A 1970s leisure centre could be demolished to make way for new facilities and 200 homes, including a 20-storey tower block.

Islington Council has published new proposals for the Finsbury Leisure Centre site near Old Street station, and is expected to submit a planning application in the spring.

Under the plans, the 58-year-old centre would be torn down and replaced by new leisure facilities, including a six-court sports hall, rooftop five-a-side football pitches, squash courts and gym.

Around 100 council homes would be built, alongside a further 100 for sale to help pay for them.

Islington Gazette: The current leisure centre at the siteThe current leisure centre at the site (Image: Islington Council)

The smallest block, housing the leisure centre, would be six storeys high, while the largest block of flats could contain up to 20 floors.

The authority says that nearby families in need, and those with disabilities, would be prioritised during the allocation of homes.

The site would provide space for an NHS GP surgery, as well as more CCTV, street lighting and cycle paths.

A new café would also be built adjoining one of the blocks of flats in Paton Street.

Islington Gazette: Around 200 new homes could be builtAround 200 new homes could be built (Image: Islington Council)

The council says it has been engaging with the local community since 2017, and that the latest plans respond to feedback received on proposals released in summer 2022.

Deputy council leader Cllr Diarmaid Ward said: “Islington has a housing crisis and doing nothing is not an option.

“These proposals will create fantastic new council homes and help us achieve our vision of a more equal Islington, where everyone has a safe, decent and genuinely affordable place to call home and can enjoy a greener, healthier borough.  

“We’ve listened carefully to what people told us they wanted, including for leisure facilities to stay on-site, greener outdoor spaces and genuinely affordable homes for local people. 

“Now we’re keen to hear feedback on our more detailed plans, to make sure we get this right and make the most of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the area. I hope you’ll take part.” 

Islington Gazette: Five-a-side football pitches would be built on the roof of the centreFive-a-side football pitches would be built on the roof of the centre (Image: Islington Council)

Residents can give feedback online online until January 28, and the council is also holding three other events. These are:

  • Today (January 9), 12-5pm, at Finsbury Leisure Centre
  • Thursday (January 11), 6-7pm, online via Zoom – register for online event  
  • Saturday (January 13), 10am-2pm, St Luke’s Community Centre