Search

End of the Crystal Maze? Popular but ‘unlawful’ game centre in Islington could be demolished

PUBLISHED: 17:29 11 January 2018 | UPDATED: 09:44 23 January 2018

Iconic Crystal Maze host Richard O'Brien, pictured in 1991. Picture: Adam Butler

Iconic Crystal Maze host Richard O'Brien, pictured in 1991. Picture: Adam Butler

PA Archive/PA Images

Anyone locked in The Crystal Maze in Islington might want to get out – as it could be bulldozed and replaced by an office block.

An unnamed developer is hoping to demolish the White Lion Street site, which opened as an interactive version of the ’90s TV game show in early 2016.

Town hall boffins have advised councillors to approve the plan to flatten the building.

They also insist the live gaming experience has been operating “unlawfully” under planning regulations for two years. The site is meant to be used as an “education or training facility” and, while the Maze team says that’s what it is, officers are having none of it.

The retro game centre has gone down a storm since opening up the Crystal Dome and the “Aztec”, “industrial”, “futuristic” and “medieval” zones to the public.

It has five stars on TripAdvisor and recently spruced up the “futuristic” zone with a new game ahead of its reopening on Saturday following a winter break.

A sassy planning officer wrote in the report that will be considered by councillors on Thursday: “The proposed development would demolish the existing building on the site, which is currently in (unauthorised) use as the ‘Crystal Maze’ entertainment facility.”

But a spokesperson for The Crystal Maze – not Richard O’Brien or Mumsy – hit back: “We looked into the question of planning and took some advice before we moved in.

“As we are primarily a training and team building facility, we actually fall within the scope of the planning permission that is in force.”

The new build will be seven storeys high. Although no housing will be on site, a contribution of almost £850,000 is proposed for affordable homes elsewhere in the borough.

Before it was filled with sand, crystals and scraps of golden paper, private legal firm Kaplan Law School was using the building for training purposes.

The Crystal Maze does not appear to be fighting the application, but its spokesperson added cryptically: “The Crystal Maze live experience has an exciting future ahead of it both in the UK and abroad, so keep an eye on our website for more information coming soon.”

Latest Islington News Stories

Nashon Esbrand’s family has been made to wait a fourth time for justice – after one of his murderers didn’t turn up at the Old Bailey for sentencing today.

14:59

A 69-year-old with a heart condition made light work of a 60-mile bike ride, and raised £200 for charity while he was at it.

11:37

The new police chief for Islington and Camden has already launched a taskforce to tackle violence – and said significant reductions are being made in moped crime.

07:58

Thousands of people returned to Caledonian Road for its glorious street party yesterday.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Barnard Park in Barnsbury is one of Islington’s biggest – and therefore most important – green spaces. Naturally, people have been quarrelling about it from the very offset. The Gazette looks through the archives to see how the park developed.

Friday, June 15, 2018

The chapel at Islington’s Trent Park Cemetery in Cockfosters had to close because its windows kept getting smashed – but was able to reopen on Father’s Day.

Friday, June 15, 2018

A huge project to build a social housing block on the Golden Lane estate will go ahead after the council agreed to fund it with £7million of unspent Right to Buy cash.

Friday, June 15, 2018

It’s the 10th anniversary of Ben Kinsella’s senseless murder on June 29. The anti-knife crime trust set up in his name is marking the tragedy with a 10k walk in his memory.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Show Job Lists

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