City Road’s nightmarish streetscape

Friday, 1st March 2019

City Road tower

City Road, a warning to other areas of Islington?

• THE Amwell Society shares the concerns expressed by Andrew Bosi (Islington Society) and Diane Burridge (Highbury Community Association) about the proliferation of high-rise buildings in Islington, (Fears for Islington skyline as invasion of high-rise towers looms, February 22).

Surely, City Road must be a lesson to us all. Unfettered high-rise development with scant regard to setting, materials, scale and massing has created a nightmarish streetscape which will blight the borough for generations to come.

Let us learn from this experience and not allow similar disasters to overtake Finsbury Park, Pentonville Road, Hollo­way or the Angel. We know that Islington needs more homes, especially genuinely affordable ones, but we cannot allow our existing communities and built environment simply to become collateral damage in the process.

Numerous studies have shown that similar housing densities can be achieved with much more neighbourly blocks of four to six storeys, as are prevalent in Paris and Madrid.

Indeed, the Create Streets and Mount Pleasant Forum scheme for Mount Pleasant might have shown the way, had then mayor Boris Johnson not charged in and approved the high-rise devel­opment now rising omin­ously from the ground, before Islington and Camden councils had a chance to approve or reject it.

The council should revise the draft Local Plan and restrict high-rise development to the City fringe area.

Chair, Amwell Society

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