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Islington Council: Act now to safeguard the operations of Union Chapel for future generations

This petition had 12,021 supporters

A major proposed new housing development (Islington Planning Ref P121277) situated at the back of Union Chapel threatens the operation of Union Chapel as an award-winning music venue, rehearsal space and homeless centre. If you like the work we do, please join us in our objection and add your name and personal comments to this online petition which we will present to Islington Council before the Planning Committee considers the application at a public meeting set for the evening of Monday 12th November in the Town Hall. Time is of the essence so we urge you to act now!

Although we are not opposed to the new housing as such – we understand the need to provide affordable housing - we are objecting  because the proposed development does not take into consideration or safeguard the existing operations of Union Chapel for the future. If a few key measures are not planned into the new development now, there is a significant risk that noise complaints from residential neighbours and traffic congestion could cause operations at Union Chapel to cease. We are also concerned about the impact of the proposed design.

We are asking the council/developers to integrate into the plans features such as sound proofing to Union Chapel and adequate loading bay provision at the back of Union Chapel so that we can continue to operate without disturbing our new residential neighbours.

Union Chapel is an established, well-loved community asset at the heart of Islington, drawing both local and wider audiences to the area, from many different communities. There are many reasons people visit Union Chapel, from attending a concert or using rehearsal facilities to coming to church or the Margins Project on Sunday. The Margins homeless Project provides a hot meal for 150 people every Sunday.

Union Chapel is a registered charity (Charity no. 1010166), whereby all profits from the commercial operations (mainly space hire for concerts and rehearsals) are donated back to the charitable aims of Union Chapel: to restore the Grade I Listed building making it accessible to the widest possible community, and to provide a centre for those in crisis in Islington and the wider London area.

It should be noted that the proposed scheme is opposed by all the local conservation and amenity groups, the art gallery and the local school. All of us are concerned about the height of the proposed development at six storeys. In fact the Council’s own original briefing suggested a height of three or four storeys. The development site is adjacent to two Conservation Areas. It deserves a design that recognises the value of the Chapel for all the activities it does, and its outstanding architectural importance in the group of surrounding listed buildings.

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