‘Ghastly’ office development scheme for Finsbury is rejected

Plans to create an office development in historic Finsbury have been rejected after councillors described its appearance as “ghastly”.

Medran Limited gained planning consent in 2008 to revamp three buildings in Mount Pleasant and Rosebery Avenue into an office and retail complex – but had to re-apply for approval to start building work because the permission expired after three years.

The large structure, which varies in height between three and six storeys, includes creating a two-storey roof extension, altering the front of the Mount Pleasant and Warner Street buildings and refurbishing the one in Rosebery Avenue.

It is situated within a conservation area including historic landmarks such as Exmouth Market and the Grade II listed Warner Street bridge.

At a recent meeting, members of the Islington Council planning committee refused to re-grant planning consent, arguing new government guidelines, called PPS5, placed greater protection on conservation areas.

Cllr Joe Caluori, vice-chairman, said the present committee wouldn’t have approved the development the first time around because it is “ghastly.”

Committee member Cllr Steph Charalambous said: “We need to look at the whole site. This is completely out of place with the site and the neighbourhood.

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“Why have such a ghastly building in a conservation area?”

Medran Limited declined to comment on the decision.