Search

Eagle Wharf development: “Goodbye heritage, hello Silicon Canal?” asks Regent’s Canal campaigner

PUBLISHED: 11:52 19 October 2012 | UPDATED: 18:07 19 October 2012

An artist's impression of Gold Property Development's plans for Eagle Wharf

An artist's impression of Gold Property Development's plans for Eagle Wharf

Archant

Campaigners fear the heritage of a treasured waterway will be swept away with the demolition of a historic building, transforming it into what has been dubbed “Silicon Canal”.

Developers want to demolish Holborn Studios in Eagle Wharf Road, Hoxton, which lie alongside Regent’s Canal in a conservation area The buildings have been identified as buildings of townscape merit, and include a Victorian chimney.

Currently an industrial workshop, Gold Property Developments wants to replace it with a restaurant, flats and “state-of-the art commercial space” aimed specifically at the needs of the expanding creative industries – particularly the Tech City area around Old Street’s ‘Silicon Roundabout’.

Ian Shacklock, Chair of the Friends of Regents Canal group said the buildings “epitomise the charm of the canal” and that it would be a mistake to replace them with “homogenised, characterless modern constructions”.

“If this goes ahead, and if others follow, then the canal could resemble an artificial lake that intersects a characterless array of business parks, shopping malls and clone-like gated communities,” said Mr Shacklock.

“This is not just about another new building - it is quite clear from these proposals that the global players are eyeing up this area as ‘Silicon Roundabout’ picks up momentum.

“I can imagine a visiting planning inspector from Stratford-upon-Avon or Henley-on-Thames saying “there’s nothing special about these inner city buildings, we have better ones at home - but that’s not the point - they are very special relative to all the surrounding area, they are our closest approximation to the countryside.”

Many of the nearby heritage buildings like part of Rosemary Works just a few hundred yards up the canal, have already gone to make way for modern housing developments and commercial space.

The developer is now consulting before submitting a planning application.

A spokesman for Gold Property Developments, which has owned the site for 30 years, said the proposed office space is aimed at the growing number of digital economy enterprises that have flourished in the area.

“We have been working hard to understand the needs of this expanding creative sector in the borough,” he said.

“By meeting their needs through the regeneration of this site, we can achieve excellence in design and deliver much needed new jobs.

“A debate about the merits or otherwise of architecture often leads to different opinions, but we are clear that a carefully considered high quality contemporary building replacing the current fragmented and poorly configured buildings is a better solution.”

0 comments

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 14:06

A schizophrenic man who stabbed a Holloway teenager to death at their hostel has been given a hospital order after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

Yesterday, 12:49

“The Arsenal wants to knock down homes and expand its capacity by nearly a third. Most people in the community, even if they are fervent Gunners fans, don’t want to see homes demolished to make the people who own the Arsenal even richer. We can stop our community being wrecked if we begin a campaign now.”

Yesterday, 10:18

A man was stabbed in Essex Road last night.

Yesterday, 08:15

A suitcase, believed to be carrying a bomb, was dumped outside Islington Labour headquarters – where Jeremy Corbyn had an office.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Football is still prejudiced against LGBT people. But Arsenal’s huge Gay Gooners fan club is fighting this. The Gazette speaks to chairman Dave Raval.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Green and Lib Dem candidates are no threat to Labour in Islington – despite warning signs the party’s stance on Brexit could damage it locally, a senior party source has insisted.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The headteacher of a special education needs school will be pounding the streets of London for a charity which is close to her heart.

Friday, April 21, 2017

A man has potentially life-changing injuries after being stabbed near a doctor’s surgery in Canonbury this morning.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now