Fury after massive Arsenal tower block in Holloway given go-ahead
10:45 12 October 2012
Arsenal’s controversial plans for a massive student tower block next to the Emirates Stadium have been approved on appeal.
The club’s property arm Ashburton Trading Ltd was granted permission to build the 25-storey tower in Hornsey Road, Holloway, by a planning inspector on Friday.
The decision has sparked fury among residents who opposed the scheme.
Henry Mance, 30, a journalist of nearby Benwell Road, said: “It’s an unbelievable decision. The inspector’s report talks about ‘quirky’ architecture, but doesn’t even mention the fact that residents have opposed the scheme.
“It’s as if the inspector thought he was judging a school art competition.”
Planning permission for the tower, which will stand 78 metres tall and house 450 student rooms, was refused by Islington Council last August, with officers branding it “inappropriate” and “detrimental” to the setting due to its appearance and excessive height, bulk and scale. More than 100 people had objected to the plans.
“It’s brash and metallic,” added Mr Mance, “but the real problem is the height. It’s completely at odds with the houses in the area.”
The council also blocked a second, 16-storey plan for the site earlier this year. Arsenal appealed both decisions, but only the larger building has been approved.
The planning inspector, John Braithwaite, argued that the tower is not inappropriate, as there are a number of large buildings near the site, including a 16 storey development in Queensland Road that is under construction.
Islington Council’s deputy leader Cllr Richard Greening, who represents Highbury West ward, said: “The building is just too large and a massive tower of student housing is not what we need –we need affordable housing for local people.”
A spokesman for Arsenal said: “We are aware of the planning inspector’s decision and are now considering our next steps.”