Johnson approves 995-home Islington scheme

London mayor Boris Johnson has approved plans for a residential-led mixed-use scheme including up to 995 homes, along with retail and employment space - despite an earlier rejection by the London Borough of Islington.

City Forum: artist's impression
City Forum: artist's impression

Developer Berkeley Homes' City Forum proposals would see the redevelopment of a 1.9 hectare industrial site off City Road with two tower blocks of 42 and 36 storeys and four lower-rise blocks, ranging in height from seven to nine storeys.

As well as the housing component, 30 per cent of which would be affordable, the full permission granted to the scheme includes 5,000 square metres of office space, the relocation of a 2,000 square metre data centre, 700 square metres of affordable workspace, and 4,200 square metres of space for retail, café, restaurant and health facilities.

Berkeley was also granted outline permission for a 190-room hotel as part of the scheme.

Islington Council rejected Berkeley’s proposals for the scheme in November last year, citing concerns over whether the development would maximise affordable housing levels, the loss of business space, and the proposed development's mix of housing.

Johnson called in the proposals the following month.

Recommending the scheme for approval this week, Greater London Authority planning officers said in a report that the scheme was a "high-quality development" that would aid the area’s regeneration and offer "more than the maximum reasonable amount" of affordable housing.

"The principle of a residential led mixed use redevelopment is strongly supported by both strategic and local planning policy," they said.

"In accordance with policies for the Central Activities Zone, this proposal will provide substantial benefits which will secure the regeneration of the area and in particular will bring forward a large development site with a mixed use scheme that includes office accommodation, affordable work space and with jobs also being generated by the retail and hotel space, thereby catering for a range of occupiers."

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