Council ‘cornered’ into approving King’s Cross office block
PUBLISHED: 10:59 24 July 2020
This size file released CC-by-SA provided you attribute: Photo by George Rex.
Controversial plans to redevelop Victorian warehouses in King’s Cross have been given the green light.
Proposals to build an office block on All Saints Street, Regent’s Wharf, were first submitted in 2016, refused in 2018 and subject to an unsuccessful appeal in 2019.
Objectors to the scheme, developed by Regent’s Wharf Unit Trust, contended it would harm the Regent’s Canal West Conservation area and cause serious loss of light to its neighbours, Ice Wharf.
However, revised proposals for a smaller building have been brought to Islington Council and approved at a planning committee on July 21.
READ MORE: ‘It would have been vandalism’: Neighbours’ joy as King’s Cross office block plans rejected
Committee chair Cllr Martin Klute (Labour, St Peter’s) said Regent’s Wharf Unit Trust indicated it would not seek to install a restaurant in the building, as previously proposed.
He told this newspaper there was still “lumpiness” in the application, but because it was technically compliant it had to be approved.
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“Given a lot of opposition to the application was apprehensions from noise and light spill from the restaurant, it helped to smooth the application through,” he said.
“In my experience, there have been some planning applications we have deferred because we are not happy and we get a massive differences back - this time, we deferred and got minor changes back.
“There’s a feeling the applicant was doing only what it had to.
“It was time to approve, even if it is not wonderful or not one of the best.”
“The problem with this is that it has been going on for three to four years and some of the objectors have got themselves in a very entrenched position. I did my best to highlight that we did everything we could and the application was in a place to be approved.”
Ian Shacklock, chair of Friends of Regent’s Canal, told the Gazette: “We are sorry it has come to this, that we have been cornered in this situation, but we are relieved over the concessions that have been made.
“They are not good enough for the residents in terms of daylight, but the damage to the canal has been reduced.”
Regent’s Wharf Unit Trust’s agents, DP9, have been approached for comment.
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