HTA Design’s Planning Team secured planning committee approval on 19th March 2018 for 41 new homes on Dixon Clark Court Estate on behalf of LB Islington.
The proposal is a mixed tenure scheme, comprising 27 new affordable homes for social rent and 14 homes for private sale.
The site which is bounded by Highbury Corner to the west currently comprises a 15-storey tower, set in an area which is dominated by hard standing and car parking. The scheme designed by Burrell Foley Fischer provides the dwellings in six new blocks which are located at the perimeter of the site. Five of the blocks are 1-4 storeys located along the northern, eastern and southern boundaries creating a new mews around the existing tower. The sixth block of six storeys fronts onto Canonbury Road, addressing Highbury Corner and defining the main entrance onto the site. The new block will complement the planned urban realm improvements by TfL and LB Islington for Highbury Corner, which seeks to replace the existing roundabout with a publicly accessible arboretum.
The site adjoins Canonbury Conservation Area and a number of sensitive heritage assets which include listed Victorian terraces, and Union Chapel. The permitted scheme successfully addresses the built heritage through appropriate scale, massing, height and materials which will create a high quality addition to the built environment. Union Chapel and Dixon Clark Court tower both remain prominent features on the landscape.
The proposal also includes a new community space and, as part of the extensive landscaping strategy, an enlarged community garden and an additional play area are also provided. The majority of the mature trees on the green buffer zone on the western boundary of the site are retained, and the site benefits from an overall greening, and planting of new trees.
The application received unanimous support from Members at Planning Committee on 19th March. The scheme was praised for its sensitive design which respected the immediate context and the surrounding area. Dixon Clark Court exemplifies how local authorities can use their existing assets creatively to deliver new high quality affordable homes.