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There's an old Tamil proverb about wanting your moustache and your soup that is a version of "you can't have your cake and eat it". But what if, sometimes, you can...

Last month we looked at alternative plans for the RCS site that did not include the CoLPAI tower, with all the issues this seems to be causing for the quality of the social housing and the impact on the Estate. Is it possible to achieve the same amount of school and housing accommodation on the site in a low to medium rise format that matches the surrounding housing?

Well this month we have looked at possible plans in more detail and it turns out that not only is it possible; you could achieve 15% more housing on the site. The key is to combine the school and housing which saves space. This layout would:

  • Be planning policy compliant
  • Be cheaper to build. (The tower is £3m over budget, largely because it is high-rise)
  • Achieve more and better quality Social Housing (76 flats instead of 66)
  • Provide the same area for the school with an integrated School Hall
  • Provide public open space
  • Avoid the fire safety compromises of a single-staircase tower

This is why the community at Golden Lane came together at the three packed public meetings over the summer to demand a better design for the extension to the estate. We met with Mark Field last week, our MP to express our utter frustration at the superficial consultation that took place. If there had been meaningful consultation from the start we would not be fighting this development now - we would be working together to create the extension that Golden Lane deserves.

And just to prove its possible, here is a spoon from the V&A that lets have your moustache and eat your soup.

Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Moustache_spoon_1904_VA_M18...

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Apparently City of London School for Girls are planning to open a Prep School at the Exhibition Halls opposite  the Banksy mural on Golden Lane to and to the Mix

Both Islington and City Corporation's planning officers are recommending approval - this is the link to the Islington agenda documents for 1 March - http://democracy.islington.gov.uk/documents/g3355/Public%20reports%....

The relevant section is 12 - as per attached file. 

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