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10 October Brilliant news – the government Planning Inspectorate dismisses the appeal.

Planning inspector Siobhan Watson MCD MRTPI described the scheme as “a visually incongruous and top heavy addition”.

Northview's importance as a heritage asset was acknowledged.

She said two Northview buildings and the grade II listed Odeon cinema “provide architectural and historic interest to the character and appearance of the area. The appeal building is an important undesignated heritage asset within this group.”

She also said it would have “an unacceptably dominant presence over Holbrooke Court", the neighbouring council estate.

After carefully considering council, London Plan and national planning policy and law, she found: “I conclude that the proposed development would have a detrimental effect upon the character and appearance of the area and upon the building itself.”

The decision can be downloaded as a pdf or via this page on the Planning Inspectorate’s site.

Our appeal document requested that the inspectorate rejected the scheme, and provided detailed evidence and photographs. We are particularly grateful for James Dunnetts contributions.

The picture below shows what was a proposed. See Fifth threat to deco heritage for more on the appalling piece of architectural vandalism that was proposed.


Northview existing, evening lightNorthview proposed, with shadow cast


People against the schemes to redevelop Northview include: Lord Waheed Alli; Baroness Claire Tyler; international modern architecture expert James Dunnett RIBA; long-term Planning editor Huw Morris; Gavin Stamp, 20th Century Society trustee and Private Eye’s Piloti; the Islington Archaeology & History Society; our MP and councillors; local author and history writer Caitlin Davies; conservation experts; and local residents too numerous to mention. We are thankful to the Islington Tribune for its coverage.

Many thanks to everyone who offered advice and support, came to meetings, signed petitions and wrote letters to back our campaigns.

Comments on our Preserve Northview petition can be read at

16 September Council ecologist visits our common garden areas. He describes the large London Plane as “a lovely tree, with a well developed canopy”. He says that an increase in height of the buildings could have a negative impact on the diversity of the flora, and that the garden was likely to be used by birds and mammals including bats, which could be affected by additional light.

13 August Newly discovered map from 1920 shows that the Hackney Brook runs under the apex of Northview’s back block and under its southeastern arm. Go to Living over the Hackney Brook to see the map, and to see a pic of the pump that keeps the Odeon’s basement dry. There’s more water below the ground and it’s closer than we thought.

7 August Planning inspector visits. Visit attended by council officer and applicants.

4 August Baroness Claire Tyler of Enfield, who has visited Northview and lives nearby, writes: “These development plans are totally insensitive and inappropriate to this 1930s style art deco community which should be preserved in its current harmonious form both for current and future residents and as part of our architectural heritage.”

21 June Lord Waheed Alli writes to the Planning Inspectorate, warning against an “ugly” redevelopment that is “painfully at odds with the unique 1930s property”. He writes:

“I would like to add my voice to the residents of Northview, local councillors and neighbours requesting that this appeal is rejected.
“As president of the National Youth Theatre, which has a rehearsal space on Holloway Road, I know the area quite well, and have always admired the Art Deco corner by the Odeon Cinema.
“The proposals for the redevelopment of Northview seem not only ugly but to be painfully at odds with the unique 1930s property and grounds, and risk overwhelming an otherwise charming community surrounded by local history and heritage buildings.
“I understand that the Islington Archaeology & History Society have unanimously opposed the plans, and this surely vindicates Islington Council’s planning decision to reject the application on grounds of protecting and enhancing Islington’s historic environment and character.
“The adverse impact such a scheme on the local neighbourhood will have, with no discernible benefit to providing affordable or accessible housing, seems to be ill advised.”

The letter is reported by the Islington Tribune: Theatre boss backs protest over bid to raise the roof at flats block.

The Tribune story also quotes James Dunnett RIBA, co-chair of Unesco modern architecture group Docomomo-UK, reiterates the opposition to the development by the Islington Archaeology & History Society

21 June Last day to write to the Planning Inspectorate. Please email and say how important it is that our unique deco enclave is protected from this crude, grey, metal overdevelopment. Thanks!

Caitlin Davies19 June More supporters sign our petition:

Huw Morris, who was editor of Planning magazine for many years
Islington’s local history manager Mark Aston, who writes: “Good luck with the campaign. Northview should remain as is!”
Local author and history writer Caitlin Davies (pictured right), author of new history Camden Lock and the Market

17 June More recent comments on our petition:
“An unbalanced, top-heavy proposal unsympathetic to the existing building.”
“Northview is such a rare little jewel of a building it would be tragic to build on top of it.”

8 June Comments on our petition in last couple of days:
“The negative impact upon the area is beyond obvious.”
“Get a grip and refuse planning to build on top of these lovely period dwellings.”
“Stop this horrible development in its awful tracks!”
“Stop this madness.”
“This heritage area must be preserved intact for future generations.”
“Please do not ruin this beautiful space.”
“I have stayed here with friends on a number of occasions and I have often remarked on the architectural integrity of Northview. The proposed development would severely affect this. The council should also resist the attempt by the developers to gain permission simply by attrition. This is substantially the same proposal that was previously rejected, and I believe it should be rejected again.”

