Search

Boris bypasses Islington Council with ‘outrageous’ Royal Mail call-in

PUBLISHED: 12:34 22 January 2014 | UPDATED: 13:37 22 January 2014

London Mayor Boris Johnson (Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA)

London Mayor Boris Johnson (Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA)

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Boris Johnson has bypassed the town hall by calling in plans to build nearly 700 homes at the Royal Mail’s Mount Pleasant site.

The Mayor of London made his ruling yesterday (January 21) after the newly-privatised company asked him to step in over the future of London’s largest building site – in Farringdon Road.

Campaigners against the project, which will provide only 12 per cent affordable housing, were outraged by the Mayor’s decision and 
Islington Council leader Cllr Richard Watts called the move “premature and unjustified” and executive member for housing and development Cllr James Murray branded Boris “outrageous”.

The Mayor’s office said the decision was made to speed up the process, but estimated Johnson would not be making a decision until the summer, while the plans were due to go before Camden and Islington councils in February and March respectively.

Cllr Watts said, “We are extremely disappointed to hear that the Mayor has decided to take away local decision making from local areas.

“There are no justifiable reasons for calling in the proposals and the decision is premature and unjustified.

“We are firmly committed to encouraging, enabling and supporting the proper development of the site but the current offer of just 12pc 
affordable housing is just not good enough.”

But Boris said that the homes were needed now. “London is growing at an unprecedented rate and it is vital that we get on with the important work of building thousands of new homes as quickly as we can,” he said.

“By taking over this application it should be possible to speed up the decision making process.

“My team will be working closely with the local authorities and Royal Mail without further delay.”

The Mount Pleasant Forum, a group that represents the communities living close to the site, issued a two-minute video pleading with the Mayor not to call the decision in.

They say the fact that the site is surrounded by five conservation areas and established communities means the Royal Mail’s plans for high-rise housing would be a “disaster”.

Edward Denison, speaking on behalf of the forum, said: “He’s going to pass it. This is a strategic plan from the Royal Mail, and to add insult to injury, it has reduced affordable housing from 20pc to 12pc because it knew it won’t make a difference now.

“There is no way the Mayor would have called it in otherwise. Royal Mail knew the councils would’ve turned it down.”

The company made the request under Article 7 of the Town & Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2008, which states that the Mayor can step in on developments that “have a significant impact on the implementation of the spatial development strategy”.

A Royal Mail spokesman said: “The redevelopment will help regenerate the local neighbourhoods, creating new public spaces and offering up to 680 new homes, including affordable housing.

“It will also provide 1,250 new jobs in the wider economy if it gets the go-ahead.”

0 comments

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 13:01

A Finsbury pub has sacked off all meat and dairy to go 100 per cent vegan.

Yesterday, 10:08

A huge ceramic tile installation will grace the new City North development next to Finsbury Park station when it opens in early 2020.

Yesterday, 09:57

A BMW went up in flames this morning after a nearby gas cylinder was knocked over and caught fire in Offord Road, Barnsbury.

Mon, 17:25

If you supported Arsenal or had an N5 postcode in 1988, it’s almost certain you’ll remember the “Battle of Highbury”.

Mon, 12:52

A brave six-year-old girl foiled a kidnapper who tried to snatch her friends.

Mon, 12:11

The government has said maintenance work at Pentonville prison will continue as normal after contractor Carillion went into liquidation.

Mon, 10:09

An end is finally in sight after two years of closures on the Gospel Oak to Barking Overground line, which has reopened today for what commuters hope is the last time.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

PROMOTED CONTENT

“With teenagers there’s a lot of banter, and you can really establish a relationship. You have to trust teenagers to make their own decisions.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now