Tall towers in City Road

Tall towers on City Road

We’ve been watching the towers in City Road grow ever higher and we thought we’d investigate. At the end of May we visited the NLA exhibition in Store Street on the changes happening to London’s skyline and in June we made a detailed exploration of the sites on City Road.  Here’s what we found:
Seven towers are in the course of construction, four in Islington and three in Hackney and they’re very tall
Lexicon – Islington
261 City Road 36 storeys residential under construction (200 private, 107 affordable in separate block)
Canaletto – Islington
257 City Road 31 storeys residential under construction (190 private ,some affordable in separate block)
250 City Road – Islington
9 blocks of which 2 principal towers 42 and 36 storeys are proposed: the scheme has been called in by Boris Johnson but seems likely to proceed (995 residential units of which 298 affordable and 190 hotel rooms)
Eagle House – Hackney
161 City Road 26 storeys residential under construction (270 units with  affordable housing in a separate adjacent 7 storey building fronting City Road)
Montcalm Signature Tower-Hackney
151 City Road 24 storeys hotel and commercial under construction
Crown House – Hackney
145 City Road 39 storeys residential and retail approved (309 residential units with affordable housing to be provided off site)
This totals 2071 units not including much of the affordable housing which is to be located off site.
Underground parking can be purchased at a number of these towers but we were assured that residents parking in Islington and Hackney was not available.

The details from the exhibition can be seen on the NLA website: http://www.newlondonarchitecture.org/exhibition.php?id=593

Smithfield market plan rejected

Smithfield Market: office development rejected

Eric Pickles the Communities Secretary has accused the City of London Corporation of deliberate neglect” over the  current condition of Smithfield Market and rejected John McAslan & Partners £160m proposal to fill Smithfield Market with shops and offices following the recommendation of the Inspector .The  developer is Henderson Global.

In a resounding rejection Pickles said the proposals would have ” an extremely harmful effect on the historic buildings which runs entirely counter to national and policy objectives intended to protect such assets from harm”. Whilst not listed,the buildings involved in the Smithfield scheme were “heritage assets which contribute strongly to the distinctive character of the Smithfield Conservation Area”.

The Corporation was singled out for strong criticism ” the deteriorated state of the buildings is at least in part the result of the history of deliberate neglect”.

However the future of these buildings is still uncertain:  Henderson Global are retaining   the site and it remains to be seen whether they will do a deal with Eric Reynolds who put forward proposals to turn Smithfield into a Spitalfields-style market.

Alec Forshaw, Islington’s former Conservation Officer, was an expert witness at the Public Enquiry  :  his cogent Independent Appraisal on behalf of SAVE Britain’s Heritage   to the Enquiry  had a significant influence on the Inspector’s decision.  Read Alec Forshaw’s appraisal      


Towpath closure

You might have seen that the stretch of the towpath that runs from Colebrooke Row to the bridge in Danbury St, on the Vincent Terrace side, has been closed.

This stretch of the canal inspired Walter Sickert to paint “The Hanging Gardens of Islington.” It is a quiet part of the canal, not used by cyclists, but in recent years it has been neglected and now requires maintenance work.

The path and wooded embankment is owned by the Canal and River Trust and it was the Trust that took the decision to close the path.This area of the towpath is leased to the council by the Canal and River Trust, but the lease has expired.

Islington Council has commissioned a survey of the likely costs of repairs. The survey findings will be taken into account when a decision is taken on the terms of a new lease. The Angel Association understands that the council plans within the next couple of weeks to consider the costs of the work. The Association has stressed to the council the importance of this part of the canal. Read our letter to council HERE

We said: “This stretch of the Canal is cherished by local residents and must be kept open.

·         There are four benches on the Vincent Terrace pathway where people sit to enjoy the peace and beauty of this part of the canal. The brick wall running the length of the canal is also well used by residents and local office workers alike as a place to sit and watch the world go by.

·        It is not a cycle way and because of the steps cannot be used as an easy thoroughfare so the pace is slower and more relaxed. Dog walkers can walk their dogs in peace and quiet.

·        In recent years it has been badly neglected. Rubbish piles up amongst the daffodils and the trees are in a sorry state.”

A large number of residents have also written to the council pointing out the amenity value of the canal footpath. If you would like to make your views known, please let us know using the contact email for the secretary or write direct to the parks and open spaces department at Islington Council.

Prior approval for building in Arlington Avenue

Islington Council has rejected the application for a ceritificate of Lawfulness from the developers who want to convert an empty building behind 21-45 Arlington Avenue into flats.  Prior approval had been given under the new offices-to-residential planning rules to convert the building into nine flats – five with two bedrooms and four studio flats. The building is owned by  Barry Clutterbuck, who bought the building in 1987 from the Church Commissioners. The conversion cannot now go ahead as the application for a Certificate of Lawfulness has been rejected. The owner had been asked for evidence that the building had been used for offices for at least 10 years. The developer has a right to appeal the decision.

Planning Application P2013/5101/PRA; P2013/4988/COLP

Bernard Fishel retires from Committee

Bernard Fishel, who has just retired from the committee of the Angel Association, has lived in Islington since 1981 (and was born here!). He has been a very active member of the committee of the Association since 1999 and has taken a particular interest in planning issues, as the planning guidelines for the Conservation Area around the Angel have developed over the years. Bernard has also had a close involvement with the development of the Angel Town Centre. To mark his retirement from the Committee, Bernard and his wife Margaret attended a dinner in his honour at the Charles Lamb pub; and Bernard has been made an Honorary Life Member of the Association, as a mark of gratitude from his many friends in the Association, for all his hard work on behalf of the residents of St Peter’s ward.

January 2013