for tall building development. The surrounding area already has a number of existing tall
buildings which could be strengthened by further development. The important open space resource of
the canal provides links with areas of the Borough to the west and offers a scale appropriate for taller
development. Recent tall development at the Gainsborough Studios within this area highlights the
quality which tall buildings in this area should achieve.

13.9.12 Shoreditch
The high accessibility of Shoreditch with its proximity to Old Street mainline and underground station
and numerous bus routes make this an opportunity area for the location of tall buildings. Many existing
tall buildings are located within this area and many underutilised sites provide the opportunity to
consolidate and improve the urban form of the wider area. Access to Shoreditch Park and the Regents
Canal provide the necessary access to open space. Conservation areas within this zone should be
presumed to be areas of exclusion for tall buildings.

13.9.13 South Shoreditch
This area, because of its proximity to Liverpool Street Station, its relatively low elevation and the
potential to expand upon the commercial and financial focus of the east side of the City of London,
provides some limited opportunity for tall buildings. A major consideration in this area is the high
number of conservation areas and the potentially negative visual impacts of tall buildings on these
areas. Conservation areas within this zone should be presumed to be areas of exclusion for tall
buildings.




             Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                57
             Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
              GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




14.0 Tall Buildings Strategy Plan
This section of the report represents the culmination of the first two major parts of this study and
describes the areas of Hackney that are either suitable, potentially suitable or not suitable for tall
buildings.

Following the identification of areas of opportunity set out in the previous section, a process of iterative
refinement was undertaken to ensure that the areas identified are as focused as possible. The process of
gradual refinement which was undertaken as part of the strategy plan preparation included the
following stages.

Site Visits
During the process of refinement site visits were undertaken to confirm the general extent of strategy
area boundaries.

Review of aerial photographs
A review of the existing massing and character of each area has been undertaken through the use of
detailed aerial photographs. This stage of refinement has resulted in the exclusion of many intact
residential areas, elements of local interest, and areas of localised topographical constraints.

As part of the process of refinement, the boundaries of these areas were adjusted to ensure that areas
outside of the Borough boundary were not included and that a logical edge for them was established.
The boundaries illustrated on the strategy plan should not be seen as rigidly defined in a study of this
strategic nature. The wider visual impact of tall buildings within these areas will inevitably impact
beyond these boundaries and this should be considered in all proposals. Areas with potential for taller
development have been classified into areas of opportunity and areas of limited opportunity to reflect
the two distinct types of zone that have emerged from the analysis process and subsequent refinement.

The classification of areas for taller development into opportunity areas, limited opportunity areas and
zones of exclusion reflects the range of pressures on particular areas, such as conservation areas or areas
of intact residential development. These zones of opportunity and limited opportunity will require
further investigation, through detailed area assessments which will form the final part of the tall
buildings strategy. These will establish the boundaries of the tall building areas and the types of tall
buildings that will be most suitable for those areas.

Areas within these zones of opportunity have varying degrees of suitability for taller development. It is
envisaged that further clarification of the boundaries will illustrate how tall buildings will be integrated
with the existing urban fabric, whilst maximising their potential benefit and minimising their negative
effects.




              Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                58
              Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
              GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP



14.1     Boundaries of Strategy Plan Areas

Due to the strategic nature of this study, the boundaries as detailed on the Strategy Plan (Figure UA 16)
are not considered absolute but as strong guidance for the location of tall buildings. Applications for tall
buildings outside of these areas will generally not be considered unless special circumstances can be
demonstrated. In which case pre-application discussions should be entered into with the London
Borough of Hackney and the appropriateness will be assessed on the criteria used within this study.

14.2       Areas of Exclusion for Tall Buildings

In refining areas of the Borough that are suitable for tall buildings a number of areas were identified
early as being areas of exclusion, or areas that should not contain or would be adversely influenced by
neighbouring tall buildings. In broad terms the following sub headings describe the main areas of
exclusion.

14.2.1     Conservation Areas
Conservation areas within the Borough, because of their fine historic setting and numbers of listed
buildings, have been generally identified as areas of exclusion for tall buildings. However, as set out in
section 6, some of the less intact areas on the edge of some conservation areas do have some limited
potential for taller development.

14.2.2     Elevated Areas
The elevated areas along the River Lee provide a strong landscape character to Hackney and should be
protected from the intrusion of any large-scale development. Tall buildings on elevated ground can
exacerbate issues of overshadowing, overlooking and create climatically severe conditions at ground
level. The visual impact of areas surrounding Finsbury Park along the northern edge of the Borough
boundary must be carefully considered, however there is some potential as this area sits at a lower
elevation than the main viewing points in the park.

