Disabled residents at a housing block near Old Street station have criticised proposals to build a multi-storey office block across the street.

Residents at 10 Epworth Street said that they were “horrified” to learn that Islington Council is considering the plans to demolish two existing three and four-storey office blocks and re-build them as a single nine-storey building.

The proposed construction site, which currently contains Fitzroy House and Castle House, would stand at 29m high and be just 10m from the mixed general needs scheme, which also has some homes for wheelchair-users.

Residents say a construction site so near to them would pose numerous problems for their various access needs, especially for the wheelchair users who live within the 19-apartment building.

Other concerns raised with the planning application included the impact noise from the building works would have on autistic residents, as well building dust affecting those with breathing difficulties.

Islington Gazette: 10 Epworth Street (green) is just across the street from the proposed construction site (red)10 Epworth Street (green) is just across the street from the proposed construction site (red) (Image: Google)

Design documents prepared on behalf of Capreon, the asset managers for planning applicant Lion Portfolio Ltd, claim that “the project will provide high-quality office space” that “aims to reflect and complement” the area’s Victorian heritage.

They stated that publicly accessible cafés, as well as co-work and event areas on the ground floor will “greatly enhance the pedestrian experience” and complement existing food and shopping outlets in the area.

Tony O’Loughlin, who has lived at 10 Epworth Street for 43 years, said: “How is the council going to protect all the hugely vulnerable people in our block against the dangers of essentially living on a building site for years?

“Where is there anything in the developer’s plans about how they are going to accommodate our numerous and highly complex disability access needs?

“Other huge concerns of ours are that this building is completely oversized and will overshadow our residential block, leaving us literally sitting in the dark.

“It is a huge risk that the council is taking with our health, when we are their most vulnerable constituents. We are extremely worried the council is going to prioritise money over people and health.”

A spokesperson for the applicant said: ‘We have been working hard to ensure we can deliver new office space that is sustainable, affordable and in keeping with the local area.

"The designs proposed are for a world class building that Islington can be proud of.

"We look forward to continuing to work with local residents and businesses to ensure that any future demolition and construction is effectively managed."

Islington Council does not comment on planning applications that have yet to be determined.