See below for documents and images that describe a proposal to sweep buildings and people away from the Regent's Canal forever. If you don't need convincing then please go straight to the objections guidelines.
Application Ref: 2015/2596
Case Officer: Jonathan Payne (020 8356 7737)
Deadline for comments: 28th September 2015 (extended to 15th October)
Address: 49 - 50 Eagle Wharf Road London N1 7ED
The Proposed Work: Partial demolition of existing buildings, retention of 3 storey building and former industrial chimney and redevelopment of the site to provide a mixed use scheme comprising blocks of 2 to 7 storeys and accommodating 4,393 sq. m, of commercial floorspace at basement, ground, part first floor and part second floor level, 64 residential units at part first, part second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth floor levels (proposed mix is 28 X 1 bed, 21 X 2 bed, 13 X 3 bed, 2 X 4 bed) as well as 253 sq. m. cafe floorspace (A3) at ground floor level, landscaped communal gardens, pedestrian link route to the Regents Canal and other associated works.
Click here to see the official application on the Hackney Council website.
We should oppose these plans with full force.
For guidelines on how to object click here.
For examples of objections click here.
Holborn Studios is a successful local business in Hoxton. It includes the largest photographic studio complex of its kind in Europe and attracts a wide variety of prominent clients to the area. It keeps several hundred people in local employment and has been described as a university of photography. Its iconic canal frontage is one of the very few remaining buildings that remind us of the canal's industrial past and that is one of the reasons why it is on the local heritage listing. Local residents have always appreciated its external features and in recent months we have also had the opportunity to enjoy guided tours of the premises to understand what happens behind the scenes and to discover how well these buildings have been restored and utilised. The threat of losing these buildings and the photographic complex has united the Friends of Regent's Canal and other communities more than any other issue in the past five years.
Here are some photos that reveal the huge transformation from neglected industrial buildings to the studio complex that we know today.
Judging by the images in the planning documents the new Holborn Studios frontage could look like a variant of the deserted Gainsborough Studios further downstream along the Regent's Canal. This would be a kick in the teeth for canal users and local communities who value a visible connection to the area's industrial heritage. The chimney that currently brings charm to the landscape would become an ornament tucked between modern blocks. The studios would be displaced from their prominent position on the ground floor to a basement that is unsuitable in practical terms and would stifle the creative energy that goes hand in hand with using the existing buildings. Many Londoners will view this proposal as an exercise in social, commercial and cultural cleansing and the very modest offering of affordable housing is a small benefit compared with the expected disruption and damage. Most importantly, this site is in the Regent's Canal Conservation Area and the plans defy Hackney Council's policy to protect these buildings that were given a local heritage listing in April 2014.