Disabled people living in a block of flats near Old Street station say they are still “terrified” by proposals to build a multi-storey office block across the street.

Residents at 10 Epworth Street objected strongly when plans were submitted to Islington Council to demolish two existing three and four-storey office blocks and rebuild them as a nine-storey building, including two floors below ground, last year.

In December last year, objectors told Islington Gazette that the construction site, which currently contains Fitzroy House and Castle House, would pose numerous problems for their various access needs.

One concern raised was the scale of the development, which would stand at 29m high and be just 10m from the block, which residents feared would block daylight to their flats.

Another related to the impact noise and dust from the building works would have on the residents’ health.

Developer Lion Portfolio submitted additional documents to the council earlier this year including their response to "feedback received from…external consultees on the planning application”.

Project manager Daniel Hall has said the block will now be added to the sensitive receptor list - the official list of buildings and people that might be at risk from noise and dust during construction work. 

But those living at 10 Epworth Street say that their concerns have still not been fully addressed.

A CGI mock up of the view of the new office block from their flats has caused further alarm.

Islington Gazette: The current view from the top of 10 Epworth StreetThe current view from the top of 10 Epworth Street (Image: AVR London)

Islington Gazette: A CGI image of the view from the top of 10 Epworth Street accounting for the new building's proposed dimensionsA CGI image of the view from the top of 10 Epworth Street accounting for the new building's proposed dimensions (Image: AVR London)

John, who is virtually deaf in both ears and suffers from anxiety and acute depression, said: “I am extremely worried looking at this awful picture taken directly outside my top floor flat, that the daylight is going to be almost completely bricked over by the developers.  

“Both the lack of light and lack of sleep will have a massive impact on my mental health.”

In the developer’s own daylight assessment, it says that just 12 of the 32 windows facing the new office block would satisfy current building guidelines.

But their report claims that given the specific urban context of the development, “the overall effect on daylight amenity to this property may be deemed acceptable”.

Tessa, who is wheelchair bound with MS and cerebral palsy, said that she was “terrified” about the impact years of building work would have for her access needs.

She claimed that it is already “hard enough to leave the block without [the construction]”.

She added that she would also like to see more support from the block’s housing association, Habinteg.

Daniel Hall, the development’s project director, said: “We welcome the thoughts of all local residents, which is why we sought their views as part of the consultation process and are happy to respond to them now.

“We will add 10 Epworth Street to the sensitive receptor list and will be focussing on minimising impact to the residents throughout the build process.

“We will be as open and transparent as possible with that process and will also monitor and co-operate with the contractors on the active construction site opposite 10 Epworth Street.”

A spokesperson for Habinteg housing association said: “We can confirm that we contacted Islington Council in early November 2022, and shared the concerns of our Epworth Street tenants about the planned office block.

“We also asked the council to meet with us and our tenants, and we will be following up with them.”