GLERA has been opposing plans from the City of London and Islington for the development of a sixty-six apartment tower block and a two-form entry primary school on the site currently occupied by Richard Cloudesley School. Thanks to the recent submission of a new planning application by the two local authorities, there is now a three-week opportunity to comment on the proposals and suggest alternatives. GLERA urges residents to support the alternative proposals.
The new deadline is Thursday 16 November.
My objections to the current proposals:
- The proposals are too dense for the available space. There is no green space and nowhere for children to play. An overcrowded site will not make for good homes, a successful school or a contented neighbourhood.
- The school which was originally planned to accommodate 80 pupils will now host 458. This is not only a huge number for this site but the City of London Academy which will run the school has completely failed to show that there is a demand for so many new school places. And if the demand does exist in the north of Islington, a large number of pupils will have to be driven to Golden Lane with devastating effect on an already congested and polluted environment.
- The school hall which is separate from the school is designed for adult sports and private hire. There will be smelly kitchens and noisy air conditioning plant adjacent to Basterfield House. This will not only create huge inconvenience for people living in Hatfield and Basterfield but will revive many of the problems of noise and overcrowding caused by the old community centre. It will also compete with the existing community centre currently being refurbished.
- The tower block will loom over the Estate and much of the neighbourhood blocking light and causing huge damage to the setting of the Estate.
- The noise from the school playground will echo across the Estate.
- The tower block will have a blank ground floor facade at street level bringing no life to this part of Golden Lane.
Nine key points:
- There are few more important issues than how to create decent homes for everyone. Golden Lane Estate is special for many reasons which are important not only for heritage experts but for those who need good quality public housing.
- Golden Lane Estate has been listed because it is architecturally distinguished and because the design makes such good use of open space. These proposals are not only in contravention of the local district plans but undermine the qualities of the Estate.
- Golden Lane has set important standards for housing design, public space and leisure amenities. This is a chance to learn from Golden Lane and create a new generation of good quality public housing.
- Good design is no more expensive than bad design.
- There is a great opportunity to complement the existing estate and create new housing that will become great homes.
- There is an opportunity to increase the public housing built from sixty-six to 102 homes.
- There is a desperate shortage of low cost housing in the City and Islington especially with the sale of Bernard Morgan House and the YMCA in Fann Street - this is an opportunity to redress the balance.
- Proposals for housing blocks of between five and seven floors would remove the need for a tower block but creating more homes and more green space.
- A shared green space adjacent to Basterfield House would bring the benefits of nature to existing as well as new communities.