Two Islington skyscrapers could become four after plans for tallest-ever towers lodged
PUBLISHED: 16:31 15 May 2013 | UPDATED: 16:31 15 May 2013
Plans for two colossal skyscrapers which would become the tallest in Islington have been lodged just months after work started on two more mammoth towers across the road.
Building began on two skyscrapers on the City Road Basin – dubbed the Lexicon complex – late last year which will see 31 and 36-storey – 120 metres – towers built.
But now another developer has revealed plans for two larger skyscrapers as part of a £400 million project across the road on the five-acre City Forum site.
One tower will stand at a whopping 46-storeys – 155 metres – and the other, slightly smaller, at 36 floors – 137 metres.
They will form part of a “mini-village” which will create 1,000 homes, nearly 1,000 jobs, 1.4 acres of new parks, a 190-bed hotel and several shops and bars.
Multi-million pound penthouses will have stunning views of the Olympic Stadium, Parliament and the Shard. The site has been designed by the same architects behind The Gherkin.
Conservation groups say a surge in skyscrapers threatens to divide Islington residents as the City continues to swallow up the south east corner of the borough.
Ian Shacklock, a Highbury resident and chair of Friends of Regent’s Canal, said: “I think it will create a great divide between the Bunhill and St Peter’s ward. It feels like the City is continuing to creep into Islington.”
A consultation has now been launched until the end of the month.
The developer – Berkeley Homes – is lining itself up for a battle with Islington Council, which is demanding 50 per cent of the nearly 1,000 flats be affordable housing.
Under council classifications, it is only offering 19 per cent. Four seven to 9-storey blocks of flats will be built around the two towers. Plans are also in the pipeline for a GPs surgery and thousands of square metres of office space.
James Murray, Islington Council’s cabinet member for housing, branded the plans “disappointing” due to a lack of affordable homes.
He said: “We have a desperate need for more affordable housing in Islington, which is why we say 50 per cent of all new homes built here should be affordable.
“I have made my disappointment very clear at meetings we’ve had with the developers.”
Emma Prichard-Selby, Berkeley’s development director of the project, said: “We have taken significant steps to ensure that the development is fully integrated into the existing local community.
“Building towers is more appropriate in this area because it means we have taken height away from areas of the borough where it wouldn’t be appropriate.
“We want to really create a landmark for this part of Islington with world-class architecture.”
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