A decision on plans for a nine-storey office block that could overshadow nearby disabled housing was dramatically delayed after a last-minute legal challenge.

Islington Council’s planning committee was set to discuss proposals to replace Fitzroy House and Castle House near Old Street station with a nine-storey building on Tuesday (July 18).

But the committee was told that a legal letter received on Friday (July 14) had highlighted issues under the Disability Discrimination Act in relation to the proposed scheme.

The Islington Gazette first reported last December that disabled residents in a block of flats close to the proposed construction site had objected to the plans.

One concern raised by tenants at 10 Epworth Street was the scale of the development, which would stand at 29m high and be just 10m from the block, amid fears that it would block daylight to their flats.

Another related to the impact noise and dust from the building works, which would see the demolition of two existing three and four-storey office blocks, would have on the residents’ health.

The development’s project director, Daniel Hall, later said that 10 Epworth Street would 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 on Tuesday, Islington councillor and planning committee chair Martin Klute said any impact on the protected characteristics of the disabled tenants at 10 Epworth Street still needed to be “properly explored”.

He told councillors: “I think officers and the committee all agree that this hasn’t been done and we do need to assess the impact of the development in relation to those protected characteristics."

He added that "this goes to the very heart of the application". 

The committee also raised “fairly significant concerns” about the lack of a whole life carbon assessment for the building as well as the amount of daylight affordable workspace in the scheme would receive.

Cllr Klute said that these issues could potentially impact the design of the development, which includes a double basement.

The scheme is now not set to be discussed until September at the earliest, when the next planning committee meeting is due to take place.