Castle Climbing Centre gets the green light to develop building next door to Green Lanes HQ
- Credit: Gina Lawrence
Planning permission and listed building consent has been waved through to develop a new building next door so Castle Climbing Centre.
The team at the bouldering and climbing centre in Green Lanes, Stoke Newington has spent two years negotiating with Historic England and Hackney Council's conservation team to secure approval.
Bosses hope to design a space with 25 per cent more roped climbing in an empty building next to the former Victorian water pumping station in Green Lanes.
The designs - subject to change - will include 40 new rope lines up to 10m high.
Building work will start next year to gut the inside of the existing building and dig down into while also raising the roof to increase the necessary space. It is hoped it will open by the end of 2020.
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Gina Lawrence from the centre said her team is "absolutely delighted".
"This is hugely exciting news, and we can't wait to open up a whole new area packed with the best possible climbing we can create," she said.
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"Finally, all that planning and hard work and back and forth has totally paid off.
"Although there's a long way to go, we're rolling up our sleeves for a fantastic new project in 2020."
The aim is to make sure the building is sustainable, and the extra height and roof will be built almost entirely from timber, and will be insulated to reduce energy usage. Solar panels on the roof will provide renewable energy, and a version of the centre's natural ventilation system will be installed. It uses a monitoring system to ensure the ambient temperature remains comfortable regardless of the outside temperature.
"By opening and closing dampers, we'll manage the airflow, temperature and CO2 levels using natural airflow rather than artificial air conditioning units for up to 70pc of the year," said Gina. "Ideal climbing conditions, but better for the planet. It'll also enable us to filter chalk out of the air too, making it a cleaner environment. Because we'll be designing the perfect building from the very beginning, we won't have to reverse engineer the sustainable elements like we have to do for the main Castle building, a Grade II listed building with strict regulations on how and what we can change."