Skip to content

Agenda item

The Alban Building Ro, 71-73 Upper Street, 1 St Alban's Place, London, N1 0NX


Two storey building with excavation below to provide a single storey basement level with rear lightwells to provide new commercial floor space (Class E) (following demolition of existing workshop building) Installation of plant equipment to rear lightwell.


(Planning application number: P2021/0302/FUL


In the discussion the following points were made:


  • The planning officer highlighted that an additional objection had been received and that material planning considerations raised had been addressed in the report.
  • The objectors raised concerns regarding a proposal for a three storey building on a constrained site; the proposed first floor would add bulk and height to a dense area of residential flats and would reduce neighbour’s outlook and increase a sense of enclosure; the size, scale and bulks impact on the character and appearance of a conservation area; comparing the site to previously refused applications considered more harmful did not mean this application was not harmful; the proposed first floor was 5 metres from the boundary of Upper Street Flats and the Council’s Policy required an 18 metre back to back distance between habitable windows; No active frontage was provided; neighbour’s amenity would be impacted; the underpinning required to create the basement being on land not owned by the applicant; they had provided a letter from a qualified daylight/sunlight consultant who found faults in the modelling and methodology of the submitted daylight/sunlight report, including inaccurate placements of windows and no calculations for the depth of rooms; that their expert had produced a contradictory view on daylight, sunlight and outlook that should be considered new information as the committee could not make a confident decision regarding the impact on neighbours; the use of a heavily serviced alleyway that also stored refuse would cause further congestion and was an inappropriate access, particularly for inclusivity and accessibility reasons;  no evidence was provided assessing the impact of the development on existing businesses; false statements and errors in the planning application; a failure to notify landowners and there had been no consultation with residents and business owners.
  • The applicant explained to the sub-committee that the proposals were to replace a dilapidated warehouse building in a highly accessible location in need of regeneration. They had engaged with officers and the local community which had led to a policy complaint scheme being presented to the sub-committee; the application delivered 422 square metres of new, high quality, energy efficient, and flexible office space that would contribute to the thriving Small Medium Enterprise (SME) economy within Islington; the principle of new employment floorspace, the overall design, particularly the elevational detailing and materiality had been considered acceptable by planning officers and the planning inspectorate; the scheme had been reduced in height by one story and the separation distance at the rear of the property had been increased; there was less development to the rear of the building in comparison to the existing pitched roof; the proposals improved the relationship between the site and the street; the existing outlook was improved; the daylight and sunlight assessment recognised a minor impact on existing daylight and sunlight levels and were compliant with the BRE Guidelines 2022; a green roof would improve the appearance of the site, reduce surface water run-off and improve biodiversity; the site was car free and delivered significant cycle parking; it would include a financial contribution to street, park and cycle facilities; there had been five applications on the site over the past ten years, which had included eight formal consultations and site visits with objectors; that no underpinning was required outside of the site’s area; the correct notices had been submitted to landowners; the development would enhance the rear of the alleyway to ensure a high quality scheme and improved environment; a number of reports including fire safety strategies and construction management plans had been prepared by experts and it had been demonstrated that the development could commence safely and without harm to adjacent properties; it would utilise renewable sources of energy including an air source heat pump and it would create natural surveillance.
  • A member asked the applicant to clarify whether the alleyway could be better policed. It was explained that windows along that elevation would help to improve natural surveillance.
  • A question regarding the impact on the land use by businesses along the street was raised. It was explained that the existing building had a right of way that could be used lawfully without any planning permissions and tracking drawings had been carried out to demonstrate that refuse vehicles could continue to use the site.
  • A member asked whether the objector’s daylight and sunlight report should be considered new evidence. The planning officer highlighted that the submissions had been considered by officers and also that the previous planning inspector’s decision did not bring up any issues with daylight and sunlight.
  • The Chair asked whether the land owners had been correctly notified. The legal officer stated that it was not the responsibility of the local authority to go into the details of landownership, but legislation required the applicant to submit that information and if the details were wrong there could be serious consequences. If an error was known the application should not be considered but it was reasonable to assume the information was correct.
  • A member asked what consideration had been given to access by disabled people along the alleyway. There would be an accessible cycle path, the building was wheelchair accessible, the only potential issue was a cobbled street that was outside of the plans.
  • A member asked about the requirement for 18 metres between residential properties raised by the applicant and whether the condition for obscured windows would apply  if one property was residential. It was explained that it was the case that the obscured windows were there to protect the privacy of residents.
  • A member asked for clarification on the existing use of the building. The planning officer advised that it was a business floor space, class E.  It had historically been used as a workshop, and although it was not currently being used it could be bought back into use.
  • In response to a member’s question as to whether the footprint of the existing building was comparable to the proposed building, the planning officer explained they were very similar.
  • A member acknowledged objectors’ concerns about the application having been through a number of previous iterations, but stated the sub-committee had to consider the application in front of them.
  • A member commented that the issues raised by the planning inspectorate such as residential units in a business area, the bulk and massing and, the outlook from adjoining buildings had been addressed.




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 set out in Appendix 1 of the original 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 original officer report.



Supporting documents: