‘We’re massively disappointed with the decision’

Holborn Studios. Photograph: Ian Shacklock

A family-owned photographic company in Hoxton is to challenge Hackney Council’s recent decision to approve the redevelopment of its home on Eagle Wharf Road.

The Regent’s Network, a group that campaigns for restoration of waterways, will also be submitting its own objections.

Joint developers GHL (Eagle Wharf Road) Ltd had their plans for the site, which include partially demolishing the buildings to make way for canal-side apartments, approved at a council hearing on 6 July.

But Billy McCartney, managing director of Holborn Studios, is set to launch an appeal in the coming days.

He said: “After speaking to our legal team, we believe there is a case for a judicial review, and that’s the path we’ll be going down.

“Obviously, we’re massively disappointed with the decision. I mentioned six planning code violations [at the hearing] and not one of them prevented the outcome. Even if I’d promised the council I’d provide a million jobs, it wouldn’t have made any difference.”

The iconic studios have played host to stars such as Kate Moss and The Libertines, and a new Twitter campaign to stop the redevelopment has already attracted support from Simon Cowell and ex-footballers Robert Pires and Patrick Kluivert.

McCartney has previously said that the plans will lead to job losses.

Ian Shacklock, chair of Friends of Regent’s Canal campaign group, called the council’s decision ‘an act of betrayal’.

He said: “It looks like our elected representatives have their heads buried in the sand and are being micromanaged by box ticking officials, who in turn are being bullied by aggressive developers.

“They are destroying the heritage and attraction of the canal for another load of bland offices, which will probably be turned into luxury flats in five years’ time.

“We will continue our campaign and bombard everyone with the truth – that this was not a fair fight.”

Original article at HackneyCitizen.co.uk