38 Upper Clapton Road: Change of use from office use (Use Class B1) to retail use (Use Class A1)

Planning application to turn what has long been an unused office area next to the main tram shed building into a shop. http://idox.hackney.gov.uk/WAM/showCaseFile.do?action=show&appType=Planning&appNumber=2012/1658 The plans show ample seating areas around a main service area suggesting it would be some kind of restaurant. However the developer has only applied for A1 category use which limits it to cold food I believe. That may just be sloppiness on his part (if you look how the planning application was filled out you’ll see how slapdash it is). Certainly the late opening on the application is suggestive of a restaurant/ bar rather than a sandwich shop. I went past last night and work has already started with exterior lights up and rendering done around the windows.”


  1. Walked past what was clearly the opening party for this place tonight. It was heaving inside and the girl with clipboard on the door told me its going to open up as a gallery and coffee shop. It does look like a very good space, and I cant help thinking with those late opening hours that they must at some point apply for a license. All good, by the looks of it.

  2. The Depot – An old tram shed renovated into a new creative hub, at 38 Upper Clapton Road, Hackney. The Depot was originally built as a tram depot over two hundred years ago. Since then it has been used as a clothing factory, a children’s TV robot laboratory and a recording studio – graced by artists such as Pete Doherty, Iron Maiden, Dire Straits and The Police. Following extensive renovations, we are proud to announce the re-opening of The Depot, which will house a central gallery, artist studios, event space and café. Architectural and creative development consultants SUSD acquired the Upper Clapton road site in 2005 but were not able to secure finance to redevelop the building. Young creatives Tilley Harris and Suzannah Pettigrew approached SUSD with a proposal to refurbish the empty building and give life to the space, in turn adding significant value to the property. SUSD agreed, and Tilley and Suzannah set about transforming the almost derelict building. In October 2012 The Depot will fully open its doors as a creative hub, and will also be home to the latest venture from local businessman Stephan Crepe, owner of Creperie du Monde, a popular and critically acclaimed creperie in Homerton. He has transformed the front of the building into ‘The Tram Depot Cafe’. The collaboration between commercial business SUSD and young creatives Tilley and Suzannah has proved to be an interesting one. At a time where businesses may be risk averse, SUSD have fully supported the project, staying true to their ethos of forging links between architectural development and the local community. The Voist collective starts a new chapter today (Thursday 27 September) with the opening of our new home at The Depot. http://thedepotstudios.co.uk/about/ http://www.voist.co.uk/news/voist-at-the-depot-2 https://twitter.com/thedepotclapton

  3. Thanks for that. Its somewhat ironic that after all the brouhaha concerning the trams sheds, part of it will after all be an artists space, and all without a penny of lottery money in sight. Its clearly not going to be there forever, but in a time when lack of financing of preventing a lot of projects from getting off the ground and leaving spaces empty, this sort of creative solution is good to see.

  4. Saw that article, it wasn’t clear if this was a temporary use of the building or not, will check this place out at the weekend.

  5. Well the owners of the building, SUSD, have had it for a number of years and got planning permission in 2008 http://www.susd.co.uk/developments/upper-clapton-road/ That then lapsed and they applied for an extension of the permission but were refused. It seems they didnt have the cash to carry out the job anyway so it would have lain idle in all probability. At least this way the space gets used and noticed; they get a bit of rent and must be hoping someone spots it and offers to take the project off of their hands.”

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