Community activists in Islington formed the EC1 Voices at a packed public meeting on 16th January. They are opposed to a plan by Islington Council, dominated by the Labour Party, to build a 20-storey tower block on the site of the Finsbury Leisure Centre and to decrease the size of the football pitches there by half.
This site is very well used by local people. In addition, they are concerned that the tower block will lose both light and privacy for neighbouring residents.
The tower block will deliver only 200 homes, and of those, just under 100 council flats. The rest of the homes will be private luxury flats. The football pitches will move from the ground to the roof of the block and will be 54% smaller. Local footballers are deeply concerned by this. A petition against the plan has already passed the 2,000 mark.
Many local people were in the dark that the plan for the Finsbury Leisure Centre included the twenty storey tower, and have reacted angrily, seeing the move as deceitful. There is little indication on online representation of the proposed plan of the size of the tower block.
Also in Islington, Lion Portfolio plan to demolish Castle and Fitzroy House, Bunhill, and replace it with a building four stories higher. Local residents heckled a meeting of Portfolio London with the local planning committee, and the decision to go ahead with the plan was deferred following concerns raised about light loss. One local resident told the planning committee that Portfolio London had behaved with “utter contempt” of what they had been asked to revise. He told planning chiefs: “Labour is supposed to care about the people, care about the environment. If you show you don’t care, why would we ever vote Labour again?”
Elsewhere in Islington, Derwent London are planning to replace the atrocious Inmarsat building at the Moorfields Eye Hospital site with an even more monstrous 36 storey tower block. Gain their website downplays the height of the building, and the impact it will have on local residents.
All over London, these huge skyscraper developments are ruining local neighbourhoods and robbing residents of light. In the pursuit of profit, planners and developers are riding roughshod over the well-being of local communities. EC1 Voices have shown that it’s time to time to fight back.
Photo from wikimedia commons.