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Fears over the future of historic Clapton tram depot as it is put up for sale

PUBLISHED: 08:55 05 March 2014 | UPDATED: 13:21 06 March 2014

Clapton Tram depot

Clapton Tram depot

Archant

Questions hang over the future of a historic 19th century tram depot after it was revealed the developer that owns it is planning to sell the site.

The Clapton Tram Depot, in Upper Clapton Road, was once a thriving creative and business hub but all except two companies were forced to relocate after Executec Ltd won planning permission in 2011 to bulldoze the buildings to make way for 85 flats, parking and industrial units.

But work is yet to start on the 212 square metre site – which was home to horse-drawn trams in the 19th century – and it has been deteriorating ever since.

It has now been revealed that Executec Ltd are in the process of selling the site – along with permission for the rebuild – to another company, Upper Clapton Ltd.

However, planning approval for the project runs out in September and it’s not clear what the new developer intends to do with the land.

It had been hoped that the businesses which occupied the site would be able to return once the scheme was completed – but Cllr Ian Rathbone fears this won’t happen as so much time has now passed since they were asked to move out.

He continued: “Cllr Oguzkanli and myself have become extremely concerned as ward councillors at the deteriorating state of the depot buildings and the air of dereliction and emptiness that occupies a place which only two years ago was a thriving business and industrial hub for the area.

“The planning permission to build flats there will run out in a few months time and we still have no idea when work will start or who is even going to carry out what will be an ugly development, disfiguring the landscape.

“In April 2011, I told the Gazette I hoped that the developer would be willing to work with the local community and artists then working at the depot to make it a cultural hub.

“Sadly, that has all been destroyed. It is shocking that more than 50 jobs have gone and businesses have been forced to move away.

‘‘Once again, Clapton’s heritage has been lost.

“The present owners have driven out all these businesses, leaving an empty husk.

“We tried to get it listed as one of the few remaining Victorian horse tram depots but have not succeeded.

“Residents are also anxious about when building work is due to start and how they will be affected.

‘‘There is a complete lack of communication about the intentions surrounding this building.”

Executec Ltd and Upper Clapton Ltd declined to comment on the issues.

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