Councillors in Islington have overruled their own officers and refused permission for a Sheppard Robson-designed hotel, office and retail scheme on the site of a multistorey car park in Farringdon
The practice had already revised its original submitted designs after London Borough of Islington conservation and planning officers raised concerns about the size of the building and its impact on surrounding properties.
However, the council’s planning committee this week voted to reject the amended 3,900m² scheme for developer Endurance Land, which was to have housed a 180-bedroom hotel operated by Premier Inn and featured a concertina-like metal and glass façade.
A planning officer’s report which went before councillors had recommended approval for the development at 66-86 Farringdon Road in Clerkenwell, saying: ‘The proposed building would make a positive contribution to the local townscape and in terms of height, form and scale would not detract from the setting of surrounding listed buildings or the character or appearance of surrounding conservation areas.’
But councillors refused the reworked application on the grounds that the proposed land use did not comply with development plan policies and cited further concerns about design, lack of cycle parking and servicing arrangements.
A spokesman for Endurance Land said: ‘We are naturally disappointed that the committee ignored the planning officer’s advice to grant permission.
‘It makes little sense to keep an ugly car park when the proposal would bring over 400 new jobs, new offices and shops, a new hotel and bring new life to this drab part of Farringdon Road.
‘We firmly believe that a bold, contemporary piece of design that reflects the energy of Farringdon and Clerkenwell is the right approach to the site.’
It is not yet known whether the developer intends to appeal against the decision.