The final residential phase of U+I’s masterplan at The Old Vinyl Factory has received unanimous approval at Hillingdon Council’s first-ever virtual planning committee.

One Vinyl Square is being developed by Joseph Homes and represents one of the final pieces of the puzzle in the transformation of the Hayes town centre site, which was formerly EMI’s global manufacturing HQ.

In addition to delivering 134 much-needed homes, the proposals include 4,252 sq ft of commercial space, 238 cycle spaces, 67 car parking spaces and associated landscaping, adding a final significant element to the delivery of The Old Vinyl Factory’s diverse and prosperous mixed-use community.

The new homes will consist of a mix of studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments and three-bedroom maisonettes, including those for private sale, shared ownership and affordable rent.

One Vinyl Square sits immediately to the west of the largest public space at The Old Vinyl Factory, Vinyl Square, which serves as the main arrival space. It will combine high-quality planting, play space and a strong narrative relating to the musical history of the site, including the 6m sculpture of Nipper the Dog, the emblem of HMV, the globally famous brand that was born at The Old Vinyl Factory. The associated landscaping will also be inspired by and feature references to Alan Blumlein, a senior sound engineer and world-renowned inventor at EMI’s Central Research Laboratories, credited with inventing stereo.

The planning permission represents a significant step forward for the masterplan, which was designed by Studio Egret West and extends across 17 acres near Hayes town centre and Crossrail station. U+I acquired the site in 2011 to build a new mixed-use community in collaboration with several housebuilders and partners.

Originally built in 1907 for EMI’s global manufacturing headquarters, where groundbreaking records by The Beatles and Pink Floyd were pressed, The Old Vinyl Factory has been reimagined as a mix of restored Art Deco office buildings, new homes, innovation and educational hubs, shops, cafés, restaurants and a climbing centre.

The Gramophone, a cinema run by Really Local Group, will feature a permanent, historic EMI exhibition and a community space and is set to open next year, along with Plus X, the second in a national network of innovation hubs. The Plus X model is based on the Central Research Laboratory, which U+I established at The Old Vinyl Factory to support manufacturing entrepreneurs and start-ups. By 2023, all remaining homes will be complete along with a range of restaurants, cafés and shops.

Richard Upton, Chief Development Officer at U+I, commented:

“One Vinyl Square will serve as a centrepiece and landmark building for U+I’s Old Vinyl Factory masterplan, as we step closer to realising our ambitions of revitalising Hayes town centre. The scheme has completely rejuvenated a previously underutilised yet culturally significant site while delivering hundreds of much-need new homes and jobs for the Hayes community.

“That the project was approved unanimously at Hillingdon Council’s first-ever virtual planning committee is testament to the fantastic work and vision of Joseph Homes and the design team.”

Craig Carson, Development Director at Joseph Homes, added:

“It is great to see planning authorities like Hillingdon working with SME developers during these challenging times. We are proud that One Vinyl Square received unanimous approval during Hillingdon Council’s inaugural virtual planning committee.

“We would also like to thank our consultant team, including JTP Architects and Lichfields, who worked with us to ensure this development embodies our Live Well principles throughout. It has also been a pleasure working in close collaboration with U+I’s development team and we look forward to being an integral part of The Old Vinyl Factory story and help landmark the main civic space for the masterplan.”

The phased transformation of The Old Vinyl Factory site has been ongoing since 2012, with the remaining buildings representing the final steps of the masterplan:

  • Powerhouse – Plus X innovation hub and café, due to complete in 2021
  • Machine Store – 81 homes, restaurants, retail and medical centre, due to complete in 2021
  • Assembly Buildings – 181 homes, restaurants and retail, due to complete in 2022
  • One Vinyl Square – 134 homes, restaurants and retail, due to complete in 2023

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