Redesign St Luke's Area

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We the undersigned reject the current Finsbury Central development proposals, by Islington Council and architects Pollard Thomas Edwards, and Better GLL whose misleading public advertisements do not include the over scaled proposed mansion block. The public are being sold a reduced leisure centre facility while the council is denying the impact on the community of a large scale "affordable" and  private housing   development. We support social housing, however "affordable" housing is not social housing. 

The proposal for the new FLC means a reduction of facilities: two studios not three, therefore less classes, as well as loss of classes that require equipment from reduction of storage space. No staff room is provided. Racket sport space reduced. There would be a loss of jobs. Ceilings would be higher, making it difficult to hang equipment or hear a teacher's instructions. Football pitch sizes have not been made transparent and according to the proposed design are set to be reduced. A redesign needs to maintain space and situate pitches away from the polluted main road. The proposed nursery needs views of trees and the park, not be subject to open view by transient users of flats on Central Street.  We support the flow of the two entrances of the sister leisure centres, Ironmonger Row and Finsbury Leisure Centre, however the proposed FLC entrance is severely misaligned with the entrance to Ironmonger Row, which would inhibit user-friendly access between the sister sites. As to providing a much needed new healthcare facility, the plan would simply relocate City Road Medical Centre to the FLC site. A redesign of the FLC is urgently required as a new FLC must take into consideration the present and future needs of community and users of the Centre. To fulfil the needs of these communities, retain open space and sunlight to the park and to the residents of Burnhill House, reduce construction time, ensure health, safety and wellness of the community, the present location of the FLC needs to remain and classes need to migrate to the Ironmonger Row site, and housing needs to be built on the wider Central Street which also accommodates shop frontage and therefore not endanger and fragment open space and community. 

Architecturally, the proposed design is destructive to the entire local community, including St Luke's Gardens and Burnhill House within the St Luke’s conservation area. Mitchell Street residents also have grave concerns about the current design's impact obstructing access and dividing much needed community open space. The design is out of scale, forcing Burnhill House and St Luke's Gardens into permanent shadow. As a result, residents of Burnhill House will fall into fuel poverty from a detrimental loss of light. St Luke's Gardens ecosystem will suffer from the flooding of artificial light and the lack of natural light will potentially turn the green space into a mud pit. The noise generated by the over-development will affect the overall soundscape of the area, more so than any football pitch! Norman Street, where Burnhill House is situated, is not even mentioned on the developments website, which is again marginalisation to an entire building of people who will suffer the most detrimental impact from an over scale build. 

St Luke's Housing Area compromises privacy to both St Luke's Garden users, Burnhill House and Mitchell Street. The community residents' quality of life will fall victim to the stress caused by the direct impact of the invasive design. St Luke's Housing Area and its gated communal space will create exclusion and fragmentation within the community and a potential new wave of crime. 

St Luke's Housing Area is an over scaled development in the most densely populated area in the UK. Burnhill House is a social housing community that has been marginalised by the council and the architect's design. Burnhill House, Central Street, Mitchell Street, the Leisure Centre's commuters and overall local community must be considered inclusively and equally. This petition has come off the back of years of being ignored and unheard throughout the whole consultation process, contradictory to Islington Councils aim of a 'fairer Islington'. Burnhill House stands in solidarity with the entire local community and the improvement of Finsbury Leisure Centre and social housing but opposes the scale and over-development of St Luke's Housing Area. 



As a result of this petition - Islington Council has promised 60 units of social housing.  A third fitness studio is in the pipeline! Watch this space for more improvements for our community!