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Agenda item

23 Goswell Road, London, EC1M 7AJ


Full Planning application for the change of use of the existing building to Use Class E (Commercial, Business and Service); associated external refurbishment works and installation of plant equipment and a sedum roof.

(Planning application number: P2022/4189/FUL)


In the discussion the following points were made:


  • Meeting was advised of a number of updates to conditions in the published report, as follows: that the title of condition 11 (delivery and servicing plan) be updated; that condition 12 (use of roof terraces) revert to no roof terraces to be provided; conditions 13 (cycle parking) and 17 (refuse and recycling) contain an update and revision to plan number reference; condition 27 (ventilation) to be updated to refer to new document provided to Council and condition 30 (PV panels) is a new condition to require details of PV panels following commitment to provide these.

·       Members were advised of a change of Head of Terms, that an accessible transport contribution of £18,000 has being proposed.

·       The Planning Officer advised that the key planning considerations include the background and history; its design and appearance; land use and energy and sustainability.

·       Meeting was reminded that application was granted planning permission on 2 November 2021, and that there have been a number of revisions to the consented scheme which includes a, change of use from vacant educational use to office; a modified site allocation which seeks use of vacant property for office; no extensions to building; that scheme proposes a formation of biosolar roof with no rooftop terrace being proposed.

·       In addition to the above changes, there will be an upgrade of existing elevations to spandrels, panels and fenestration; there will be a defined end user; provision of affordable workspace of which 3.5% peppercorn rent for 30 years; formation of glazed active frontage to two elevations to illuminate space; Co2 reductions of 90 % plus use of PV and ASHP.

·       On the façade treatments, the Planning Officer advised that existing bricks will be cleaned and repointed, that the scheme will have new dark grey window frames; also pressed metal panels to the vertical elements and new concrete effect panel with channel detail in centre. Also the scheme will have a new ground front entrance with a proposed photomontage and sesame lift to the Goswell entrance.

·       Meeting was advised that scheme lies within the Central Activities Zone (‘CAZ’); Bunhill & Clerkenwell Key Area (Core Strategy) and Employment Priority Area (Office) so the proposed use fits well and is policy compliant.

·       On the issue of affordable Workspace, the Officer advised that 91sqm dedicated AWS at ground with active frontage, kitchen, WC, disabled toilet and accessible shower and importantly as a compromise officers have been able to secure a 30 year duration with peppercorn rent.

·       In terms of neighbouring amenity, Planning officer advised that there is no increase to building envelope, that as there is no roof terraces proposed, there is no overlooking and loss of privacy concerns. Also in terms of noise and disturbance from the proposed plant, meeting was informed that that plant and equipment mitigation proposed have been considered and acceptable by Environmental Health officers. Also in terms of daylight and sunlight concerns, there is no impact arising due to no change in the building envelope.

·       With regard to impact of the scheme on Highways and Servicing, officer reiterated that it is a car free proposal so no issue will arise as existing parking spaces have been removed (as per previous application) and no new parking provided on site. Also pedestrians access to the building has been made possible from three locations including a sesame lift to the front entrance from Goswell Road with widened pavement to the rear of the site, noting the illuminated undercroft.

·       On cycle storage, meeting was informed that there will be 33 long stay and 5 short stay cycle parking spaces provided including spaces for accessible cycles, mobility scooters, showers and lockers.

·       Also that delivery and servicing will be achieved through the established and existing on-street loading bays in the vicinity of Goswell Road and Glasshouse Yard, in line with the sites existing servicing arrangements.

·       The Planning Officer highlighted the scheme energy proposal noted in the report and incudes a reduction in an energy &  sustainability of 79.2% in Regulated Emissions against a Part L2B 2021; that there will be a carbon offsetting payment of £40,784; that the scheme will achieve BREEAM excellent; that a draft green performance plan will be secured by S106; 0% to landfill ; that future proofing secured to a District Heating Network (DHN) , provision of PV panels and bio solar roof etc.

·       The Planning Officer stated that in terms of planning balance the benefits which would arise from the scheme, the uplift in priority use (office) within the CAZ, B&C key area and EPA; the secured affordable workspace; the defined occupier in employment use, the retention of the building and no demolition; the scheme’s improved energy and sustainability credentials; improved accessibility and its enhanced entrance and elevations at ground floor level outweigh the adverse impact of the development which in terms of the upgraded external façade is of lesser quality compared to previous consent

·       In response to a question on the use of grey water, the Planning Officer advised that condition 8 has been included to address this. Councillor Clarke proposed a motion for the applicant to explore it further. This was seconded by the Councillor North.

·       On whether the size of the affordable work space will be suitable for end users, the Planning Officer advised that this was an issue with the previous scheme, that following negotiations with applicant, the 91sqm is policy compliant, that this provision was discussed with the Council’s Inclusive Economy Team who have stated that it will be effectively utilised.

·       In response to concerns that the cycle parking standards has not been met and that it has not been satisfactorily demonstrated that this cannot be met, The Planning Officer advised that a condition is recommended to secure further details of the cycle parking to ensure a policy compliant level is provided, that there is further opportunity to include a condition cycle storage if required.

·       The applicant reiterated the benefits of the scheme, welcoming the opportunity to provide office space which is of high demand so is policy compliant and that majority of the space will be let.

·       On the provision of a standby generator, the applicant informed the meeting that it will be used as a standby just in case of power failure with the fire fighting lift.

·       The Chair welcomed the revised scheme as more or less similar to the one approved 2 years earlier, moving a motion that condition 19 regarding permitted rights be amended to ensure that the consented floorspace shall be used for office and no other purpose. Councillor Clarke seconded the motion. 

·       Chair also proposed a motion that the condition regarding the generator be more specific to be used during times of emergency. Councillor Clarke seconded the motion. The exact wording to be delegated to the Planning Officer and the Chair. 

·       Councillor moved a motion for the applicant to explore the possibility of using grey water in the building. This was seconded by Councillor North. The exact wording to be delegated to the Planning Officer and the Chair. 


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




That following consideration of the case officer’s report (the assessment and recommendations therein), the presentation to Committee, submitted representations 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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