Finsbury power station plans sent back drawing board

ISLINGTON Council has been sent back to the drawing board by its own planning chiefs over controversial plans for an energy plant one councillor said would look like a “crematorium”.

Designs for the Bunhill Energy Centre – already slammed by residents as too large and too industrial – do not fit with surroundings and need more work, a town hall planning committee has ruled.

The current proposal is for a brick, corrugated iron and steel structure comprising a 65ft chimney and a 46ft-high water tank, to be built on a 100 square metre car park in Central Street, Finsbury.

Councillor Phil Kelly (Labour), who sits on the committee that deferred the planning application, said: “It would look like a crematorium. It’s too industrial and it doesn’t fit in with the urban location it’s designed for. The energy centre is a very good idea in principal, but this building design has not been thought through.”

The council’s conservation and design officer had previously criticised the plans, saying: “The structure does not relate to any of the surrounding developments. It would be over-dominant in the street scene.”

Residents have also been campaigning for the project to be scrapped so the site could be used for desperately-needed green space.

But Councillor Kelly said: “We’re realistic. Who’s going to pay to turn it into open space? Not this government – and the community needs the cheaper energy.”

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Islington Council says the centre will provide cheaper and greener energy and heat to more than 700 homes.