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Artists told to knock down ‘beach house installation’ built on roof without planning permission

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 August 2016 | UPDATED: 08:59 03 August 2016

From left: Caroline Rolf, director of the Art House Foundation; Harley Gray, site manager; Laura Buckley, exhibiting artist; Russell Gray, building owner; Ravi Patel, also site manager (Picture: Polly Hancock)

From left: Caroline Rolf, director of the Art House Foundation; Harley Gray, site manager; Laura Buckley, exhibiting artist; Russell Gray, building owner; Ravi Patel, also site manager (Picture: Polly Hancock)

Archant

Hackney Council has ordered an arts organisation to knock down a “beach house” constructed on its roof last year without planning permission.

The beach hut was to be the first of a series of art meets architecture houses built on top of the roof (Picture: Polly Hancock)The beach hut was to be the first of a series of art meets architecture houses built on top of the roof (Picture: Polly Hancock)

The structure – which is made out of used drinks cartons recycled into corrugated sheets – has been constructed on the Hoxton Docks artists’ studio complex Art House, in Laburnum Street, next to Haggerston Baths and the Regent’s Canal. It was to be the first of a series of “art meets architecture” houses built on top of the roof.

Ravi Patel from Hoxton Docks says the group planned a “visual artistic installation” inside the hut about “man’s relationship with the sea” for the Open House London exhibition next month. But officers from Hackney Council claim the “beach house” is in fact residential accommodation and have ordered its demolition.

Retrospective planning permission applied for by the building’s owner Shiva Ltd was refused, and the matter is now being dealt with by the government’s Planning Inspectorate after Shiva Ltd appealed the decision.

Mr Patel said: “We built it as a temporary structure. We weren’t under the impression we needed planning permission. The council saw it and said you need planning permission. Subsequently we made the application and everything has unfolded.

Outside the 'beach hut' on top of The Art House in Laburnum Street. From left: Harley Gray, site manager; Russell Gray, building owner; Laura Buckley, exhibiting artist; Caroline Rolf, director of the Art House Foundation; and Ravi Patel, also site manager (Picture: Polly Hancock)Outside the 'beach hut' on top of The Art House in Laburnum Street. From left: Harley Gray, site manager; Russell Gray, building owner; Laura Buckley, exhibiting artist; Caroline Rolf, director of the Art House Foundation; and Ravi Patel, also site manager (Picture: Polly Hancock)

“We are trying to instigate thought in the way developers should be thinking about buildings, and that’s the situation we find ourselves in.

“The structures will be temporary, use recycled materials and have the potential for wider application in fast-build, low-cost housing – such as in refugee or disaster-relief areas.”

A council spokesman confirmed the retrospective application had been refused in November and an enforcement notice served to knock it down – which has been appealed.


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