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Alexandra Palace redevelopment could be halted by BBC listing appeal

The redevelopment of north London landmark Alexandra Palace could be derailed because of a potential upgrading of the building's listed status.

Developer Firoka (Heythrop Park) has been picked to overhaul the structure, which became the headquarters and transmission centre of the BBC in 1936.

But the development plans could be short-lived if the BBC convinces English Heritage to upgrade the landmark's listed status from Grade II to Grade I.

The hotel group - which beat competition from Earl's Court and Olympia (EC&O) and the Business Design Centre - plans to turn the complex into a leisure destination, with hotels, restaurants, a cinema, a nightclub, a gym and markets.

A decision on whether Alexandra Palace should have its listed building status upgraded will be made within the next two weeks.

Firoka was unavailable for comment. However Lynne Featherstone, Liberal Democrat MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, said: 'Everyone, particularly the Haringey taxpayer, will be relieved to be no longer burdened with the cost of the palace.

'That said, the future of the palace now rests in the hands of the Firoka group for the next 125 years.

'I wish this new endeavour every success. However, this success still needs to incorporate the aspirations of local people and the preservation of the unique birthplace of television. I will be keeping a keen eye on progress as this takes shape.'

by Clive Walker

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