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Agenda item

158-160 Pentoville Road N19LJ



Demolition of the existing building and erection of a part 4, part 5 storey building, with single basement level, comprising 487 sqm of office use (Class E(g)(i) ) at the ground and basement levels and 9 residential units on the upper levels

(Planning application number: P2022/0547/FUL)

Councillor Wayne was not involved in the consideration of this item as he left after item B4.

In the discussion the following points were made:

·       The presenting officer provided a committee update to the members with specific regard to an additional consultation response submitted after the publication of the committee report and some proposed changes to the planning conditions. 

·       Following publication of the committee report, a consultation response was received from the Islington Swift Group welcoming the inclusion of a green roof and a request for this to be a biodiverse roof as they identify that the development is in an area where swifts are currently nesting and potentially nest.  The Islington Swift Group also requested a significant number of swift nest box bricks be installed near roof level. 

·       Officers have taken this consultation response into consideration, noting that condition 16 requires that details of the green roof are submitted to and approved in writing by the LPA.  This will ensure that a biodiverse roof is used in accordance with the Islington Biodiversity Action Plan.  Condition 26 is to be added requiring details of bird and bat boxes/bricks are submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. 

·       Other updates have been made including the triggers of conditions 4 and 8 to make trigger prior to commencement with exception of demolition works.

·       Condition 14 has been updated requiring that the obscure glazing strategy is agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority. 

·       Condition 2 has been updated to reflect the submission of revised Proposed Section AA and West Elevation.

·       Meeting was informed that condition 27 is proposed to retain office use on site.  This is to safeguard the vitality and viability of the Central Activities Zone.

·       The development site had been occupied by a homeless charity called Rhythms of Life which used the site to store contributed food before distribution, however they were served with a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order in October 2021 which prohibited the site from being used to store food with the result that the Rhythms of Life charity vacated the site. 

  • Meeting was informed that Officers support the loss of social infrastructure in place of CAZ appropriate office floorspace as the accessibility and standard of provision of social infrastructure on the site is poor.
  • It was noted that the existing structures are not appropriate for a social infrastructure use and that the former training use does not represent a flexible use.
  • Site lies within the Central Activities Zone, which prioritises office floorspace and that when application (P2019/2290/FUL) was presented to the meeting on April 2020, Committee resolved to approve the loss of social infrastructure at this site to be replaced by office floorspace. 
  • Policy DM5.1 supports the delivery of a mix of office and residential uses within the Central Activities Zone.  
  • Members were advised that the proposed 9 residential units will make a positive contribution to borough housing stock and this use is appropriate within a strong residential context. 
  • Therefore, a mixed-use office and residential scheme is supported
  • The Planning Officer acknowledged that the proposal, by reason of the number of units being delivered, is minor development and in light of the small site size and limit in terms of height that can be delivered and the required delivery of Central Activities Zone appropriate office space – 9 is the maximum number of units deliverable
  • A housing contribution of £450k has been secured via S106.
  • In terms of design and appearance, the meeting was advised that the proposal had benefitted from prior to submission engagement with design and planning officers.  Design officers had reviewed the submitted proposal and had  no objections.  The proposal will be delivering an additional storey to the front part of site compared to previous committee approval for the redevelopment of the site in 2020
  • It was noted that the height is considered appropriate in design terms, especially with the adjoining 5 storey height at No. 156 Pentonville Road which maintains the same height across the full depth of its plot. 
  • Advice from design officer states that the proposal represents a successful insertion of additional height and mass in this location.
  • Members were also advised of the transition down to four storeys, which is considered to be an appropriate transition between the 5 storey built form of adjoining property, No. 156 Pentonville Road, and the adjacent 2 storeys of the Cumming Street terrace
  • High quality materials such as London Stock brick, stone cladding, profiled terracotta spandrels and powder coated aluminium framed glazing will be used, and this is in keeping with the character of the area and is supported by the Council’s design officer. It was noted that a condition requiring samples of these materials to be approved by the LPA has been attached.   
  • In terms of the impact of the scheme on listed buildings, the Planning Officer advised that the separation distance of the site from the locally listed building and the appropriate scale, height, quality of design and materiality of the development, would not detrimentally harm the significance of this locally listed heritage asset.
  • The proposed ground floor will also be occupied by office floorspace and there will be two accesses off Pentonville Road, one for the office space and one for the residential units. 
  • The four residential floors will accommodate 9 units, comprising of 4 x 1 beds, 4 x 2 beds and 1 x 3 bed unit and as the 2 bed units are the size of the highest identified need for market housing, this is considered to represent a good mix of units. 
  • The Planning Officer acknowledged that in terms of the scheme’s impact on neighbouring amenity, the proposal does present additional massing, that it was important to note its context , noting the under-developed nature of the existing site which consists of a single storey building in a part of Pentonville Road which in general is characterised by buildings of up to five storeys.The proposed height/massing is comparative with the built form of Pentonville Road
  • Members were informed that both the front and rear elevations of the proposed building are in line with the front elevations of Pentonville Road and Cumming Street properties which maintains outlook to properties with windows on these elevations. 
  • The proposal does have a lightwell which provides some relief as the building is set back from the western boundary to accommodate this lightwell and that the fifth floor is confined to the front part of building which presents a more sympathetic relationship to the lower built form of Cumming Street
  • The Planning Officer reiterated that the balconies on the rear elevation have been designed to maintain privacy to the properties of Lambras House. 
  • Conditions have been attached securing obscure glazing to windows on the side elevation and restricting use of the roof space to maintain privacy to neighbouring properties to the west of the site. 
  • In comparison to social infrastructure, office and residential uses are considered to be more sympathetic to an area largely consisting of residential uses. 
  • The proposal was accompanied by a daylight and sunlight assessment which assesses the impact of proposal against British Research Establishment Guidelines.
  • The Planning Officer acknowledged that assessment identifies that there are VSC/NSL transgressions to 162, 164C Pentonville Road and 3 Cumming Street.  The level of transgression and number of windows effected is limited and therefore this impact is not unacceptable.
  • The Daylight and Sunlight assessment confirms that no neighbouring windows would fail the BRE guidance criteria for sunlight, however it does identify notable overshadowing transgressions on gardens of 3 and 5 Cumming Street which will have a negative impact
  • Members were advised that it is important, to note that the extent of the loss of sunlight to these gardens is so marked due to the existing significant level of overshadowing they receive from buildings of up to 4-5 storeys on Pentonville Road and that due consideration must be given to the dense, urban character of the local surroundings and for the fact that the existing site is significantly under-developed, and delivering a form and height of building which is comparable with the built form of adjoining Pentonville Road properties will lead to impacts to the gardens of 3 and 5 Cumming Street.
  • Members were advised that on balance, while the impact of the proposal on overshadowing levels to these two gardens is acknowledged to be harmful and a notable negative of the proposal, this does not outweigh the benefits of effectively redeveloping this underdeveloped site to provide much needed additional office space within the CAZ and 9 residential units.

Councillor North proposed a motion to grant planning permission. This was seconded by Councillor Poyser and carried.




That following consideration of the case officer’s report (the assessment and recommendations therein), the presentation to Committee, planning permission be granted subject to the conditions and informatives 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.


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