Transport for London has now published the intended route for Crossrail 2 which will have a station at the Angel. The route has been changed to avoid having to demolish the Angel building itself and other listed buildings on Islington High Street. This is good news. The route is open for consultation until 8th January 2016. Details can be found here
Archives for November 2015
Readers will know that the Amwell Society has been campaigning for years for the creation of a Heritage Centre around the listed buildings on the undeveloped portion of the New River Head site. Although our Council has supported this aspiration through successive planning briefs, they inadvertently allowed the site to be sold to a developer, Turnhold (Islington) Ltd, who has come forward with various schemes for residential development. These would effectively put paid to any notion of a viable heritage facility.
The most recent proposals came up before the Planning Inspectorate at an appeal hearing in October 2015. Members of the Society spoke against the scheme. The Inspector also considered two alternative proposals:
1. A scheme from the Heritage of London Trust, which foresees mixed heritage and commercial use of the site, and which was granted planning permission earlier this year
2. A fully commercial option, providing studios and office space for small businesses and start-ups (there is a shortage of such units in Islington because so many have been converted to residential use).
The Inspector has now ruled against that part of the Turnhold scheme that was of greatest concern to us, namely the conversion of the Engine House to residential use. He considered that a fully commercial scheme would (a) be viable, and (b) do less harm to the listed assets and their setting.
What does all this mean? We have averted, at least for the time being, the most serious threat to the site, but does that bring our Heritage Centre any closer to realisation? That depends largely on what Turnhold do now. Will they come forward with a revised scheme which enjoys the support of the local community, abandon their plans and put the site up for sale, or hunker down and hope for a less rigorous planning regime in the future? Time will tell. In the meantime we will continue to liaise with the Islington Buildings Preservation Trust and other interested parties to try and secure the best possible outcome.