15 May Meeting of the Islington Archaeology & History Society votes unanimously to support residents in our campaign to stop the development.

14 May Notice of appeal received. Islington council has asked the Planning Inspectorate to hold a hearing.

21 April Sunday Times rich list puts the Walduck family, whose company owns Northview, at number 380=, with wealth of £205m; this is up from number 395= last year, with wealth of £190m. The paper says: “The Walduck family has been in the hotel trade since 1827. It owns Imperial London Hotels, which has six hotels around Bloomsbury. With £150.5m net assets, the company is worth £200m. Past dividends and salaries take the family to £205m.”

23 March Notice dated 21 March received by some leaseholders about a proposed development of seven flats at 14-43 Northview. The notice, from Brian Barber Associates and signed by James Holmes, says we have 21 days to comment on the application. However, no further information is included and no new application has been made to the council.

21 February Council officers refuse consent.

26 October Committee hearing set for 15 November removed from the agenda “pending further work” after ward partnership meeting.

22 October Head of planning says her department’s failure to answer residents’ emails is “disgraceful” at ward partnership meeting.

24 September Jeremy Corbyn MP tell the planning department of “devasting” effects:
“The additional storey would significantly damage the unique ‘village green’ appearance and community feel of the existing buildings. I cannot believe that an extension made of glass and zinc, even though set back behind the parapet, would blend comfortably in…. The impact of the new storey would be significant and would devastate the appearance and nature of the existing buildings and community of residents. I therefore hope it will be rejected in its present form.”

9 September James Dunnett RIBA is critical of the scheme and questions its feasibility. He writes to the council:
“It remains probably an impossible task satisfactorily to extend this small-scale building by a whole extra storey, representing an increase in height of nearly 38%.
“The present openness and feeling of the sky in the courtyard are critical to it continuing to feel like a green space and not a light well. There can be no doubt that the weight of the extra storey will seriously detract from the feeling of light and air in the quite narrow courtyard….
“The delicacy of the existing architectural detail will be overwhelmed by the weight of the new storey, which is emphasised by the proposed projecting eaves whose strong horizongal emphasis defeats the serrated skyline presented by the present parapet…. The proposed glass balcony parapets will not marry well with the existing brick parapets and the solution proposed is awkward….
“It also has to be said that it is difficult to detail zinc cladding elegantly, with the result that the whole extra storey is likely to appear cumbersome and even crude….
“It is unlikely that consent would be granted for an extra storey on a private house with such adverse effects all round.”

We used many of James Dunnett's detailed comments, including on the feasibility of the scheme and on the studies used to support it, in our objection document.

August Application P121620 goes live. Northview Residents’ Association later submits objection document.

26 July Council says no application has been received since the rejected one last year, and that it carries out its own 21-day consultation

20 July Residents receive letter on behalf of the freeholder giving notice to build an extra strorey with seven flats on top of Northview, and giving us 21 days to raise any objections with the council. No application on council website.

tree trimmings January Application made to fell Northview's listed trees. Council rejects it. Council sent some pictures of unauthorised tree works.




3 October Northview Preserv’d – Liberal Democrat ward website reports “delight” at rejection of plans. Here's an excerpt:
“At the Council Planning Subcommittee an atrocious, ugly plan to plonk another floor on top of the building was quashed in a unanimous vote by the committee which included St George’s Lib Dem David Wilson.
“Two passionate speeches of objection from residents supported by Lib Dem councillor Tracy Ismail convinced the committee to reject officers’ advice and left the developer silenced.
“A remarkable evening! Now the campaign is building to have the estate listed, so that it – and the peaceful tone it gives to the neighbourhood – can be preserved permanently.”
Click here to read all Northview Preserv’d

29 September – SUCCESS! Councillors unanimously reject plans – against officers’ advice – to build an extra storey on Northview. So many people attend the meeting to support our campaign that some have to stand. Both the extra storey and the drawings come in for criticism. Residents Ben Porter and Sarah Lawrie speak against the proposals, as does Labour ward councillor Jessica Asato.

28 September Letter from safer neighbourhoods team:
“Cycle shed – St George’s Ward as well as the rest of Islington suffers from a significant problem with pedal cycle theft.  We strongly feel that situating an open cycle store in an already dark corner of Northview would pose a significant risk to the increase in pedal cycle theft.
“Lighting – Concerns have been raised and witnessed as to the lack of suitable lighting generally.  There are concerns that by adding a further level to the existing building this could further reduce any natural light and therefore make the area more vulnerable to crime.  This is something that does not appear to have been addressed within the designs seen.”

