You are here: Agenda item

Agenda item

34 York Way ( Jahn Court) 34B York Way (The Hub), Albion Yard and Ironworks Yard, Regent Quarter, Kings Cross, London N1 - Full Planning Application


Refurbishment of existing building; 5 storey partial infill extension to eastern elevation, single storey extension to northern elevation and two storey roof extension with roof terrace to provide additional Office floorspace (Class E(g)(i)); reconfiguration and alterations of front and rear entrances to the western and eastern elevations; provision of one flexible Retail (Class E(a)), Café Restaurant (Class E(b)), Fitness (Class E(d)) and Office (Class E (g)(i) unit at ground floor level; provision of cycle store and associated facilities at basement level and plant at basement and roof level with green roofs and other associated works. Listed Building Consent application: P2021/2360/LBC also submitted.

(Planning application number: P2021/2270/FUL)

Councillors Klute, Jackson, Ibrahim, Clarke, Convery, Poyser and North were involved in the consideration of this item. Councillors Hayes and Hamadache did not take part in its consideration.


Item was taken in conjunction with item B2 which is seeking listed building consent.


In the discussion the following points were made:

·       The Planning Officer advised Committee that since the report was published 2 further representations were received by Council requesting an additional condition and questioning the Design and Access Statement and illustrations that had been submitted with the application. With regards to the additional condition, members were advised that were planning permission to be granted the plan will be formalised so as protect the amenity of neighbouring residential occupiers.

·       Item was deferred from the committee meeting of 22 February to address concerns that the building is a floor too high, noting that its removal would give it a better proportion and secondly that a reduction in both its massing and height would result in the improvement of its daylight and sunlight impact.

·       In addition the Planning Officer reminded the meeting that committee requested applicants to consider improving the affordable workspace offer and more importantly to increase the 10 years lease and for the activation on York way frontage to be increased.

·       The Planning Officer advised that the revised proposal had resulted in the building massing being reduced, that the floors have now been set back and that the floor uplift has been reduced by 153sqm, which has resulted in a significant improvement in daylight and sunlight impacts.

·       Members were advised that following amendments to both applications, the affordable workspace will now be provided separately for each application and to be located on-site within each application scheme, noting that should both schemes be approved, cumulatively, the total floorspace to be provided separately across each application amounts to 448.7sqm which when taken together would result in an uplift of (15%) in the total provision of affordable workspace from the previous scheme of 388sqm.

·       Meeting was informed that in response to residents request there is a proposal to remove the proposed flattening of the cobbles east -west in Albion Yard.

·       With regard to reductions in impacts to daylight, the Planning Officer advised that the reduction in mass to the fourth storey has led to betterments with the reductions to daylight and sunlight to neighbouring properties.

·       In comparison to the scheme presented to the Committee on 22 February 2022 when a total of 278 windows and 149 rooms to neighbouring properties were now assessed, 42 (15.1%) of the windows and 12 (8.1%) of the rooms would see reductions beyond the BRE guidance criteria (when using the VSC criteria for the windows and the daylight distribution (the NSL test) criteria for the rooms) and that following the latest amendments to the scheme, the revised Daylight, Sunlight and Overshadowing Assessment confirms that of the same windows and rooms tested, now only 27 (9.7%) of the windows and 7 (4.7%) of the rooms would see reductions beyond the BRE guidance criteria (when using the VSC criteria for the windows and the daylight distribution (the NSL test) criteria for the rooms).

·       Noting the above, the meeting was advised that although a number of windows and rooms would see a betterment to the reductions to neighbouring properties, transgressions are still reported to neighbouring properties at the Ironworks, the Copperworks, Albion Buildings, Albion Walk and Balfe Street.

·       On the issue of impacts to Sunlight, the Planning Officer reiterated that with the scheme presented to the 22 February 2022, 214 windows were assessed, of which 201 (93.9%) are BRE guidance compliant and only 13 (6.1%) neighbouring windows would have seen transgressions beyond the BRE guidelines.

·       In response to the question about the affordable workspace offer, the Planning Officer noted that in the case of the current application, the workspace is to be located on the ground floor of the Jahn Court building, that the area will be 241sqm which represents 10.7% of the uplift in office floorspace. In addition, the Planning Officer advised that the space will be open plan and is proposed to be fitted out to a Category A standard and that the lease length of the proposed affordable workspace offer has been increased from 10 years to 20 years on a peppercorn rent. 

·       On the request to further enhance the active frontage along York Way, members were advised that this will involve providing new door openings and awnings to this elevation, which will provide greater prominence to this frontage and interface with York Way. The changes include lowering of the window cills and the introduction of glazed doors and retail canopies, and tables and chairs on the street. 

·       An objector was concerned that none of the reasons for deferral had been addressed, that the revised scheme was simply tinkering at the edges, that the scheme is predominantly commercial focussed and not resident centered, that a reduction of 1.3m was not sufficient to address issues of sunlight and daylight loss to residents. The objector requested that the committee refuse planning permission as the scheme lacked imagination.