14.2.3     Low Rise and Isolated Areas
Areas of low-rise intact residential development and areas that are removed from the main commercial
centres of the Borough generally have less extensive public transport accessibility. These areas are also
generally more visually sensitive and tall buildings in this area would negatively affect the visual
character of the Borough. Although these areas should play their part in the urban intensification
agenda, this should be done through denser rather than tall development.

14.3       Areas Suitable for Taller Development

A number of areas have been identified at a strategic level that have a focus for possible taller
development and may be appropriate for more intense assemblies of taller development. These areas
have been identified through the urban analysis process of layering the information important for the
location of tall buildings and the visual and physical character of Hackney. These areas offer the
opportunity to develop more detailed frameworks to best determine the type, location and form of the
tall buildings within each area. The areas listed below will be used as the starting point for more
detailed exploration of the physical and infrastructural capacity of the area for tall building
development. These areas are described in the following pages and are not listed in order of priority or
importance.

14.3.1     Area 1: Finsbury Park East
This area of suitability for tall buildings is located in the north west corner of the Borough and is roughly
defined by the Borough boundary and by Blackstock Road in the west, Finsbury Park in the north,
Amhurst Road in the north east and Green lanes and the Reservoirs to the south. The area provides high
public transport accessibility with access to both Finsbury Park and Manor House underground and
mainline rail stations. The opportunity to create a strong urban edge to Finsbury Park should be
considered whilst recognising the negative visual impact this could have on views from the elevated
parts of the park down into Hackney and the Lee River valley. The several existing tall buildings along
the edge of the Park are of poor architectural quality, are visually prominent and would benefit from
being integrated into the taller urban edge of the park.

It is envisaged that due to its open space resources and the access to transport services that the type of
uses in any tall building within this area could be commercial or residential. This area is also the
location for the Woodberry Down Area Action Plan which has the potential to attract future investment



              Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                 60
              Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
              GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP



into the area. Tall buildings could have a strong part to play in the regeneration of this area and could
function as a strong urban counterpoint to the park.

14.3.2     Area 2: East Reservoir
This relatively small area of opportunity for tall buildings located to the east of the East Reservoir
provides the possibility of enhancing the existing tower blocks of Lincoln Court and creating a cluster
focused on the reservoir. This area could be considered within the Finsbury Park East opportunity area
in terms of assessing the wider visual impact and transportation issues.

The value of the visual and open space amenity of the Reservoir would make this an attractive location
for taller development. Access to Stamford Hill Station and several bus routes also makes it a good
location in term of accessibility to public transport. The existing tall buildings of Lincoln Court are
visually prominent upon the skyline and could be enhanced by further high quality taller development.

The uses likely to be contained within tall buildings in this area would generally be of a residential
nature whilst public access to the tops of buildings could provide a significant resource for the
community. The visual impact on views from Finsbury park must also be considered in this area.

14.3.3     Area 3: Hackney Downs
This area surrounding the north west corner of Hackney Downs provides an opportunity for tall
buildings. The surrounding area to this zone is of a primarily residential character suggesting that the
uses of any tall buildings would generally be of a residential nature although opportunities for
community and social infrastructure should be explored. There are also some under utilised industrial
sites within this area along the railway line which could be enhanced by tall buildings to create a more
cohesive urban form.

The area’s proximity to Rectory Road Station and the open space resource of the Downs contribute to
its tall building potential. The impact on views from the Downs should be considered in the further
study of this area. The presence of several existing tall buildings in this area offers an opportunity to
consider a cluster of buildings to consolidate the urban form and relieve pressure on other areas of the
Borough.

14.3.4     Area 4: Lower Clapton
This relatively confined area located to the south east of Hackney Downs in Lower Clapton offers
opportunity for taller development. The short distance to Hackney Central station and location of
numerous bus routes contribute to its potential for tall buildings.

As this area is located to the north of the district centre there is the possibility of this area performing a
support role for Hackney Central and extending its range northwards. This would suggest a mix of
commercial, retail and residential uses in any future tall buildings. The visual impact on the surrounding
residential areas should be considered in further study of this area.

14.3.5     Area 5: Dalston
Dalston Kingsland Station in the central west area of the Borough offers an excellent opportunity to
integrate tall buildings. As the area is the only major centre within Hackney the potential exists to
intensify development in the area by providing additional commercial, retail and residential space for
the area through tall buildings. This would allow for a strengthening of the functions of this major
centre.

This area has high transport accessibility offering a choice of either rail or bus modes of transport and
will be a station location for the East London in the future which makes it an ideal location for
intensification. The urban environment in this area is of somewhat poor quality and could be improved
through contributions from tall building development.

Maintaining the existing functions of the area with its vibrant street market and associated retail uses
should be considered paramount. Further study of this area should assess the visual impact while
considering the optimum mix of commercial, retail, community and residential uses within any tall
buildings.

14.3.6 Areas 6&7: London Fields East and West
These two areas are located to the south east and south west of the London Fields common and are
seen as significant areas of opportunity for tall buildings. The area is in close proximity to London Fields



              Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                  61
              Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
             GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP



Station and the numerous bus routes along Mare Street and is therefore accessible to several public
transport modes.

The largely residential character of this area highlights the need for the visual and physical impacts of
any tall buildings to be thoroughly investigated. London Fields functions as an important open space
and visual resource for the area and offers the opportunity to sensitively site tall buildings within the
area whilst relieving the current development pressure along Mare Street which is constrained by the
presence of conservation areas along its length.

The sensitive nature of the conservation areas close to these areas highlight the need to investigate the
visual impact in the more detailed examination of this area. These investigations should also focus on
the best mix of uses for tall buildings in the area.


14.3.7 Area 8: Regents Canal
This area flanks either side of the Regents Canal in the south west of the Borough and is generally
contained by Downham Road to the north, the Borough boundary to the west, Shoreditch Park to the
south and the De Beauvoir estate to the east. The area provides significant opportunities for tall
building development.

A considerable number of tall buildings exist in the surrounding area which could be strengthened by
further high quality development. The primarily residential character of the area suggests a generally
residential usage for tall buildings ion the area although a mixed use approach would be beneficial to
the vitality of this zone.

The importance of the open space resource of the canal should be exploited to establish a strong visual
character to the area. The canal also provides links with areas of the Borough to the west and offers the
width and scale appropriate for taller development. Further study of this area should consider how to
best support the current uses within the area and how tall buildings could enhance the canal
environment whilst mitigating their negative impacts upon it.

14.3.8 Area 9: Shoreditch
This area within the south western corner of the Borough is bounded by City Road and Old Street to the
west and south, the Regents Canal and Shoreditch Park to the north and the Hoxton Street conservation
area to the east. The area is one of high public transport accessibility with the proximity to Old Street
Mainline and underground station, Angel Underground Station and numerous bus routes make this an
ideal opportunity area for the location of tall buildings.

Numerous existing tall buildings are located within this area and many underutilised sites, often of an
industrial character, provide the opportunity to consolidate and improve the urban form of the wider
area. Shoreditch Park and the Regents Canal provide access to open space. Conservation areas within
this zone should be seen as areas presumed to be excluded.

This area of Shoreditch has a well rounded mix of residential and commercial uses which should be
supported and enhanced by any tall building proposal. Further investigation of this area should focus on
the optimum mix of uses of any tall building in the area and how they could enhance the urban form
and vitality of the area. Significant development pressure exists in this area and recently approved
applications for tall buildings just outside of this area in the Borough of Islington should be considered
to ensure that the wider visual and physical impacts are assessed.

14.3.9      Area 10: Mabley Green
This tall building opportunity are in the east of the Borough in Homerton is roughly bordered by the Lee
River to the east, Mabley Green to the south, Clapton Park to the north an Daubney Road to the west.
This location adjacent to Mabley green and bordering the Lee River provides an ideal location for tall
buildings. With excellent access to the surrounding open space resource, the areas low lying topography
contribute to its potential for the sensitive siting of tall buildings and the mitigation of their negative
visual impact

The area is accessible to Hackney Wick Station and several bus routes with the station having capacity
to grow as a transport hub for the area. Further investigation of this area should consider the visual
impact of tall buildings on views from the Hackney Marshes and outside of the Borough towards
Hackney. The primarily residential character of the area suggests a continued usage of this type with
the opportunity to enhance the availability of community and social infrastructure.


             Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                62
             Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
              GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




14.3.10 Area 11: Hackney Wick
This area of opportunity for tall buildings flanks either side of the Lee River and is bounded by the
Borough boundary to the east and south, the A12 to the north and Kenworthy Road to the west. The
area is currently under development pressure for tall buildings. The general character of the area is
industrial and it is an area of variable urban form which would make the siting of taller development
possible.

The general character of the area suggests the usage of tall buildings could have a commercial focus
with some residential buildings. Access to open space and the lower elevations of this area make it an
ideal location to minimise any potentially negative visual impact of tall buildings.

Public transport accessibility in this area is good with access to Hackney Wick Station and further afield
to Stratford station which will soon become a station for the Eurostar train service with connection to
Paris and Brussels a possibility. The proximity of this station will likely increase the commercial pressure
on this area as a location with easy access to local, national and international destinations. Tall
buildings could also offer the possibility of further community and leisure activities within the area.


14.4       Areas of Limited Opportunity for Tall Buildings

The following areas are those that have also been illustrated to have an opportunity for taller
development through a convergence of analysis elements factors but also have constraints upon them
either through the presence of adjacent conservation areas or the overall urban character of the area.
These factors, as well as others, highlight the need for a more detailed analysis of the local conditions
than is possible in a strategic study of this nature. These areas are therefore classified as areas of
limited opportunity which increases the importance of carefully investigating the impacts that tall
buildings would have on the area.

The following areas are classified as areas of limited opportunity for tall buildings.

14.4.1    Area 12: Abney Park East
This area of limited opportunity flanks either side of Stoke Newington High Street and is bounded by
Dunsmure Road in the north, Abney Park Cemetery in the west, Evering Road in the south and Rectory
Road in the east.

This area with its proximity to Stoke Newington Station and the presence of several existing tall
buildings already located in this district centre suggests the possibility of creating a high quality area of
tall buildings to create an intensified focus to this district centre. This supports the Mayor of London’s
policies of focusing new development within important commercial areas.

The presence of adjacent conservation areas limits the potential of this area and places additional
emphasis on the design quality and visual impact of any tall building proposal for the area. Further
investigation should focus on assessing the visual impact of tall buildings on conservation areas and the
mix of uses which will best support the existing function of the area and how the vitality and quality of
the urban environment could be enhanced.




              Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                 63
              Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
             GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




14.4.2     Areas 13&14: Hackney Central & Hackney Mare Street
These two areas are centred around Mare Street and Hackney Central Station. They are considered
together here due to their close proximity and the combined visual impact that tall buildings would
have on the whole surrounding area. The Hackney Central areas is bounded by Dalston Lane to the
north, Navarino Road to the west, London fields to the south and the Town Hall Square conservation
area to the east. Hackney Mare Street area is bounded by the Town Hall Square conservation area to
the west, the north London rail line to the north, Chatham Place to the east and Brenthouse Road to the
south.

These areas of limited opportunity have good accessibility to public transport including Hackney Central
and Hackney Downs rail stations and the numerous bus routes along Mare Street. They also provide
good access to the administrative and commercial functions of this district centre. Tall buildings could
potentially support theses functions whilst enhancing the vitality of the area.

The presence of high quality conservation areas, important local views and areas of important
townscape character limit these areas’ potential for tall buildings. Further study of these areas should
be undertaken and should consider the wider visual impacts and the extent to which tall buildings could
contribute to the mix of uses within the district centre.

14.4.3 Area 15: South Shoreditch
This area of limited opportunity is contained by the Bough boundaries to the east, south and west and
the South Shoreditch conservation Area to the north. This area is well located in public transport terms
with its proximity to Liverpool Street Underground and mainline rail station. The areas relatively low
elevation and the potential to expand upon the commercial and financial focus of the east side of the
City of London make this an area of limited opportunity for tall buildings.

The main consideration in this area is the high number of conservation areas and the potentially
negative visual impacts of tall buildings. The largely industrial character of South Shoreditch is an
important reminder of the history of the Borough and provides flexible space for commercial and other
activities. Significant development pressure exists in this area which will make the quality of tall
building proposals extremely important. Further study should investigate the full extent of the visual
impact tall buildings may have in this area and should ensure that the mix of uses will reinforce the
vibrant character of the area.




             Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                              64
             Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
              GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




15.0     Conclusions and Next Steps: Phase 2
Through the urban analysis process as outlined in this report several areas of the Hackney have been
identified as being suitable or of limited suitability for tall buildings. These areas are those that are
generally visually recessive, have a limited impact on conservation settings, are well serviced by
transport, are in support of commercial centres, in proximity to existing tall buildings, and are in the
vicinity of open space resources. Following the identification of these broad areas a process of
refinement and rationalisation was undertaken to further clarify the areas and provide as much focus as
is possible at this strategic level.

The following phase of the study (Phase 3) will undertake detailed investigations into some or all of the
areas of opportunity that have been identified as part of this urban analysis process. To accompany this
a series of guidelines related to the design, function and appearance of tall buildings within Hackney will
be prepared. These outline best practice in terms of tall buildings and are supported by a series of notes
and questions that aim to assist applicants in producing schemes of a high quality.

15.1     Issues to be Addressed in Further Study of Opportunity Areas

The following areas should form the basis of (but are not limited to) further study in relation to the
areas identified in the strategy plan.

15.1.1 Boundary Definition
A more detailed analysis of the built form and urban structure will be required to further define the
boundaries of each of the strategy plan areas. Further definition should take into account the criteria
used within the analysis process of this study such as topography, strategic views and conservation
areas to create distinct areas for taller development. A process of rationalisation of the areas should be
undertaken to ensure that strategy boundaries reflect local block patterns and ensure unified
streetscapes.

15.1.2 Three Dimensional Framework and Vision
A detailed three-dimensional framework should be undertaken for each of the opportunity and limited
opportunity areas in order to fully appreciate the potential impact of future tall buildings. A long term
vision for the areas should illustrate their proposed role within the wider Borough context and explore
the opportunities for synergies between the areas. Such a study should identify the quantum of
appropriate tall buildings for the area, opportunities for other development types and the potential
public realm and infrastructure improvements.

15.1.3 Planning Policy
The ability of the strategy plan areas to realise the goals and aspirations of local, regional and national
policy should be investigated in detail. Particular attention should be given to Employment, Housing,
Retail and Sustainability strategies and policies. The ways in which development could support local
communities and businesses should be fully explored.

15.2               Further Study

A number of elements of further study have been identified during the preparation of this study. These
can be described as follows.

15.2.1 An Urban Design Vision
In order for this study, and the resultant tall buildings policy, to be most effective in providing a unified
and coherent approach to tall buildings within the Borough of Hackney, it must be in support of an
overarching vision for the Borough.

An urban design vision that brings together the Borough’s social, economic and environmental
aspirations would provide a valuable tool in focusing investment and intervention in a well considered
and coordinated manner.

15.2.2 View Policy
A view policy that outlines all of the strategic and local views of importance within the Borough, and
their capacity for change, is required to ensure a consistent approach to the visual assessment of tall
buildings within Hackney. This would be an important tool for planners and would also bring some level
of certainty to developers of tall buildings.



              Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                 65
              Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
    GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




                                      APPENDIX A
                                      TALL BUILDINGS

                   TELECOMMUNICATIONS PLANNING ISSUES



Summary

There are a number of planning issues associated with telecommunications in relation to tall
buildings.

A tall building, usually resulting in a high level of occupancy, means a greater use of
telecommunications services. This increase in demand for telecommunications services calls
for an increase in the supply of such services. The developer will wish to give consideration to
the mix of uses for a tall building: maximising the efficient use of information and
communications technology in the building will be a factor. The local planning authority will
need to be aware of these considerations.

A tall building by its very nature can act as a supplier of services in the telecommunications
sector, by becoming for example a host for transmitting or re-transmitting radio/TV and
mobile telecommunications services. Use of space in the building for telecommunication
services should be considered by the developer - in discussion with the telecommunications
sector and the local planning authority.

In the wireless/mobile age, the tallness of a building may sometimes be a disadvantage in that
it can hinder or distort radio/TV transmissions. Planning authorities need to make sure that
guidelines are available so that such negative impacts are minimised. The local planning
authority can, in this context, consider with the developer the mitigation measures needed, so
that these can be included in any Section 106 agreement.




    Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                66
    Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
     GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




1.        Introduction

The key issues related to telecommunications and the development planning of tall buildings
are:
        Increased use of telecommunications services
        Increased demand on the telecommunications sector
        Increased supply of telecommunications services
        Negative impact on existing radio telecommunications links and broadcast radio and
        TV services


2.        Increased use of telecommunications services

A tall building is likely to be occupied by a large number of users of telecommunications
services, thus increasing the use of communications services, both fixed as well as mobile. The
increased use of communications services as an enabler, whatever the actual business or
function of the users, particularly in the case of office buildings, will have a positive economic
impact. The developer will wish to give consideration to the mix of uses for a tall building:
maximising the efficient use of information and communications technology in the building
will be a factor. The local planning authority will need to be aware of these considerations.

