Earlier this week, a petition circulated to save Gillett Square in Dalston, east London, where the local NTS Radio station has been headquartered since 2011. Any development on the land would result in the station having to relocate – however, Hackney Council have since said there are no plans to sell Gillett Street Car Park to private developers.
The petition against the plans, addressed to Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville, called for the square to be listed as an Asset of Community Value: “This space is an essential part of the full functioning of Gillett Square, which is one of the most valuable cultural and community urban spaces in London,” it read. Earlier today (May 5), however, a member of Hackney Council told Resident Advisor that they had no plans to sell.
“A developer approached us and offered to buy the Gillett Square car park site, but we are not going to sell it,” councillor Guy Nicholson (cabinet member for planning, business, and investment) informed the website.
NTS has been one of the most vital incubators of new music in recent years. Hundreds of DJs host shows in their London studio every week, and the station has since expanded to build studios in Manchester, Los Angeles, and Shanghai. Gillett Square is not only home to NTS but is a major part of Dalston’s character, used by local residents and skaters as well as the Vortex Jazz Club venue.
Tensions between the interests of local residents and artists and those of private developers have been high in London following a spate of venue closures in the capital over the past few years.