Artist’s impression of the new office space with a mezzanine. Image: Trehearne Architects

One of the few Grade I-listed buildings in Hackney is getting a new lease of life.

Saint Michael and All Angels Church is Shoreditch is one of just six buildings with the top heritage listing in the borough.

The deconsecrated church has been empty for over a year and recently served as an antiques store and showroom. It ceased serving as a church in the 1960s.

It is close to the Grade II-listed former church school and clergy house.

Mark Street Depository Limited aims to open up the space and put in a mezzanine layer and lift in the Victorian church designed by James Brooks.

More office space will also be built on a yard in nearby Leonard Street in the Shoreditch Conservation area.

Tim Gaskell from independent consultancy firm CMA Planning said the church was “undervalued and a lot of people haven’t been in there”.

He said the plans mean it will be “opened up and appreciated”.

It will also be open to the public for four days a year as part of the management conditions.

The planning committee were reassured that the building work would not compromise the church’s listed status.

However, officers said the mezzanine was “harmful” but could be removed in the future.

They said the church was designed to sit alongside other buildings and the new office block would mirror 19th-century warehouses nearby.

The scheme was approved by Hackney’s planning committee (28 July). Cllr Steve Race voted against it, and Cllr Clare Joseph abstained.

Update: this article was amended at 14:48 on 30 July 2021. It originally stated that the scheme was unanimously approved. In fact, Cllr Steve Race voted against it, and Cllr Clare Joseph abstained.

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