The Independent London Newspaper

Developers in Turnmill appeal

PROPERTY developers will use the words of Islington’s own planning officers to appeal against the council’s refusal to allow the demolition of Clerkenwell’s landmark Turnmill building.
Derwent London announced this week they would appeal last month’s south area planning committee’s decision not to allow the building to be flattened.
The Town Hall’s planning department had recommended the plans be approved but after listening to a long list of objections, including a strong argument by Islington Council’s former head of conservation Alec Foreshaw, they turned it down.
Derwent London want to replace the building with a seven-storey glass office block but lost their argument after failing to convince the committee that the building was unmarketable.
Now, Derwent London director, David Silverman has announced: “We were disappointed by the decision at committee not to grant planning consent but given the extremely strong support for our scheme from senior planning officers at Islington Borough Council, we feel that an appeal is fully justified.”
Labour Councillor Martin Klute, who voted against the scheme, said: “The main grounds for refusing the application were based on it being an important building in a conservation area, but the conservation issues haven’t been properly addressed.”
Derwent London have described the 76,000 sq ft office scheme, proposed by architects ­Piercy Conner, as being “constructed with intricate brickwork and ­elegant white cast masonry”.
ROISIN GADELRAB

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Turnmills

Well done to LBI for rejecting the application of current freeholder to demolish the building. Turnmills was a fantastic club in early days (ie when John Newman ran it) and the first club in the country to obtain a 24 hr music and dance licence. The building is clearly marketable as club as that is what it has been for the last 20 years. The last thing the area needs is another ghastly glass and steel office block. If the greedy speculators known as Derwent (who refused to renew the lease to the club) don't like the decision then sell the freehold. The building should be kept as a club in perpetuity. In their decision not to renew the lease to the club, Derwent put out a press release saying they actively seek to improve the "quality" of the tenants, clearly a snobbish comment and pathetic dig at clubbers. It would be altogether better if this unpleasant outfit sold the building to someone who is prepared to continue the business as it was before. Any appeal by this lot should be fought until they get the message. Hands off Turnmills.

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