·       Another objector was concerned that despite resident’s approaching the developers in good faith, all their concerns had not been addressed, for example the cycle storage remains a security risk and all anti-social related activities had not been resolved. Objector questioned why Islington Policies and London Plan were being disregarded by developers for example the Tall Buildings Policy has been given little weight and that local residents are designed out of the scheme and that for local residents there still remains that sense of enclosure feeling and should be refused.

·       Another Albion Yard resident queried the few concessions from the developer such as the increase in affordable workspace and tenure, noting that the setbacks were not actually setbacks, that the proposed reductions in heights would not address the overlooking issues as it is clearly a design issue. Objector noted that the buildings are still visible, reminding committee that the rear of Jahn court is being extended in an area close to the nearby grade 2 listed building. Resident stated that the scheme fails to meet both Council’s greening and carbon emission targets. Another concern was the loss of 65 cycle spaces and its replacement with only 10, that in general the scheme has too many harms and few benefits so should be refused.

·       Another objector queried the design of the scheme stating that the applicant has not sufficiently demonstrated the scheme’s positive impact on local residents, businesses and visitors, requesting that if committee were minded to grant planning permission, conditions attached should extend beyond addressing concerns during construction activities but after occupation and long term impact on the amenity of residents. 

·       An objector from Impact Hub indicated that although he was not against the redevelopment in principle, he requested that the proposed affordable workspace be switched back to 34B York Way because its loss from the Hub would have an impact on the good work and job opportunities being provided at present.

·       Councillor Hyde on behalf of her constituents although welcoming attempts by the applicant to improve the scheme was still concerned that the scheme is still too big, noting especially how the developers have related with the residents requesting that the scheme be deferred.

·       In response, the agent advised that since the item was deferred, the team worked with officers to address issues raised by Committee, noting that the scheme is now lower in height and massing, that it is a sustainable development providing space for SME’s and noting that the scheme secures a CIL contribution of £1.3m via s106.

·       The agent informed the meeting that the revised scheme has resulted in a significant height reduction, noting that the overall height of the proposed development has been reduced by 1.3 metres, that the massing of the proposed roof extensions has been reduced at various levels for example the fourth floor extension has been recessed by 2.8 metres from the northern elevation;  the fifth floor east infill extension is to be recessed by 1.5 metres from the eastern elevation; the fifth floor gallery and plant level is to be recessed by 3.7 metres from the north and recessed by 1.1m to the east; and the upper roof plant level recessed by 3.4 metres to the north and recessed by 3 metres to the east, as well as reduced in height by 1.3 metres.

·       In addition to the above the agent reiterated that amendments have resulted in a proposed uplift in GIA, that the floorspace has been reduced from 2,404sqm to 2,251sqm which equates to a reduction of 153sqm of floorspace from the previous scheme and is not considered to be in onflict with the Council’s land use policies.

·       The agent acknowledged other issues highlighted by the Planning Officer with regard to affordable workspace provision within Jahn Court on the ground floor and the extended tenure from 10years to 20years, the removal of the flattening of the cobblestones in order to address accessibility concerns.

·       Members were reminded that that no objections were received from the Council’s Design and Conservation Officers and Historic England in terms of the height, design and massing.

·       With regard to the Estate management plan, the agent acknowledged resident concerns, welcoming the plan and its commitment to maintaining a high level of security on the estate and will employ security consultants and the provision of CCTV to deter criminal activities.

·       Councillor North proposed a motion to amend the wording of the estate management plan condition, that the frequency of meetings held with residents should be increased and this was seconded by Councillor Jackson.  It was also agreed that the initial wording of the estate Management plan should be worked up in conjunction with residents.

·       In response to overdevelopment concerns on the site, the agent reminded committee that the project has been an-on going exercise of over 2.5 years and had gone through a number of iterations and consultations by both the Design Review Panel and Historical England who have raised no objections.

·       On the issue of reduced cycle parking from 65 to 10 secure places, the agent advised that given that there was previously a lack of any formal consent or allocation for residential cycle parking, the provision of 10 dedicated cycle parking spaces for residents is considered to amount to an improvement on the existing situation and an overall benefit.

·       During Deliberation, the Chair noted that the massing concerns appear to have been resolved with the roof design being remodelled, noting the affordable workspace offer and in particular the extended lease to 20 years. He also welcomed the suggestion by applicants that if demand for cycle storage increases, applicants were willing to revisit the issue. The Chair proposed that the wording of the relevant condition be amended to state that a minimum of 10 spaces be provided. 

·       A member welcomed the revised scheme as a considerable improvement, that the benefits of the scheme outweigh the negative impact which was not the case when it was previously considered at the February meeting. Member requested that the estate management plan be amended to ensure that the same hours of use for the roof terraces be applied to the use of external spaces within the site.

·       A member requested a refusal on grounds of the site being overdeveloped and its over intensification, noting that this was not a derelict site which required further redevelopment. Member stated that this was more of an issue of site management rather than the nature of the building querying the need for office spaces when there were so many vacant office spaces in the area.

Councillor North proposed a motion to grant Planning Permission. This was seconded by Councillor Jackson 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 amended additional condition 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.



Supporting documents: