Barnsbury Square: the fight goes on

We’ve heard today that Islington Council is challenging the decision of the Planning Inspectorate over the glass house in Barnsbury Square.
Councillors rejected the application last year; the developers then appealed against this decision and it went to a planning inquiry which found in the developer’s favour. The Council has now decided to seek a judicial review of this decision in the High Court.

This is a case I’ve followed with interest since my days as a Barnsbury councillor & I’m delighted that the Council is championing the cause of Barnsbury residents on this.

In general the Planning Inspector has the last word. And it’s not feasible to challenge every Inspectorate decision in the courts, not least because of the public money the Council would be spending on largely doomed causes.

But Barnsbury Square is special, as a place and as a case. It’s the heart of historic Barnsbury, the centre of the conservation area; if you can’t protect the conservation area here, you can’t protect it anywhere. And it’s a case where the council is taking a stand on community benefit.

Most developments, whatever their merits as a building, bring some community benefit; Islington has seen new parks, health centres, school extensions and pioneering green buildings, as well as thousands of units of affordable housing, as a result of robust demands on developers large and small.

This development offers no affordable housing and isn’t even car-free – so not even a minimal attempt to ease the pressures facing our borough. Enough is enough: I hope – although it’s against the odds – that the High Court challenge wins through.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] 8:24 am · Filed under Campaigns It’s not good news. The Council has not been successful in its action challenging the Planning Inspectorate, and the High Court has ruled in support of the Inspector’s decision to grant planning […]

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