Charles Simmons House is the modern block of flats at the end of the Margery Street Estate which fronts onto Farringdon Road. It consists of 16 small flats and was built by the council to provide housing for single people and couples. Over the past decade the demand for larger accommodation for people with children has increased and the Council has pledged to build more family homes, particularly in the social rented sector. Consequently they have been looking at their own property to find scope for redevelopment. The South West end of the estate has been identified as an appropriate site.
There have been concerns that the foundations to the new block of flats which will sit on top of London Underground and Thameslink tunnels will not be strong enough. A number of surveys have been conducted which are near completion. Their findings will affect how the new development will be built, but the plans should not differ much from what has already been proposed. They are hoping that a planning application can be made in May and, that a start can be made on the site in September or October this year, depending on whether the flats held by leaseholders have been bought back.
Development plans October 2012
The intention is to demolish Charles Simmons House and the community hall and garages. These were added on to the original 1930s estate more recently and are completely different in design. In place of these buildings four houses will be constructed on Lloyd Baker Street, three with three bedrooms and one with four bedrooms. Flats will be built above the houses, but the height of these buildings will be slightly less than the existing blocks, and they will be designed to reflect the 1930s architecture. There will be eight new housing units in all on Lloyd Baker Street and these will be socially rented, ie council housing.
Charles Simmons House on Farringdon Road will be replaced by a new block of fourteen privately owned flats very modern in design in contrast to the older buildings. A new community centre will be situated on the ground floor of this block, as well as flat with wheelchair acess.
On 3rd October a meeting was held on the estate to enable the architects to discuss the new development with local residents. Some useful comments about the practicability of the design were made. No one objected to the overall concept. The developers had not put in a planning application at that point. Islington Council intend to use the redundant flats in Charles Simons House for short term placements to house people in temporary accommodation. These people would be carefully selected and would be seen weekly by housing officers to ensure that the placement was unproblematic. The Council estimated that demolition would start in the summer of next year.