Thomas Bros Demolition


The unpopular plan to develop the former Thomas Brothers into a four-storey residential block with retail outlets on the ground floor (P2014/3815/FUL) was turned down by Islington Council on Tuesday, according to the Islington Gazette.


...Meanwhile, a new fact has come to light. The Land Registry reveals that the new owners paid £6m for the site, even knowing that they could only build four storeys high. Checking the ‘sold’ prices for new flats in the area, even ignoring any cost for demolition and rebuild, and selling at the top of the range, the owners seem set for a loss of as much as £3m. That is very puzzling. (from BAF)
There is a second application to demolish the Thomas Bros building and rebuild as low quality, private housing.
The application is contrary to a raft of Islington policies including on housing quality, preserving the historic environment, and standard of design. However, as there have been some changes compared to the previous version, the case officer says she is minded to recommend approval of the current scheme.
In fact, the alterations are not major - a solid wall overlooking neighbours rather than a balcony (currently they can see sky), a slight reduction to the roof on the new fourth storey, and some minor changes to designs for balconies. The flats are dual aspect, but still include bedrooms over the heavily polluted Holloway Road.

The shop below would still be smaller, and because the new scheme can’t be bothered to step up the building with the slope of the land, would still feature a corner with a squashed frontage, hardly likely to attract much interest from new businesses.
To add insult to injury, despite the 50% affordable housing policy, the applicants only want to pay a small fee to Islington towards affordable housing elsewhere.
An Alternative

There is an alternative application for the site, retaining the shop, and above that using the existing building for blind mixed tenure housing with disabled access and all bedrooms and air circulation at the rear of the property. This would be less damaging for neighbours, more attractive, more sustainable, and offer better quality accommodation. All of this is possible because this alternative scheme has been produced by a qualified and experienced architect. The demolition scheme has not.

The alternative scheme is only just being submitted so your support would be very helpful, writing to planning@islington.gov.uk quoting planning reference P2014/3815/FUL.
It would also be useful to copy local councillors asking them to reject the demolition scheme and support the proposal to re-use the building. Their addresses are janet.burgess@islington.gov.uk, Kaya.ComerSchwartz@islington.gov.uk, Timothy.Nicholls@islington.gov.uk; david.poyser@blueyonder.co.uk; michelline.ngongo@islington.gov.uk and marian.spall@islington.gov.uk. (BAF)


26/6/14 P2014/2101/FUL Comments Until 17/7/14

Demolition of existing buildings and redevelopment of the site to provide a four storey mixed use building comprising 345 m2 A1 retail floors pace at ground floor and no.9 (C3) residential units at first second and third floors (4x 1 beds, 4x 2 beds, 1x 3 bed), with associated amenity space and cycle storage.

Withdrawn 5/8/2014