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Neighbours oppose ‘devastating’ Sports Direct development plans in Market Road

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 September 2018

Resident Josh Yates stands on the communal terrace at 453 Calendonian Road, showing the former Scope building in the background. Picture: Polly Hancock

Resident Josh Yates stands on the communal terrace at 453 Calendonian Road, showing the former Scope building in the background. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

People in the Cally’s Market Road claim the loss of daylight “will have a devastating impact” on their lives if Sports Direct gets planning permission to add two storeys to the office next to them.

Resident Josh Yates stands on the communal terrace at 453 Calendonian Road, showing the former Scope building in the background. Picture: Polly HancockResident Josh Yates stands on the communal terrace at 453 Calendonian Road, showing the former Scope building in the background. Picture: Polly Hancock

SDI (Market Road) Limited, a subsidiary of the sportswear giant, is seeking planning permission to extend its 6-10 Market Road building upwards and outwards.

But some people living in the adjacent 453 Market Road, which is social housing run by Clarion, fear this will overshadow their communal garden and block out the sun.

“This will have a devastating impact on our lives, said Joshua Yates, 33, who has lived there for four years. “We are housing residents with a large number of disabled [people], vulnerable [people], families and key workers living here.”

Joshua, who has an anxiety disorder, added: “The vulnerable people like being in the quiet sunshine of the garden and Sports Direct have made no effort to address our concerns.

Front of the former Scope building on Market Rd N7. Picture: Polly HancockFront of the former Scope building on Market Rd N7. Picture: Polly Hancock

“It might sound like nimbyism but this is a stable community and we are invested in our homes and enjoy the daylight.”

There is currently a second consultation under way after the initial plans were rejected by Islington’s planning officers in January.

Joshua claims the daylight and sunlight assessment commissioned by Sports Direct makes “numerous errors”.

He wants Islington Council to conduct its own “impartial” assessment but this isn’t council policy – the town hall instead works with applicants to ensure they carry out surveys to the required standard.

An Islington Council spokesperson said: “Planning officers have raised concerns about the design of the current proposals and have advised the applicants to amend the scheme to reduce its impact on neighbouring residents.”

But Joshua claims the planning system is “stacked against residents” because they cannot afford to hire their own assessor.

He also had a message for Mike Ashley, the owner of Sports Direct: “Listen to what we have to say rather than just imposing something on us.”

He added: “The community will be badly affected by this, so try and put profits before people.”

Sports Direct has been approached for comment.

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