3.        Increased demand on the telecommunications sector

A tall building is likely to be occupied by a large number of users of telecommunications
services, thus increasing the demand for public telecommunications network services, both
fixed as well as mobile, to be supplied to the building. In addition, the large number of users
within the building is likely to require the operation and maintenance of a large number of
systems that depend on telecommunications networks and services for their effective use.
Thus, whilst being a boost to the telecommunications sector because of the increase in
demand for internal and external telecommunications services, tall buildings may also create
bottlenecks in the supply and maintenance of telecommunications services unless these
supplies are planned in time. Such planning has to include the involvement of the local
planning authority and key players in the telecommunications sector, i.e. communications
networks and services providers and OFCOM.


4.        Increased supply of telecommunications services

Apart from any spaces in a tall building that may be dedicated exclusively to the provision of
public communications services, the increasing demand for mobile/wireless communications
has resulted in the need for more locations for ‘base stations’. Tall buildings, due to their very
height, are optimum locations for radio antennas. Such antennas can act either as sources of
broadcast radio signals or as receivers of broadcast signals for amplification and re-broadcast,
say in another geographical direction. Thus the tall building is able to become a facilitator of
telecommunications services by increasing the supply of telecommunications services.
Because of the potential positive impact on telecommunications services and the
telecommunications sector, the planning of tall buildings has to include the involvement of the
local planning authority and key players in the telecommunications sector, i.e. communications
networks and services providers and OFCOM.               Use of space in the building for
telecommunication services should be considered by the developer - in discussion with the
telecommunications sector and the local planning authority.

5.        Negative impact on existing radio telecommunications links and broadcast
          radio and TV services

Broadcast radio and off-air (terrestrial and satellite) television services use radio frequency
signal transmission. Such signals travel in the same way as light, i.e. in straight lines. Just as
something obstructing a light source creates an optical shadow, objects in a radio transmitter’s
line-of-sight create radio signal shadows behind them. Within a signal shadow the received
strength of a signal will be heavily reduced resulting in poor signal reception. Thus, buildings
can in principle cause signal shadows and affect the reception of broadcast radio and television


     Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                               67
     Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
     GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP



services. Tall buildings, by their height, tend to have a greater negative impact. In the case of
broadcast radio, as there is a natural phenomenon whereby the radio signals bend round
obstacles at these frequencies, there is no adverse impact due to shadowing from tall buildings.
In the case of broadcast television (both off-air terrestrial as well as satellite) such adverse
impacts due to shadowing are possible.

As in the case of light, radio frequency signals can be reflected off obstructions, so that a
receiver may receive two signals from the same source, a direct signal and one or more
reflected signals. As the reflected signals arrive later than the direct signals, the delayed signals
create a ‘ghost’ of the television image slightly to the right of the main image thus causing
interference to TV reception known as ‘ghosting’. With tall buildings, the potential for such
interference is greater due to their height.

These negative impacts can be mitigated by using higher gain receiving antennas or even
changing the direction of the antenna to another alternative transmitter source. In case such
amelioration of reception is not possible, alternative services can be obtained in the form of
say cable or satellite TV.

Telecommunications networks, whether private or public, are based on wired or wireless links.
A new building development is likely to sit in the path of an existing wireless network link.
Whilst it is often possible to move the link slightly upwards or sideways laterally thus avoiding
the new building that obstructs, in the case of tall buildings the problem is likely to be more
difficult to circumvent, requiring a movement of the link by erecting a new mast elsewhere.

These potential negative impacts are often capable of being circumvented. The local planning
authority needs to consider with the developer the mitigation measures needed, so that these
can be included in any Section 106 agreement.

6.        Conclusion

Some negative impacts, all of them surmountable, can result from tall buildings. However, tall
buildings can have a significant beneficial impact on the telecommunications sector, and thus
other sectors of the economy. Planning authorities in discussion with developers need to
ensure that positive impacts are optimised and negative impacts are addressed.




     Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                                                  68
     Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                           69
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A
GILLESPIES   I DONALDSONS I        ARUP




Hackney Tall Buildings Strategy                           70
Phase 2 Working Report – Urban Analysis – DRAFT Issue A

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:7
posted:11/13/2011
language:English
pages:70