Holborn Studios

Holborn Studios faces demolition (Photo: Ian Shacklock)

Holborn Studios won a High Court victory today as a judge ruled Hackney Council unlawfully approved plans to demolish most of their building and replace it with luxury flats.

Judge John Howell QC ruled that the council’s decision last July to grant planning permission to developer Galliard Homes was unlawful for its failure to consult the public.

He also said that the tenants of the Hoxton-based photography studio weren’t given a “fair opportunity” to present their case.

The ruling halts plans that would have built 50 canalside apartments and forced the photography studio to move into a basement.

Billy McCartney, managing director of Holborn Studios, said that the court ruling feels like ‘a turning point’ in their battle with Galliard Homes, which has been going since 2014.

The campaign to save Holborn Studios, dubbed the ‘Abbey Road’ of photography, received support from local residents and celebrities including Ant and Dec, Gordon Ramsey and Fearne Cotton.

Galliard Homes have submitted a new version of the development, which Holborn Studios plans to fight.

McCartney says 300 objections have already been sent to the council since a Twitter appeal yesterday.

Hackney Council has been approached for comment.

UPDATE: A Hackney Council spokesperson said: “The planning application for the redevelopment of Holborn Studios was given a resolution for approval at planning committee as it satisfied all policies in the Council’s Development Plan. The judicial review was upheld on procedural grounds and we accept the ruling.”

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