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The demolition and redevelopment of a popular youth centre may be held up after the council was forced to apply for formal planning permission for the work.

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Despite a campaign to save the building, Islington Council announced the decision to demolish Highbury Roundhouse in Ronalds Road in May last year. It initially thought it could press ahead with the development without prior approval.

However, the council has been required to seek permission from its own planning department after it emerged that a boundary wall forms part of a local conservation area.

Most of the site, closed after being deemed unsafe in August 2010, will be given over to a housing developer.

The Highbury Roundhouse Association (HRA) has been offered the chance to build a new centre for youth provision on the site if it can raise £1.75m by the end of the year.

HRA secretary Tony Miller said: “The worry is that this delay will slow us down. There are surveys we can’t do until the building has been knocked down.

“The council has been very supportive of what we are trying to do. It has indicated it won’t be too heavy-handed about deadlines if it doesn’t manage to get its work done on time.”

He confirmed the fundraising for the new building is on schedule, with the HRA hitting its first deadline this month. The group is confident it will make the second in September.

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