THE owners of the old EMI factories in Hayes are one step closer to starting their multi-million pound revamp, after their first set of plans for the site were approved.

Developer Purplexed – comprising joint investors Cathedral Group and Development Securities – was granted planning permission for the Gatefold Building at a planning meeting on Tuesday last week, subject to section 106 money being paid.

No petitions or objections were raised.

The block – rising to seven storeys at the end of Blyth Road, near to Station Road, Hayes – will contain 132 flats, landscaped gardens, shops, a community centre, and 107 parking spaces.

Richard Upton, Chief Executive of Cathedral Group, welcomed Hillingdown Council’s decision.

“The Gatefold Building marks an important step in the journey that will see the transformation of this site into an active, dynamic generator of jobs, homes and cultural facilities for the people of Hayes.

“We look forward to working closely with the council in the months ahead, as we prepare our masterplan application for the rest of the site.”

Purplexed has already spent £1million on on-site improvements, and the total cost of the project is estimated at £250m. The company will be announcing its intention for the rest of the 17-acre site – likely to be mixed use, with residential units and business space – during a public consultation at the end of March.

Purplexed will also give £40,000 to the council to cover the costs incurred in the delivery of the ‘complex masterplan’ involving massive job creation and housing, with the help of a dedicated planning officer experienced in large-scale urban design.

Formerly the London Gate Business Park, it is now known as The Old Vinyl Factory, and the individual buildings have also been renamed to reflect their historical use.

The Shipping Building, for instance, which holds offices available to let, used to be the final stop before the EMI records were shipped out.

A warehouse that is home to The Vinyl Factory, an altogether separate company which produces limited edition LPs using the old EMI vinyl pressing equipment, will be demolished. It is not yet known whether it will be given alternative premises on site, or have to move elsewhere.

Councillor Douglas Mills, Hillingdon’s cabinet member for improvement, partnerships and community safety, said: “This site will create an opportunity for jobs and bring the whole town centre back to life.

“It is good timing with the arrival of Crossrail and shows Hayes is going to be on the up in the next few years, and that this administration is determined to keep it that way, as opposed to anyone who would rather see it run down.”

l Is this music to your ears, or do you think it is overdevelopment? Email with your views.