Last Tuesday, residents turned out in force to demonstrate to Councillors the strength of feeling over the Action for Children planning application at 85 Highbury Park.
The new centralised Planning Committee voted to defer the planning decision for a month and have invited the developers to meet the conditions of the planning brief. Specifically 50% affordable housing rather than the 40% in the proposals.
We now have a month to lobby Councillors to meet a second condition of the planning brief , namely "retention of the mature gardens in their entirety". The developers have massively downplayed the significance of the grassland in the Islington context. Councillor Klute raised the example of Barnsbury Wood, which is similarly hidden behind buildings and is retained as a nature reserve with some public access. The hope is that the scheme can be improved to deliver both 50% affordable housing, which is desperately needed in Islington along with a design that allows this rare and valuable grassland to be retained and enjoyed by future generations.