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Blow for studios as forum bid is rejected

Neighbourhood application blocked as Town Hall say it isn’t representative enough of area’s businesses

03 July, 2020 — By Sam Ferguson

Nick Keynes: ‘It appears that Islington continues to fail to embrace localism’

A MUSIC studio which saw its expansion plans thwarted by the Town Hall has become involved in a dispute over how its corner of King’s Cross should be allowed to develop.

Islington Council has blocked the creation of a Neighbourhood Forum, which often paves the way for residents and businesses to develop their own blueprint for the future of an area.

Tileyard Studios, off York Way, had been backing the new forum, which was due to be named The Tileyard Road and Vale Royal Creative Quarter Forum and Area.

It would have covered around 38 per cent of the Vale Royal and Brewery Road industrial site, but it was rejected on the grounds it was not representative enough of all businesses in the area.

Urging the cabinet to reject the application last week, development chief Diarmaid Ward: “The majority of the members of the forum are from Tileyard Studios and it actually remains predominantly an industrial and warehousing area.

“At the moment there isn’t any representation from any of that kind of business that are in this area.”

Tileyard boss Nick Keynes told the Tribune: “It appears that Islington continues to fail to embrace localism as the vast majority of the creative businesses and individuals within the designated area supported the forum, but regardless of their decision we are not changing our course.”

The studios fell foul of council planning regulations last year, claiming creative industries were being “stifled” after its expansion bid failed to secure building consent.

A planning inspector was called in to rule on the scheme in York Way after Islington took several months considering the designs for new six to eight-storey blocks.

The Town Hall later said it would have rejected the proposals as they would have “created office space in one of Islington’s last, vital industrial areas”.

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