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Adjaye’s contentious Shoreditch office scheme set to win approval

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Hackney Council is set to approve David Adjaye’s controversial proposals for a Shoreditch office building despite long-running opposition from a local recording studio 

Adjaye Associates was appointed in 2015 to draw up plans for a three-storey extension of a warehouse building on Curtain Road, to create 4,784m² of office space.

But the scheme for Curtain Road Properties, located near Adjaye’s Rivington Place gallery, sparked a row with the founder of a recording studio and popular bar located in a complex immediately north of the site.

A petition launched by Strongroom Music Studios, which has been based out of an disused zip factory since 1984, gathered 5,976 signatures while 233 objections were lodged with the planning authority.

According to the studio, construction noise from the proposed 18 months of construction along the joining wall could put the recording studios out of business.

While Hackney councillors have yet to vote on the scheme, the borough’s planning officers have recommended the scheme for approval.

The planning officer’s report said a ‘re-consultation exercise’ had been run on the issue of construction noise and vibration and that its recommendation for a condition in the Demolition and Construction Management Plan (DCMP) would ensure there was not ‘unacceptable impact’ on Strongroom. 

It said: ‘It would not be the case that Strongroom would have to permanently cease operating in this location if the development is consented.

‘Rather, the onus would be put upon the applicant to find a means of constructing the development in such a way that they would not exceed the targets which they themselves have agreed are reasonable.’

The petition against the scheme argues that rising rents and ‘redevelopments of this kind’ are pushing creative industries out of Shoreditch, adding: ‘Strongroom has fought hard to push back against this trend of gentrification and strive to keep our studio and amenity spaces inviting and affordable for creative companies.’

Strongroom also argues that the extension of the building would put the pub’s popular sun-trap courtyard garden into the shade.

In the applicant’s response, submitted last year, it said using they could find ‘no record’ of any consent that permits the courtyard to be used as an outdoor seating area. 

‘It is considered that outdoor seating within the yard should not blight the redevelopment of the application site due to overshadowing concerns, given that it is an unauthorised use,’ it said.

Hackney’s planning committee will decide on the plans on Wednesday (6 March). 

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