New £1.75mil Highbury Roundhouse given the green light
PUBLISHED: 18:18 29 July 2013 | UPDATED: 17:09 30 July 2013
The future of popular community centre looks secure after plans for a new £1.75million building were given the nod in a “landmark” moment.
Highbury Roundhouse, in Ronalds Road, has faced an uncertain destiny since its distinctive former building had to close when the structure was declared unsafe.
Islington Council said it would be too expensive to repair and planned to knock it down and build housing on the site, with a community centre for the services the Roundhouse provided.
Despite opposition from residents, the old building was bulldozed in March, but on Thursday a planning committee gave blueprints for a new building the green light.
Tony Miller, secretary to the Highbury Roundhouse Association (HRA), said: “It’s tremendous. This really is a landmark event. It means we can get our fundraising into top gear.
“We were very pleasantly surprised as there were no objections whatsoever. We had a number of people at the meeting ready to support us but they were not required.
“We were given permission unanimously and very quickly, which was a great relief
“Now we can start working on the details of what will be the basis of out new construction”
Back in March, the old centre was bulldozed, but by this time the council had agreed the HRA could put up a new building as long as they found the cash.
Mr Miller said: “We need funding bodies who are willing to make large donations. We have a couple in the bag but we need more. Now we have planning permission we can approach them. They need to know it’s going to happen and it isn’t just a dream.
“We are running a couple of months behind schedule. We originally said the new building would be completed by the end of 2014.
“Maybe if we pull out all the stops we might still make that.”
The old Roundhouse was a former Victorian bottleworks, which became a community centre in 1976 to give kids in the area something to do.