Skip to content

Agenda item

137-139 Essex Road, Islington, London, N1 2NR


Demolition and replacement of front and rear facades (including roofing) and additions to the roof, to include a one-storey extension fronting Essex Road, and two-storey extension fronting Astey's Row (with glass box above) to accommodate 5x (1 no. 1-bedroom unit [2 person] x 2no. 2-bedroom units [3 person] x 1no. 2-bedroom units [4 person] x 1no. 3-bedroom [5 person unit) residential units; refurbishment of existing ground and first floor and creation of part basement level Class B1 office space (166sqm) and retention of ground floor (100sqm) Class A1 retail unit fronting Essex Road.


(Planning application number: P2018/4159/FUL)


In the discussion the following points were made:

·         The Planning Officer informed Members that the location plan, first floor and the basement plan be included in the list of plans in condition 2 on page 52 to be approved if permission is granted.

·         Members were advised that the application site is not listed and not within a Conservation Area. The proposal will result in 5 residential units, refurbishment of existing ground and first floor and creation of basement level Class B1 office space and retention of ground floor Class A1 retail unit.

·         The Planning Officer acknowledged that the proposed extensions to the Essex Road frontage will result in a front façade height of 15.1m, while the extension to the Astey’s Row Frontage would result in an overall height of 13.8m. In addition, the proposal will include an excavation to create 109sqm of basement office/storage space

·         The Planning Officer acknowledged that although views looking south will be interrupted, the general outlook towards Astey’s Garden will still be retained. With regards to daylight and sunlight loss, the meeting was informed that assessment had been carried out and although there were some breaches, it is considered acceptable and in line with BRE guidelines.

·         In response to the applicant’s commitment to reduce Co2 emission by 19%, the Planning Officer informed members that the scheme is a significant revision and not a total demolition especially as some of the floors will remain. Members were reminded that considering this scheme is a mixed use development, different standards and requirements about C02 emissions requirements.

·         On the question of whether the committee could take into consideration the Council’s emerging policy on carbon emission which is more stringent, members were advised that presently this is not a material consideration until it has been approved.

·         In response to concerns that the proposal will result in the loss of retail space, contrary to Policy DM4.5 of the Development Management Policies, members were advised that officers have taken the view that this would not harm the retail function of the Town Centre due to the fact that the majority of the ‘lost’ retail space is located towards the rear of the site (Astey’s Row is not a retail frontage), and a retail presence is still being maintained on Essex Road which is the key frontage. The proposal would have very little impact on the retail character of the street or the wider town centre.

·         Members heard evidence from an objector. She was concerned with the erection of a high wall which is overbearing and blocks out her view. She also highlighted the loss of both sunlight and daylight and the lack of consultation following the subsequent revision to the scheme by the applicant.

·         The objector indicated that although in principle she was not against the scheme but recommended the removal of the top floor at Astey’s road and had concerns of how the hours of use of the terrace would be monitored.

·         In response to the objections raised above, the agent informed the meeting that this scheme was an opportunity to bring back into use a derelict and abandoned building and importantly being able to provide a mixed use scheme comprising high quality retail space, office space and residential development.

·         With regard to the loss of sunlight and daylight, the consultant reminded members that BRE assessment are guidelines and not the minimal expected, with an expectation that it should be applied in a flexible manner. Meeting was informed that the amendment to the scheme had taken into consideration the objectors concerns.

·         On the question of any possible alterations to the scheme which would mitigate the impact of the scheme in particular to the top flat on the north west corner top floor, the consultant reiterated that the amendments to the scheme had taken into consideration objectors concerns having had a meeting with them.

·         During deliberation members noted objections from the Canonbury Society and amplified at the meeting by the objector; the sunlight and daylight loss although some flexibility could be applied in this instance. The Chair also noted committee’s concern about the sense of enclosure experienced by neighbouring residents and the loss of retail space.

·         In response to Members suggestion about mitigating the impact of the scheme on the amenity of neighbouring residents, the applicant requested for the item to be deferred for further discussions with both the objector and planning officers.


Councillor Graham proposed a motion to Defer the item to enable the applicants to work further on some of the key concerns including the retail frontage and quantum issues, sustainability credentials of the proposal, sunlight/daylight impacts and to address the potential adverse impact of the top floor of the proposal on the adjoining neighbours roof terrace and habitable windows in relation to increased enclosure levels, loss of outlook and dominance .This was seconded by Councillor Clarke and carried.





That consideration of the application be deferred for the reasons outlined above.


Supporting documents: