Published: 9 March, 2012
• In the matter of deciding whether or not to demolish the Canonbury schoolkeeper’s house, in Canonbury Road, it seems that Islington Council has got itself into a pickle.
The planning department says it is not a planning matter so it is unable to prevent its demolition.
In any event the house is the responsibility of Homes for Islington (HfI), an agency directly employed (but in the process of being disinstructed) by the council.
But of course it is the council that owns the house and it is the council, through its executive committee and its executive member for housing, which bears responsibility for the house and can ultimately determine its fate.
The schoolkeeper’s house is a good example of Arts and Crafts architecture and contributes positively to the streetscape. It is also a poignant reminder of the scale of domestic architecture a century ago.
The disappointment in this case is not just that we are set to lose a dwelling house of some architectural note but it is the evident lack of transparency and responsibility shown by the council and HfI in their decision-making and communication to the wider public.
Chair, The Canonbury Society