23 September Jeremy Corbyn MP writes to planning officer Ashley Niman. Here's an excerpt:
“Northview is an example of 1930s ‘village green’ architecture, complementing the Holloway Odeon and similar buildings in Mercers Road and Tavistock Terrace.
“The new development would not only irrevocably damage the appearance, the original deco features and the community feel of the present buildings, but it would also place kitchens, living and dining rooms above the bedrooms of the existing flats. There would be no increase in affordable housing, family homes or units accessible to disabled people, and the existing residents would suffer noise nuisance and a loss of outlook and natural light.
“I support the residents in their opposition to these plans.”
Click here to download Jeremy Corbyn’s letter to Ashley Niman.

23 September It’s ugly. It’s overbearing. And it will ruin Northview estate takes up nearly all the news space (by far) on page 3 of the Islington Tribune.

And we have a letter published: Dump this montrosity

Ben Porter addresses Islington Archaeology & History Society21 September Resident Ben Porter addresses Islington Archaeology & History Society at Islington town hall about Northview and the threat of development (pictured left).

21 September Gavin Stamp, 20th Century Society trustee and writer of Nooks and Corners column in Private Eye, signs our petition

20 September Committee papers emailed over.

15 September James Dunnett, co-chair of DOCOMO-UK (pictured at the foot of this page with residents), writes to Islington council objecting to the latest proposals.

5 September Information added to Living in a flat, 1930s style.

1 September Find out at St George’s ward partnership meeting that council officers are recommending the the council approves the extra storey.

15 August No response received to letter of 2 August, so chasing letter sent.

2 August Wrote to council planning department, asking what officers would recommend, and when the application would go to committee.

28 July Letter in Camden New Journal: 20th century is at risk

20th century at risk, letter in Camden New JournalNorthview resident Mary Wash writes:
“I was very upset to see that the old polytechnic building in Prince of Wales Road might be pulled down for flats.
“Why are so many old places being pulled down to make way for these ugly flats to be built and they won’t last so long? It is like people wanting to put an extra floor on a 1930s block of flats, called Northview, which is in Islington. The thing is, less known 20th-century architecture can be particularly at risk as well.”

11 July Good luck message from English Heritage:

“I really hope your bid for local listing goes well although sadly there is often a conflict between planning demands and conservation in most councils.
“I have to say, we are all very impressed with website, a real campaigning force.
“I wish you and the other residents much luck.”

11 July Letter in Building Design:

Garden cities letter in Building Design“A scaled-down garden city design is sorely needed in inner city areas. Fears have been raised in the media that some very high density housing recently built could become the slums of tomorrow.
“A couple of years ago, CABE said developers were deterred from trying innovative design because of the costs. However, we know there are models for such design. We live in one.
“Northview, built in 1938 around a courtyard, was designed as a natural community and still works today. Despite being between two major roads in Holloway (one is the A1), it provides a restful environment, with green areas and mature trees, decades after it was built. See our website at
“The TCPA report refers to stigma in new developments – this problem is not new. Our estate has several original features that were designed to tackle common prejudices against living in flats at the time.
“Such a design could be a blueprint to bring garden cities to the inner cities.
“Unfortunately, we have found that shortsighted freeholders would often rather cram poky new homes into successful communities than appreciating an example of sustainable housing that has worked for years.”

6 July The freeholders are refusing to let us take part in London Open House.

1 July Letter in Islington Tribune about multiple planning documents – Fresh threat to homes
Here is an excerpt:
“At least five sets of documents have appeared on Islington’s website. While we have an idea of what the proposal looks like, it is nigh impossible to provide an informed response before consultation ends.
“Had it not been for a resident’s vigilance, we would be responding to inaccurate, outdated information.
“The application is proposing major changes to people's homes. If the council is serious about fairness, it should start its consultation again.”

objection document24 June Advised by Planning Aid for London that the council has failed to consult completely.

23 June Download our objection document to planning application No P101448 (right)

22 June Consultation closes tomorrow. There have now been five sets of documents on Islington council’s website. If it had not been for our vigilance in checking the council website, we would have been commenting on inaccurate plans.

12 June Documents change again. We start our objection again.

7 June Major inconsistences with drawings in latest application.

shadow5 June The latest application says that people will not lose direct sunilght with the new application. Our photograph (left) showing direct early evening sunlight on the back block shows this is wrong. With another storey, that shadow would extend much higher. Residents have said:

“We enjoy glorious sunshine in the late afternoons and evenings, which we would lose.”

“The amount of sunlight in our living room throughout the day was a key factor in our buying our home and provides us with much pleasure. We could lose least one and a half hours of sunlight a day.”

2 June Documents on website. We’ve spent so much time looking at planning applications over recently we can tell at first glance that the documents are incomplete. Council updates them.

