Cloudesley Association Update

News item covering:

  • Residents Meeting on the 31st March
  • Planning - Dowrey Street Site: P2015/0081/FUL
  • Proposed Constitution (sent by e-mail)
  • Cloudesley Square Church
  • Cloudesley Square skip
  • Barnard Park
  • Crossrail 2
  • Report on James Murray talk

 

Forthcoming Residents Meeting

We thought it would be sensible to hold another residents meeting at this point.

Location:             The Regent Pub (downstairs)
Date:                    Tuesday, 31 March 2015
Time:                    6.45pm – 7.45pm

 We hope to see as many of you as possible.  

Planning – Dowrey Street Site (P2015/0081/FUL) - Progress

As you all know, the deadline for comments has now passed.  As of 24 February, no date for the planning application to go to committee had been set.  The planning officer in charge of this application is Sally Fraser (0207 527 2493).  We will continue to update you as and when we have some more information in relation to this..

 

Constitution

We have prepared a proposed constitution, which we will place in final form on the website in the next couple of weeks. The proposed wording has been e-mailed to all members. If there are any comments on this document please let us know asap.

Cloudesley Square Church 

The residents of Cloudesley Square have been getting increasingly concerned about the height and state of the trees surrounding the church. The secretary of the Celestial Church of Christ Building Committee has confirmed that they will be trimming the trees imminently as they are apparently causing much damage to the internal fabric of the church (as a result of blocked drains from the many leaves the trees produce). Apparently the trimming of the trees marks the beginning of the restoration of the church, which is great news.

Cloudesley Square – moving the skip etc.

As many of you may already have noticed, we are delighted to report that the builders cabin and skip that was placed in Cloudesley Square has now been moved. We would like to thank Cllr Murray for his input in making this happen.  

Barnard Park

Islington Council is proposing major improvements to Barnard Park. Whilst they do not have the funding to do everything they would like to do, they are hoping to make a big difference.  There is a consultation process which is underway. Plans are currently being redeveloped and a further round of consultations is likely to take place in the middle of this year. For full details, please see the following websites: www.islington.gov.uk/barnardpark  & http://www.barnardpark.org

Crossrail 2 – Anticipated Demolition at Angel

The plans for Crossrail 2 involve a route that would link Angel with Wimbledon to the south and New Southgate to the North, as well as possibly to Hackney and Cheshunt.

The AngelA consultation took place which ended at the end of January, on the areas that would need to be 'safeguarded' to enable those routes to be built in the future. That includes surface areas for vents and stations. At Angel, a surface area to be safeguarded includes most buildings opposite the tube station, between Pentonville Road and White Lion Street as well as those behind the station, along Torrens Street, and the 'island' opposite the Virgin gym. See http://crossrail2.co.uk/safeguarding/  for map and further information. You can also read the views expressed by the Angel Association's here: http://angelassociation.org.uk/2015/01/

The Secretary of State is anticipated to issue a Safeguarding Direction for Crossrail 2 in March 2015.  Should you have any concerns about this proposal, there is an on-line petition you can sign at  https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/petition_54cba3bf5cab3/?wiPaZib  

James Murray talk on housing in Islington*

On the 19th February our local Cllr James Murray delivered a very informative talk on the councils Housing Strategy in Islington. Although the Islington Society had provocatively titled the talk "Housing Growth v Budget Cuts", James kept principally to the task of explaining what Islington is trying to do to get more homes built for local people.

The drive for more housing is against a backdrop of the current huge demand for new housing with a current national requirement and target of 200,000 new homes per year against the actual 120,000 a year being built. London has its own target with Islington expected to provide c1500 new homes a year. In fact this has been comfortably exceeded in recent years. The issue for Islington is to make sure enough of them are affordable homes to meet the significant number of residents in housing need, with land becoming scarcer and the cost of development ever higher. 

The supply of council houses in particular is being exacerbated with council tenants purchasing their social house through 'right to buy' which reduces further the stock of council houses available. The local authority has limited funds to build - or buy - new homes themselves, but the rules for borrowing have been relaxed slightly and as the grants for Housing Associations have been steadily cut, Islington has recently started on a new council house building programme. This programme is based on council owned land, mainly existing estates where redundant garages and poorly laid out spaces are being developed to increase density. Existing council tenants are being brought onboard with these schemes by being offered first dibs on new homes and by general estate landscape improvement schemes. Apart from the councils own building programme, a good source of affordable homes would have been the councils' requirement that 50% of all new build schemes are affordable. However national planning legislation has greatly changed over the last few years with the viability test having taken over the fixed percentage rule that was previously the norm. 

James touched on other issues such as why the shared ownership concept is struggling in London and the recent planning changes that allow commercial premises to be converted into residential without the need for planning. On that note, it is heartening to see that Islington fought hard and won the right to limit this for certain areas. Another recently proposed initiative by Islington is to force home owners to rent their house against the phenomenon of 'Buy-to-leave' where private 'absent' owners purchase new flat as an investment and leave them empty.

Overall, this was an informative talk and it was good to hear about the proactive initiatives that the council is taking in a difficult climate. 

*Reported by Florence. Please note that this is not a transcript of the talk and therefore aspects might have been inadvertently and unintentionally miss-represented.