Bunhill development “will block sunshine”
Older residents fear a potential development next door in Finsbury will leave them in total darkness.
People in Epworth House, Epworth Street, are unhappy with plans for a new two-storey building which includes ground floor office space, a restaurant and seven flats.
Tenants fear the proposal from developer Kyson, in nearby Scrutton Street, involving the rooftop extension and in-fill of an under-croft car park, will lead to late night noise and block sunshine in an outdoor courtyard.
Toby Thurgood, 52, who is confined to a wheelchair and lives there with his wife Rajam, said: “We are already in a concrete jungle because we are surrounded by so many buildings. The patio has become a tropical garden. It is an area where we can get occasional sun. But if this goes ahead it will block all sunlight every day of the year.”
Resident Eric Hamilton, 56, who has lived there for 18 months, said: “We will be left in more or less total darkness. Most of the residents are elderly and rely on the terrace patio for fresh air.”
Councillor Claudia Webbe, who represents Bunhill ward, said: “It will feel like they are living in a prison. Most residents are elderly or people caring for disabled so they have less of a voice.”
Epworth House has 19 flats with around 30 tenants, and is managed by Habinteg Housing Association which had no official objection to the proposal but said it had ensured tenants knew the objection process to follow.
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Scott Kyson, director of Kyson, said the car parking area had been identified by the local authority as an area that attracts vagrancy and that the development will tackle the issue. He also pointed out that a car-park roller shutter was proposed to secure the entrances to the residential accommodation and car-park on Epworth Street.
He said: “The roof top extension that provides new office and residential accommodation has been designed in accordance with the local authority’s pre-application advice, and in accordance with BRE daylight guidance when considering the affect on the residents of Epworth Street.
“The new courtyard roof will be covered with a ‘green roof’ that will improve the appearance and other environmental benefits.”