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Site of former Richard Cloudesley School

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Despite major opposition from the local community and huge concerns about the harm caused to the neighbourhood, planning permission has been granted to the City of London and Islington Borough Council for the development of a 14-storey tower block, 2-storey sports hall and a two-form entry primary school on the site currently occupied by Richard  Cloudesley School.

GLERA argued for a deferral so that a better more considered scheme could be developed, one that would deliver better quality housing for our future neighbours and complement rather than damage an area of international architectural interest.


It has been recognised by both Islington and City of London planning committees that the scheme causes significant harm. On the basis of a resident vote at the last Public Meeting  on Tuesday 10 April, a resident lead group, Fans of Golden Lane (Friends, Admirers, Neighbours and Supporters) are seeking legal opinion to ascertain whether the City and Islington have properly and accurately considered this harm in deciding in favour of the perceived benefits of the scheme. 


The application was also noted to be short on conditions which would have a significant bearing on day to day interaction with the development, such as restrictions on out of hours use of playground and the needless destruction of the established trees bordering the COLPAI site and the estate allotments.

Sign the WE NEED OUR TREES petition

Read press for both campaigns here

GLERA is working hard to get the appropriate conditions put in place. See documents below:

GLERA Proposed Conditions

Prior Weston Consent (conditions as reference)

If you have anything to add or would like to comment please contact rcs.glera@gmail.com

Planning Committee:

Islington Council held their Planning Committee meeting on Thursday 1 March with all Councillors present supporting the proposals. Click on links to read Islington Committee Report, Islington Committee Minutes and Islington Committee Update Note.

City of London held their Planning and Transportation and Planning Committee on Monday 26 March. Read committee report here.

Residents of Golden Lane and the local community were represented by Anne Corbett and Clem Cecil, both of Basterfield House. Read their presentations here.

Councillors Mark Bostock, Graeme Harrower and Chris Hill voted against the proposals. Golden Lane Estate resident, Councillor Susan Pearson, argued vigorously on behalf of a deferral but was unable to cast a vote as she was deemed to have a pecuniary interest as leaseholder of a flat adjacent to the site. The other twenty Councillors present voted for the proposal with one abstention.

Read article in City Matters - quotes from residents below:

"What I'm particularly disappointed about is that somehow the system has managed to set residents against parents. Our concerns don't meet and it's unfortunate we've been set against each other because, ultimately, we don't want an argument with the parents and we need a good relationship with the school and at the moment that's quite difficult." Anne Corbett 

"I think it's incredible hypocrisy that the City is washing their hands of this because it's their application and their school. The fact they can just (try to) defer to Islingon because, conveniently, Islington has already ruled on this matter means that we, the residents, feel between two stool." Clem Cecil 

Get links to other press articles on the Media / Press Coverage page.

GLERA's six main objections to the proposals:

  • 55 Flats on Golden Lane Estate will loose more light than BRE guidelines
  • The playground will grossly excced noise limits
  • The layout blocks key views
  • Public open space will be reduced and there will be a loss of biodiversity
  • The new development will overlook residential homes
  • The design has a poor relationship to the listed estate

GLERA is supporting alternative low-rise proposals for the site that include the same area for the school and include more social housing in an integrated scheme that does not breach planning policy. Click here.

For more information:

Click here for useful documents and reports outlining the impact the scheme is likely to have on Golden Lane Estate residents, along with responses made by GLERA on behalf of Golden Lane Estate residents.

The Golden Lane Estate RCS Facebook site provides comment on the application and summaries of recent discussions, the opengoldenlane blog covers many of the most important issues.

Updates can be found in the forum where you can also add your own comments.

Also see GLE resident Fred Scott's alternative proposal here.


Monday 26 March: City of London Planning and Transportation Committee meet and planning approval granted.

Read CoL Committee Report

Thursday 1 March: Islington Planning Committee meet and planning approval granted.

Read Islington Planning Meeting Agenda Documents

Read Islington Council Planning Committee meeting minutes and report.

Click here for an account of the meeting by GLE resident, Charles Humphries.

Wednesday 31 January: Notice given that revised drawings have been submitted. It would appear that the proposed changes are mainly on the ground floor but the tank for the sprinkler system will now be in a new basement under the 12-storey tower with the boiler room and other plant. This means the MUGA will be bigger but still no on-site play space for resident children. 
The electricity sub-station and bin storage will remain on the g/floor but there will be affordable work spaces, large enough to accommodate 18 workers but with only 2 additional cycle spaces.
The other change is that the lifts have been moved to the front of the 12-storey tower and the single staircase to the rear. The staircase also seems much narrower.

On Monday 29 January a last minute move by the City to delegate the planning decision solely to Islington Council was rejected. The City will continue to have a say on the scheme, much to the relieve of the many Golden Lane Estate residents who are most affected by the development although there are concerns about a potential conflict of interest for three members of the City of London Planning Committee. For more info read the recent article in City Matters or editorial by Paul Lincoln

On Monday 11 December our local MP, Mark Field, visited Golden Lane Estate. He was taken on a walkabout by Tim Godsmark, GLERA Chair and a small group of residents - Anne Corbett, Charles Humphries and Emma Matthews.

Read the subsequent correspondence here.

City of London Planning Department
The Department of the Built Environment
City of London
PO Box 270
London EC2P 2EJ

London Borough of Islington Planning Department
London Borough of Islington
222 Upper St
London N1 1XR

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