Clerkenwell student flat plans get green light

A controversial plan to build more than 800 new student rooms was given the go-ahead by Town Hall on Tuesday.

The new building in Goswell Road, Clerkenwell, will include accommodation for 805 academics from City University, in nearby Northampton Square, as well as a new sports centre and teaching facilities.

The move was given the all clear despite complaints from many people who responded to the council’s consultation on the matter.

Residents expressed concern about the sheer number of students in the area, the new building leaving their homes in shadow and having views into their properties, antisocial behaviour from students, parking and traffic congestion, street clutter and pressure on local amenities.

At least one resident welcomed the development of the site and said City University had a positive impact to the neighbourhood.

The last plan for large scale student accommodation - 400 rooms at the John Jones development in Finsbury Park - was blocked by the planning committee last year.

Cllr Paul Convery, Islington Council’s executive member for environment, said: “We only allow new student accommodation that is exclusively for students at one of our two universities, and is close to their precincts.

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“The crucial thing is that any student mucking about will face disciplinary procedures from the university, not just the landlord.”

“In terms of amenities - the development will be pretty self sufficient, and the local shopkeepers will be happy for the customers.”