Search

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

11:52 19 October 2012

An artist

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, 17:47
Michael Otshudi was sentenced to 18 months

Two men have been jailed over the shooting of a good Samaritan who was trying to break up a brawl at a wake – but police believe the gunman is still at large nine months on.

Yesterday, 13:31
Mehmet Ozer celebrates his £303,465.20 EuroMillions win at his workshop in Caledonian Road, Islington. Picture: Ady Kerry/Camelot

A lucky upholsterer has a foot on the housing ladder after decades of renting – thanks to a £300,000 EuroMillions win.

Yesterday, 10:43
Cllr Claudia Webbe with the solar panel array at Islington's Reuse and Recycling Centre. Picture: Islington Council

Islington Council expects electricity savings of £1.5 million over the next 30 years, after installing more than 1,800 solar panels on three of its buildings.

Yesterday, 09:41
Flowers at the scene of the crash where Lewis Johnson, 18, died on Tuesday (Picture: Ken Mears)

Tributes have continued to pour in for 18-year-old Lewis “lighty Lew” Johnson, who died on Tuesday after his motor scooter collided with a van following a police chase.

Thu, 18:16
Dangerous: The junction of Pentonville Road and Islington High Street (Picture: Google StreetView)

Campaigners say “urgent” action must be taken over a deadly Islington junction after figures ranked it in the top 10 most dangerous for London’s pedestrians.

Thu, 14:00
Feeding pigeons in the Palmer Estate could lead to eviction, the letter said. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA WIRE

Heavy-handed town hall officials made a bizarre threat to evict council tenants because they had been feeding pigeons.

Thu, 12:53
This Girl Can Islington launched in Sobell Leisure Centre last week

A “genuinely affordable” campaign has been launched to break down barriers women and girls face in getting exercise.

Thu, 12:23
Pentonville Prison (Picture: PA Wire)

One of Britain’s longest-serving murderers is the only man to have escaped from Pentonville prison in the last five years, a Gazette investigation has revealed.

Most read news

Competitions

Champagne experience

This Valentine’s Day, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the perfect destination for lovebirds, offering a range of romantic experiences from Friday 12th February - Sunday 14th February 2016.

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe