Search

Community bid to protect Clerkenwell Fire Station succeeds

11:57 27 May 2014

Clerkenwell fire station

Clerkenwell fire station

Archant

A community campaign to buy back Clerkenwell Fire station has been given a huge boost.

Cllr Paul ConveryCllr Paul Convery

Islington Council has succeeded in listing the 140-year-old station as an “asset of community value” meaning the site cannot be sold on the open market for at least six months.

The decision will give local groups the time to develop a proposal and raise cash to bid for the property.

The station, which is the oldest in Britain, was one of 10 closed across the capital earlier this year as part of plans to save millions of pounds.

The move prompted widespread opposition from the community and seven councils – including Islington – fought the plans but lost their battle at the High Court.

It sparked a campaign to save the building from being sold-off and being turned into flats.

The council confirmed last week that it had included the building on its list of community assets under the Localism Act following a successful nomination by civic amenity group, the Amwell Society.

Under the terms of the Act, the owner – London Fire Brigade (LFB) – is not obliged to sell to a community group which bids for the property and it can also request a review of the decision to list the building.

Islington Council’s community safety chief, Paul Convery, said: “Getting the station listed gives six months breathing space for community bids to come forward.”

He said the council is also developing a planning brief for the station which will require any future use of the site to include community facilities and affordable housing.

“This will make it much harder for an investor from the Gulf to build a five star hotel or whatever a Russian oligarch wants to do with it and tilts the balance in favour of community supported schemes.”

A public consultation on the planning brief is due to take place and is expected to be adopted in the autumn.

Cllr said: “The real prize will be to maintain and keep the building for the public rather than it being sold-off to the private sector.”

A spokesman from the fire service said they are still considering a response to the decision.

In March Freedom of Information figures revealed that more than £100,000 of public money will be spent on security measures at the empty station over the next year to prevent vandalism and squatters getting in.

A spokesman from LFB said: “We have not had formal confirmation that a decision has been taken and we are still considering our response to the application. We will continue to work with Islington Council on this matter.”

Latest News Stories

17:05
Henry Hicks

Almost 3,500 people have signed a petition calling for justice following the scooter death of a teenager.

The Ben Kinsella exhibition has relocated to Finsbury

An installation extolling the dangers of knife crime set up by parents of murdered teen Ben Kinsella restrained to Islington this week.

The flooding on the Thameslink line in the Clerkenwell Tunnel

Flooding in a Farringdon railway tunnel is continuing to cause problems for commuters today.

Yesterday, 17:08
Pete with a croc and one of the children helped by school of croc

A crocodile catcher who travels the world extracting dangerous reptiles from communities wants to change the lives of a group of Islington’s young adults.

Most read news

Flights are being cancelled, schools are being closed, and America’s northeast is getting prepared for a lot of snow.

Cinematic classics get a right-wing twist from Twitter. The results are thoroughly amusing.

Michael Brown, 71, says his work to protect women from domestic abuse has helped him deal with the grief felt over his daughter’s death.

Columbia’s Paulina Vega scoops the top prize, pushing Miss USA Nia Sanchez and Miss Ukraine Diana Harkusha into the runners-up spots.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the $m.global.archantvariables.NewspaperTitle e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder