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Builders can use canal barges not lorries

07 April, 2017

An artist’s impression of how Regent’s Wharf warehouses would look after roof extensions

• WHERE would we be without the conservationists of the Islington Society and Islington History and Archaeology Society?

Probably in a sterile environment riddled with contemporary architecture and devoid of any tangible connection with our industrial heritage.

Their views were summed up quite nicely in your article about the Regent’s Wharf
plans (Conservationists oppose ‘destruction’ of historic warehouses’ character, March 31).

Your images have revealed that the hideous roof extensions would be clumsy and offensive to the eye and that’s why there was an overwhelming agreement at our recent public meeting to oppose this design.

However, a less obvious reason for challenging the plans was that the developers have stubbornly refused to use the canal properly during construction. They would happily bombard our narrow streets with unwanted HGVs instead of allowing materials and waste to purr along the waterway.

This has stemmed from an ill-advised consultancy report, written from afar, claiming that the canal is too shallow and narrow to be used for barges. Clearly, the report’s authors had no idea that neighbouring King’s Place was constructed in exemplary fashion using waterways, not roads, for transport.

There is a lot to be said for relying on local knowledge instead of outsourcing to remote commentators.

Thankfully, Councillor Paul Convery has recognised that this is a perverse attitude. After all, developers should be bending over backwards to demonstrate that they are giving something back to the canal rather than merely exploiting it. And what better way to do that than to use it for the purpose it was originally designed for?

Chair, Friends of Regent’s Canal 


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