Institute of Physics wins planning battle over King’s Cross building

View from community garden with proprosed building

View from community garden with proprosed building - Credit: Archant

Controversial plans for the new Institute of Physics building in King’s Cross have been given the green light by Islington Council.

The town hall’s planning committee agreed a two story extension at the former Lynes Plumbing Supply in Caledonian Road despite opposition from residents and it’s own conservation team.

Those living in nearby Balfe Street and Northdown Street are against the development as they say it will block light, overlook windows and spoil the view from a community garden used by about 100 locals all year round.

But the planning committee decided to approve the plans provided that assurances were made over the organisations work with schools in the area as well as guaranteeing spaces for physics start-ups at the building.

Cabe Franklin, 41, who lives next door to the proposed development, said: “They say they want to build a distinctive building but it all feels a bit Canary Wharf to just drop this in the middle of a conservation area.

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“They’re going to build two storeys with glass windows that will be used for meetings throughout the day 20ft from our back bedroom window.

“We’ve put a lot of work into fight this and we’re now actively exploring a judicial review process.”

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The buildings fall within the Keystone conservation area which is made up of rows of terraces built between 1830 and 1850.

The institute say the building will soon be a “hub” for the not-for-profit organisation, which has more the 50,000 members.

Professor Paul Hardaker, chief executive of the Institute of Physics, said, “We’re looking forward to working with Islington Council to draw up details of our commitment to local schools, businesses and the community.

“I’m delighted that the councillors are enthused about the value that we’re going to bring to the area and I’m excited about the opportunities that such a partnership will bring.”

Cllr Paul Convery, who represents Caledonian ward, said it was exciting that the institute were moving in to the area but had sympathy with the residents.

“They’ve made some slight changes but it’s still too big,” he said.

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