You are here: Agenda item

Agenda item

74-76 St John Street, Islington, London, EC1M 4DZ


Change of use of part ground floor, basement and lower basement from Use Class B8 (storage) to flexible commercial use within Use Classes A3, A4 and D2. Replacement of ground floor facade and entrance doors, and fenestration to enclose existing ramp.


(Planning application number: P2018/1580/FUL)


In the discussion the following points were made:

·       The Planning Officer advised that since the publication of the agenda, further correspondence had been received from objectors requesting amendments to conditions 2 and 8 if members were minded to grant planning permission.

·       Members were advised that the site lies within Clerkenwell Green Conservation Area and Central Activities Zone and 50m to the rear of the site is the listed Grade I Charterhouse building.

·       The Planning Officer advised the meeting that issues for consideration are acceptability of the loss of B8 Use, the acceptability of the introduced Use classes A3/A4/D2, the impact on the neighbouring amenity and the impact of the proposal design on conservation and heritage matters.

·       The Planning Officer advised members that most of the physical alterations would be to the entrance of the building as it will be replaced with a modern glazed element and officers have considered the application in context of its potential harm to the character or visual appearance of the host building, the surrounding conservation area, and the setting of the adjacent and adjoining statutorily listed buildings.

·       Members were advised that in this instance, the existing frontage to be altered, which is largely blank, does not make a positive contribution to the streetscene and its removal is considered to be acceptable in principle.


·       The Planning Officer reminded members of a similar application which was previously refused in 2017, which was subsequently upheld at appeal and the primary difference between the previous and the current application is that the previous application also included A1 retail within a flexible commercial use. Reasons for refusal given were unjustified loss of B8 floor space and impact of a potential loss of 5580sqm A1 unit outside the town centre.

·       With regards to the loss of existing B8 floor space, members were informed that the applicant had provided evidence to demonstrate that the site had been subject to active continuous marketing for a number of years, information which council officers have reviewed and are satisfied that it meets the objectives and requirements as outlined in Appendix 11 of the Development Management Policies 2013.

·       Members were advised that considering the proposal no longer includes an A1 retail element, it was not necessary for officers to carry out a sequential test to support the location of a significant amount of retail space in an out of Town Centre location. 


·       With regards to the proposed flexible A3/A4/D2 use, Planning officer reminded members that although the area around Farringdon has a significant concentration of late licensing premises, officers having carried out a land use survey of the ground floor units of the buildings fronting St John’s Street and neighbouring areas and have concluded that there is not an over-concentration of either A3 restaurant/café or A4 drinking establishments within this section of St John Street. Members were advised that the proposed use would complement the existing mix of uses within the vicinity, subject to appropriate management.

·       In terms of the previously refused application, officers informed members that although concerns were raised about how the previous proposal failed to demonstrate how its flexible use could be accommodated without impacting the amenity of the neighbouring residents, the planning inspector in his findings noted that amenity concerns could be addressed by imposing conditions. This is a material consideration with this proposal.

·       The objector informed the meeting that although she had no objections about the change of use of the basement levels in principle, the introduction of Use Classes A3, A4 and D2 has the potential to impact the amenity of neighbouring residents unless controls are put in place. The objector requested that if members were minded to grant planning permission, conditions 3 relating to hours of use be amended and was concerned that condition 8 regarding the scheme of management was too ambiguous and requested that a detailed noise assessment detailing the specific maximum level of noise from the gym use be submitted.

·       The objector was also concerned about the positioning of the extractor  especially as it would introduce new odour and noise considerations to the area. The objector requested that this issue should be thoroughly investigated or controlled by way of a planning condition.

·       The Objector had significant concerns with the A4 ‘ drinking establishment’  use being proposed especially as this could cover a wide range of use, requesting that planning permission if granted should exclude dance halls from A4 use.

·       In response to issues raised above, the agent advised of the difficulty in generating any interest in the original use despite the amount of marketing hence the recent proposal to change of use. Members were advised that at this stage concerns about extraction details could not be provided as it is not certain about future occupiers however a condition relating to extraction type has been included in the permission if granted which will address it.

·       With regards to concerns about the basement being used as dance halls, the Planning Officer advised that Dance halls is D2 use and not A4 use and any breach from its permitted use will be a matter of enforcement.

·       The Planning Officer advised members of a number of recommended conditions ; Condition 3 which restricts the hours of operation and Condition 5 restricting servicing and delivery to approved hours. In addition members were informed that condition 6 is in place to limit noise breaking from the future use and a management scheme required by Condition 8 is to be submitted and approved by officers. Details of the flue and the extraction system would also have to be submitted prior to any work commencing. 


·       In clarifying the hours of operation, the Planning Officer indicated that Condition 3 restricts the hours of use for any A3, A4 or D2 unit to


     Monday to Thursday 7am – 11pm


     Friday to Saturday 7am – midnight


    Sunday and Bank Holidays 8am – 10pm


·       In response to objectors request for planning conditions to be strengthened especially with regards to odour and flue/extraction concerns, the Planning Officer advised that in terms of noise it is covered in the report and any request to extend hours of operation will require applicant to apply for licensing hours.


·       Members acknowledged that although the scheme of management specifically addresses noise and vibration concerns, the wording of conditions 8 and 9 relating to the scheme of management and the flues/ extraction system be amended to read ‘prior to construction’ instead of ‘prior to first occupation’. Wording of the amended conditions was agreed.


·       During deliberations, Members acknowledged Committee being constrained by the previous appeal decision, insufficient information regarding future occupiers so as to address the extraction concerns, noting licensing hours will constrain activities in the premises and noting that the management scheme specifically addresses noise and vibration concerns.


Councillor Kay proposed a motion to grant Planning Permission. This was seconded by Councillor Klute and carried.




That following consideration of the case officer’s report (the assessment and recommendations therein), the presentation to Committee, submitted representations and objections provided verbally at this meeting, planning permission be granted subject to the conditions and informatives (including amended Conditions 8 and 9 ) set out in Appendix 1 of the officer report and subject to the prior completion of a Deed of Planning Obligation made under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 securing the heads of terms as set out in Appendix 1 of the officer report.


Supporting documents: