Published: 15 June, 2012
by ANDREW JOHNSON
PLANS to build a seven-storey block of flats next to the Grade I-listed Bunhill Fields burial grounds in Clerkenwell have been thrown out by a planning inspector – bringing to an end years of wrangling.
Southern Housing Association bought the former Moorfields Primary School site in Featherstone Street for £8.5m in 2009.
They demolished it earlier this year after it was taken over by protesters from the Occupy movement.
Their plans to build the large block were initially rejected by the council after residents protested that it would block light to their homes. Southern Housing appealed to the planning inspector, running up tens of thousands of pounds in legal fees for both sides.
Southern had argued that they had needed to build more houses in order to recoup the money they had paid for the site.
But the Inspector sided with the Town Hall. The appeal failed because of the effect it would have on Bunhill Fields – a famous dissenters’ graveyard where Daniel Defoe and John Bunyan are buried.
“The appeal scheme would significantly harm the setting of the heritage assets, and the historic landscape,” the inspector, Christine Thorby, said.