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Hundreds sign petition against ‘monstrous’ Caledonian Park building

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 March 2015

The Save Cally Park group in front of the clock tower in Caledonian Park

The Save Cally Park group in front of the clock tower in Caledonian Park

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Plans to build a “monstrosity” which could spoil views of a popular park have sparked hundreds of objections from locals.

Islington Council want to erect a 210 square metre visitors centre at the bottom of Cally Clock Tower in Caledonian Park – with an office for staff, a community room, a cafe and public toilets.

But the Save Cally Park petition signed by 243 people criticises the size and positioning of the project, which they claim would increase anti-social behaviour and spoil the open views of the park.

Only 87 of 198 asked agreed that putting the facility at the north entrance of the park was a good idea.

The second stage of the consultation, a questionnaire, can be completed by following this link before midnight tonight.

Bridget Stark, 49, lives in New Clocktower Place and says she would see her view of the park ruined if the visitor centre gets the go-ahead.

“There are hundreds of flats overlooking the park,” said Ms Stark.

“This whole development was built around this clock tower, there’s a natural view through the park. They’re just going to stick a great big block and obliterate the views into the park of all the people on ground floors.

“I see lots of people coming by to take photos of that view, they’re not going to want to take pictures that monstrosity.”

She said that another effect of the building would be to provide blind spots for anti-social behaviour as well as blocking the direct view of the park’s nearby playground which allows parents to keep an eye on their children.

Ms Stark also said that, of the more than 100 people she and others collecting signatures for the petition had asked, only one person had been behind the plans.

“It’s a lovely space and it’s very, very well used,” she said.

“But people come because it’s a beautiful place. I’m not opposed to some new facilities, it would be good to get some toilets and a little cafe kiosk somewhere, but this is just far too big and in the wrong place.”

Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment, said: “We’re listening carefully to residents’ views about proposals for Cally Clock Tower, which is a hidden gem of Islington’s history.

“We carried out initial consultation in September, and this month have been consulting on more detailed plans.

“We welcome all comments and consultation runs until midnight on tonight [March 27]. All comments and views will be taken into account before a planning application is submitted.

“There will be further statutory consultation when a planning application is submitted.”

The petition was presented to full council last night.


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