Decision on development threatening Union Chapel’s future deferred

The future of one of the country’s top concert venues is still hanging in the balance after Islington Council indicated that it is likely to allow 90 homes to be built on its doorstep.

The Union Chapel was this year voted best music venue in London by Time Out readers.

Notting Hill Housing wants to build 90 homes in two buildings up to five storeys high on the site of the former Highbury Ford car showroom in Canonbury Road, Islington, next to the chapel.

The Union Chapel has no soundproofing and organisers fear that the venue could end up having to scale back – or even end – its performances. More than 200 people wrote to Islington Council asking them to reject the scheme, with thousands signing a petition against it.

At the planning meeting on Monday councillors said they were likely to approve the scheme. Cllr Robert Khan, chairman of the planning committee, said: “We were persuaded that the activities of the superb Union Chapel would be safeguarded and that the heritage objections could be overcome.”

Notting Hill Housing has incorporated sound insulation into its design and will give the Union Chapel money for insulation.