Campaigners fighting plans for new development in Finsbury say area is turning into Canary Wharf

Neighbours of Laser House at the junction of Goswell Road and Pear Tree Street. From left: Sonia Rai

Neighbours of Laser House at the junction of Goswell Road and Pear Tree Street. From left: Sonia Rai, Christophe Mignard, Simone Y, Howard Lichterman, Michael Ratcliffe, Catherine Boone, Peter Trubowitz and Shaokat Ali. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

The increasing number of tall buildings in Finsbury is turning it into Canary Wharf, according to campaigners fighting plans for another swanky new development.

Laser House at the junction of Goswell Road and Pear Tree Street. Picture: Polly Hancock

Laser House at the junction of Goswell Road and Pear Tree Street. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Plans to transform Laser House on the corner of Goswell Road and Pear Tree Street have already been seen off once because of the impact the six-storey block would have on the area.

Now developers Northern and Midland Holdings have come back with amended designs they say address the community’s concerns. But neighbours don’t agree.

“We are being inundated by high-rise buildings on all sides of the new City University dorm and sports complex Pure City,” said Catherine Boone, who is heading up the campaign for people in Gee Street. “Our objections lodged with Islington Council have not dissuaded the developers, who appear to be determined to take their atrocious plans to the Planning Inspectorate [if rejected again by Islington].”

Some 50 people in Pear Tree Street are also fighting the plans.


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Shaokat Ali said: “The amendments have reduced the number of flats affected by the previous design by one or two – but it doesn’t solve the issue for everyone.

Neighbours of Laser House at the junction of Goswell Road and Pear Tree Street. From left: Sonia Rai

Neighbours of Laser House at the junction of Goswell Road and Pear Tree Street. From left: Sonia Rai, Christophe Mignard, Simone Y, Howard Lichterman, Michael Ratcliffe, Catherine Boone, Peter Trubowitz and Shaokat Ali. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

“Although the changes are an improvement on the original submission they still propose a very significant change.

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“The impact for my apartment is going to be strongly felt. Not only will I have significantly reduced daylight sunlight compared to what I’m currently enjoying, but I will be staring directly back at a concrete block and will have a four-storey lift shaft blocking light directly into my apartment.”

Islington planners are now mulling over the application.

A spokeswoman for Northern and Midland Holdings said “significant consideration” had been given to the feedback received from their previous bid and the new designs included “substantial amendments to reduce the scale, height and mass”.

She added: “The current plans were also subject to extensive public consultation and we were pleased to see feedback from the community was overwhelmingly positive.

“We believe the new scheme will be a positive addition to the community, delivering a significant proportion of affordable workspace and local training initiatives.”

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