‘Sympathetic’ Zimco House revamp wins council praise

10 September meeting of Islington’s planning committee. Photograph: Islington Citizen.

The redevelopment of an ‘out-dated’ 1970s office building has been met with praise from Islington councillors.

Previous applications in 2015 to refurbish Zimco House, near Finsbury Square, faced strong opposition from residents.

According to the revised application, which was approved at a 10 September meeting of Islington’s planning committee, neighbours on Epworth Street had expressed “strong feelings” about the earlier plans.

Concerns in particular were raised about the impact of the Zimco House works on the parking needs of neighbours Habinteg Housing Association, who provide accessible homes to enable disabled people to live independent lives.

Cllr Martin Klute (Lab, St Peter’s), chair of the planning committee, said: “The first point to note is the major difference between this application and the last one.

“The previous application really antagonised residents of Epworth Street, and this time we have only seen one objection.

“As Epworth Street residents were very vocal in objecting the previous applications, I feel that no news is good news in that respect.

“I think this is a far more sympathetic scheme. They have clearly done a good job in engaging with residents.”

PowerHaus Consultancy committed to the forthcoming office redevelopment being car-free, as well as ensuring that potential overlook from  the block would be reduced by “obscure glazing of the windows”.

The lone objection in the application pointed out: “There are now thousands and thousands of square feet of office space going empty already. Where’s the mixed use?”

Islington Council officers responded in the application: “The proposed development would provide an uplift of 4272 square metres of B1 office space…for which there is high demand and a significant shortfall, and would contribute substantially to the stock of office floorspace within the borough.”

This article has been updated – Habinteg Housing Association had previously been incorrectly described as a ‘supported living facility.’ Habinteg provide accessible homes to enable disabled people to live independent lives.