Barnsbury Housing Association is committed to providing good quality and affordable housing in Islington.
As the only Housing Association that operates solely in Islington we are limited to the amount of sites that can become available in this high-cost area of London. As an organisation founded in the time of a housing crisis we see it as our responsibility to continue to create and build quality new homes for residents in an area with such a high number of people on waiting lists to be housed.
Since Spring 2017, Barnsbury Housing Association has been consulting with residents of the Morland Mews estate about creating new affordable homes from the many garages that exist on the estate.
Our Chair, Martyn Waring, outlined the board’s motivations for building new homes in our Spring 2017 newsletter and also that we would be consulting with residents about these developments.
The first consultation event was held in June 2017 to show residents the initial ideas and projections for new homes and possible enhancements that could be made to the Morland Mews estate. BHA staff and board members were in attendance along with planners and architects so that residents could raise any concerns and questions directly to those involved in the proposed developments.
In those initial projections as many as 14 new homes were seen as possible to build within the development if garages were re-purposed to create good and affordable housing. However, after gathering feedback from residents and the Tenants’ Association, many amendments were made to the plans that incorporated ideas and comments from residents.
Existing Site image
When consulting with residents, the Tenants’ Association suggested that building on the the topsite and football pitch would be preferable to converting garages. BHA worked with the Tenants’ Association to put together a “Pre-app” application that could be discussed with the council. During this application meeting, which was also attended by the Tenants’ Association, the council made clear that building on open space was not supported by Islington Council. Therefore the option to convert garages into homes remained the preferable option for BHA.
After incorporating these comments into the designs a further consultation event was held to show residents updated plans and gather their thoughts and feedback. A questionnaire was also distributed to the residents of Morland Mews along with any BHA residents that let garages or sheds asking for views on the proposed development and what improvements residents would like to see carried out on the estate with the addition of new homes.
Following this event a further meeting with the Tenants’ Association and BHA residents was held to discuss the outcome of the questionnaire as well as gathering any further comments on the proposals before they were finalised and a planning application was submitted.
With the comments and feedback provided by residents in mind, proposals of this development were put together and submitted to Islington Council planning department. During this application the council gave us feedback and asked us to come back after reconsidering a couple of aspects of the scheme.
Since then BHA has further taken on board the views of Islington Council and residents – the result of this has been the reduction of proposed homes to 6 and also an increase in the size of the proposed homes, ensuring that the homes will be high-quality and great to live in. This will see the creation of 5 homes for social rent and 1 studio flat at an affordable rent for a key worker – the same as other flats in the Pugin Court block that have been let out to key workers over the last couple of years. This will also be done along with several improvements to the wider estate, including improved lighting throughout the estate, more and improved recycling facilities, a purpose-built community room, cycle storage and mobility scooter charging facilities.
BHA submitted the revised planning application in June 2019 and look forward to hearing the outcome of this from Islington Council. There were also two further drop-in sessions held for residents to ask questions and raise concerns with BHA. BHA also wrote in to the Islington Tribune regarding the proposals.
To view the full planning application please visit the Islington Council website which provides the full details the of the proposals.
If you have any questions or queries about this proposed development, please contact us.