Finsbury Park development raises student invasion fear

FEARS of a student invasion in Finsbury Park have been raised after a massive development rejected by town hall planning chiefs last year was approved on appeal.

The proposal for a six and seven-storey, 5,300 square metre building with a workshop, retail space, 15 residential flats and 475 student rooms in Morris Place, Finsbury Park, has been given the go ahead by a planning inspector.

The designs were put forward by picture frame makers John Jones, which has been based in Finsbury Park for more than 20 years and wants a new state-of-the-art workshop for its expanding business.

Frances Davidson, 68, secretary of FinFirst Neighbourhood Watch, said: “Development in Finsbury Park is needed, but we’re being overrun by students who make a hell of a noise, and in a residential area this is very difficult for people.

“Residents feel there’s an invasion of student accommodation in Finsbury Park and the whole of Islington – while housing is desperately needed for families in the borough.”

Islington Council ruled in September that the development was excessive in scale, would damage the character of the area, and cause unacceptable loss of daylight and sunlight to its neighbours - but the planning inspector decided the overall regeneration benefits and the inclusion of some affordable housing meant the appeal should be granted.

John Jones declined to comment.