Renewed flats threat to ‘vibrant’ working community at Holborn Studios

PUBLISHED: 15:51 05 November 2015 | UPDATED: 15:51 05 November 2015

Holborn Studios, Eagle Wharf Road, Hackney.

Holborn Studios, Eagle Wharf Road, Hackney.


The iconic Hoxton photographic studio – where the likes of music moguls Madonna, David Bowie and even the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, were captured on film – is under threat from demolition yet again.

Montagu Evans has submitted a planning application on behalf of Galliard Homes to partly demolish the commercial space in Eagle Wharf Road which borders the Regent’s Canal, from where 25 companies operate employing 350 workers.

While the Victorian chimney, which was added to Hackney Council’s local heritage list last year, would be retained, Holborn Studios will be partially demolished to make way for a mix of commercial space and residential flats in blocks between three and seven storeys.

Twenty-two per cent of the residential units proposed will be “affordable”.

Vince McCartney, who set up Holborn Studios in 1989, said: “The plan is to move everyone off site for two to three years during construction, which would effectively end the vibrant community that we have spent 26 years building.”

London Assembly Member Jenny Jones, who last week visited the photographic studio – which is the largest in Europe – said: “The community of organisations at Holborn Studios is a good example of how local businesses can boost a local area and provide jobs – the developer’s plan to destroy the listed buildings and the 350 jobs is an awful mistake.

“Of course we need more homes, but we also need places for people to work.

“What’s more, more of the homes should be affordable to people living and working in the area, not just rich investors. I do hope that the council will appreciate the local and historical value of Eagle Wharf and protect it from unsympathetic development.”

The Gazette has tried to contact the developers but they have not responded to comment.

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