‘Warehouse district’ residents fight vPPR-designed redevelopment

Developer Majorlink has submitted plans to demolish the Omega Works complex, a 1930s former piano factory near Finsbury Park, currently home to more than 100 artists, musicians and makers.

Nearly 6,000 people have signed a petition against the new scheme, and local MP David Lammy has expressed ‘deep concern’ that the development could put residents’ livelihoods and homes at risk.

The plans for the plot, known as Omega Works A, will see the existing two-storey warehouse buildings replaced by new blocks up to eight storeys high and will provide 36 flats for private sale and 67 new ‘warehouse living’ units, each with its own dedicated workspace area.

Existing tenants will get priority for one of the new warehouse living units, but residents say the new rents will be set too high and risk displacement of its diverse and creative community.

According to a management plan submitted by Majorlink, the new warehouse units will be let for £1,000 a month, which is lower than average for the area but far higher than Omega Works’ existing rents of £500-700 a month.

There are also concerns there will not be enough units to accommodate all the existing tenants in the new scheme, with just 67 units made available under the scheme for more than 100 residents.

Caitlin Strongarm, a resident and member of the Save the Warehouses campaign, said: ‘We have an amazing community here. If we lose this, it’s more than just our homes. It’s everything.

‘We rely on spaces like this. Our residents are almost all creatives; we run our businesses from here; make art, host events. If we have to leave in the middle of the cost-of-living crisis we will lose our incomes, as well as our homes.’

It is understood the group is also opposed to proposals by Dhaus for the neighbouring Omega Works B, which was submitted for planning recently.

As well as live-work spaces, Omega Works is also home to Snap Recording Studios, a leading independent recording studio which has been operating in the building for over a decade.

Snap Recording studios manager and resident engineer Marco Pasquariello said: ‘The loss of Omega Works would be devastating for us. We can’t afford to take time out while the new development is being built and we most likely wouldn’t be able to afford to move back into whatever they rebuild.’

In a letter expressing concern over the scheme, Lammy said: ‘It is crucial to recognise that the Omega Works Warehouse has provided a space for local artists, creatives, and small businesses to thrive.

‘These spaces contribute to the vibrant cultural ecosystem of Haringey, fostering innovation and artistic expression. Displacing these individuals and organisations without offering suitable alternatives would not only be detrimental to their livelihoods but also diminish the rich cultural fabric of our borough.’

According to a vPPR spokesperson, the scheme’s design will translating the character of the existing warehouses into new typologies. The warehouse living units have split sections with flexible layouts and a raw material palette, while the residential units interlock with double-height living rooms opening onto balconies facing the communal courtyard.

The new development will retain some of the ‘key historic features’ of Omega Works’ façade on Hermitage Road, while the three entrances will have artworks that take inspiration from the history of the area.

The new buildings will also have a series of imprinted terrazzo walls, made from demolition waste and other construction materials, that serve as new interpretations of old structures.

Jessica Reynolds, director at vPPR Architects said: ‘Omega Works is home to a creative community that has emerged organically over time, occupying an ad hoc group of dilapidated warehouses, forming part of the wider Haringey Warehouse District.

‘Our proposal seeks to formalise the existing use types by analysing and translating them into a robust contextual design that future-proofs existing and new communities on the site.’

Omega Works is part of the Haringey Warehouse District, a group of buildings near Green Lanes that have been historically used as furniture, sweet and textile factories, before gradually being converted into live/work warehouses.

The value of the warehouse district has been recognised by Haringey Council through its Haringey Warehouse District and Warehouse Living Policy DM39, which promotes ways in which these industrial spaces can continue to support creativity by providing new forms of communal living and working.

However, a spokesperson for Majorlink’s planning consultant Collective said the current ‘unregulated properties’ were not health and safety-compliant, posed a ‘major fire risk’ and ‘were not fit for purpose for the long term’.

The consultant said the team had engaged ‘more than the requirement’ with the existing residents on the site, held a public consultation, invited residents for a ‘one-to-one consultation’ and that the council hosted a workshop before the application was lodged.

The spokesperson added: ‘The existing community has been at the heart of the design team. The proposed scheme has been designed around this to facilitate the community with the best product possible.

‘But to make it viable a project like [this] needs to be funded via regular residential units, too, which is part of the proposal here.

‘We are our also proposing to hold a register of current tenants that may have interest to re-occupy the new units and will have first right of refusal again all this is written in our management plan available online.’

A decision date is not yet known.

Project team

Client Majorlink
Architect vPPR Architects
Planning consultant Collective Planning
Structural engineer Eckersley O’Callaghan
Services engineer Consolux
Microclimate consultant Love Design Studio
Ecologist Phlorum
Arboricultural report Indigo Surveys
Fire engineer BB Seven
Transport consultant Markides Associates
Daylight, sunlight, right of light conultant Herrington Consulting
Acoustic consultant Acoustic Consultants
Landscape designer Turkington Martin

 ground floor plan



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