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Yet another planning decision upheld by Appeal Inspector

March 31, 2010

The site is currently used for parking and motor repairs

Local councillors have received the backing of a planning inspector after the West Area planning committee refused to give permission for 100+ student “studio flats” in White Lion Street at the Angel.

This was a landmark decision to refuse a “mixed use” scheme at 65 -70 White Lion Street. It is the second time that a planning inspector has endorsed a refusal by West Area planning committee on this site. The application had originally been recommended for approval by the Council’s planning officers but Labour Councillors rejected their advice.

The appeal Inspector agreed with the Councillors that provision of student accommodation in Islington already greatly exceeds the Borough’s target contained in the London Plan. Because the site lies within the Angel Town Centre, the Inspector also accepted the argument that “provision of employment floorspace should take precedence over the provision of student accommodation.”

Paul Convery, chair of the planning committee said “we have convinced an Inspector that Islington is already providing much more student housing than almost any other Borough. And we particularly want to preserve the mix of commercial and residential uses in the Angel town centre. Local councillors believe this is a decisive victory over developers who want to build student housing because that’s where they think the greatest profits lie during the downturn in the property market. Local Councillors have beaten-back developers twice on this site. So, we now invite a developer to submit a scheme that is mainly affordable family-sized housing.

“This time, the Inspector was convinced by the arguments presented by the Borough and I commend the work of Islington’s legal team, planners and others in successfully arguing a defence of our decision.

“I believe it is the fifteenth significant case during our term of office where an Appeal Inspector has upheld decisions taken by the planning committee. In almost every one of these upheld cases, the committee’s lone Lib Dem Councillor was in the minority.”

Click here for a PDF of the Inspector’s decision notice

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