25 May Our freeholders are having yet another stab at building on the back block. Including the times they've been sent back to change drawings, we make this their fourth attempt.

15 May Open City has invited Northview to take part in this year's London Open House event on 17-18 September.

26 April SAVE Britain's Heritage give us a “good luck" message, saying: “The lack of maintenance of this estate is of concern.”

1 April Neglect of our homes, architectural mugging and Drivers & Norris having to pay back our service charges in one letter in today’s Islington Tribune, entitled Assault on heritage. Here is an excerpt:
“We are awaiting yet another assault on our homes. The last attempt was just a tweaked version of the first one, with no consideration of the community who live here…. Original features could be damaged and destroyed, and a peaceful and distinctive community architecturally mugged.
“While time and money is spent on drawing up plans after plans, our homes have been left to rot.
“The leasehold valuation tribunal recently ordered managing agent Drivers and Norris to refund half its management charges since it took over, as well as the entire reserve fund.”

15 March We’re trying to track down former Northview leaseholders who may be due a share of the payout. If you lived here since Drivers & Norris took over management in 2003 or know someone who did, contact us on northviewresidents [at] yahoo (dot) co (dot) uk.

25 February Leasehold valuation tribunal says the evidence suggested Northview managing agent Drivers & Norris had an “unresponsive, unhelpful and even an aggressive management style”.

As well as half the management fees (£29,187.28), the whole of the reserve fund – worth £27,320.96 – has to be paid back after the leasehold valuation tribunal found “quite fundamental errors in managing” it.

More on the tribunal findings at Northview residents due to be repaid over £1,000 each.

18 February Northview residents get some major wins in a leasehold valuation tribunal case, including refunds of the reserve fund and half of the management fees going back to 2003.

northview residents defend oasis flats in the islington tribune 11 February Page lead in Islington Tribune (click on cutting or headline below to see it on the Islington Tribune’s site):

Battle lines drawn as neighbours plan defence of their ‘oasis’ flats.

Fury at fresh bid to build extra storey at 1930s block with a sense of community.

Excerpt from Peter Gruner’s article

NEIGHBOURS in a distinctive block of 1930s flats in Holloway launched a new battle this week against an “overbearing” development which they claim will ruin their community.

Resident Ben Porter said: “It is an asset to a much-maligned area and should be protected from cynical overdevelopment,” he said.
“A peaceful and distinctive community of flats will be architecturally mugged if this proposal goes ahead. This design will only suffocate the clean architecture squashed underneath.
“The proposed storey would mar that rare thing on this stretch of the Holloway Road – an intact example of a period architecture that creates a sense of community and offers a peaceful environment – an oasis if you like, from the bustle and noise of what is already a densely populated area.”
Another resident, David Kinnin, thought the proposed extra floor would look ugly. “A glass balcony does not fit in with the mild and sedate 1930s architecture,” he said.
“This design will create a barrel effect and make the whole of Northview feel very claustrophobic. We will lose the only sunlight we get. There will be a massive loss of privacy, and noise pollution.”
Neighbour Sarwar Osman said: “The facilities cannot cope with an increase in residents. The cycle store is woefully inadequate. Security is perceived as an issue of little or no concern.”

Jan Kinnin and Ben Porter6 February Residents Jan Kinnin and Ben Porter profiled in Islington Tribune (left). Ben Porter says: “Developers want to build an extra single storey above our block of unique 1930s private dwellings in Tufnell Park Road. It will block out the light to some residents and overlook others. It will ruin the area around the flats.” The article says: “His objection is supported by James Dunnett, a member of the Islington Society, who described the design as ‘crude’ and likely to ‘ruin’ the unique village green appearance of the estate.”

2 February James Dunnett RIBA describes proposed scheme as “very crude”
“The scheme seems very similar in bulk to … the first application, with modified architectural details, not evidently for the better – i.e. it remains very crude, for example the relationship between the raised stair ‘towers’ and the extra storey.
“It doesn’t seem to me that the daylight study tackles the main issue, which is the effect of the extra storey on the existing flats beneath it and the courtyard – the study concerns the impact on neighbouring properties, which have never seemed likely to be the worst affected, apart from flats in the taller block on Tufnell Park Road. So in that sense it seems irrelevant.
“The fourth storey on the block on Tufnell Park Road itself is on the north side so will have less effect in overshadowing the courtyard than would an extra storey on the south side. An extra storey on one side should not mean that an extra storey would be acceptable all round.”
“The transition from the taller block on Tufnell Park Road to the lower block behind around the courtyard is a very pleasant feature, a gain in ‘intimacy’ as the site is entered, and this will be lost if the courtyard block is raised, quite apart from the loss in feeling of light and ‘openness’.”

proposal to build hideous extra storey20 January Sent in our opposition to our freeholders’ latest plan to build on top of our estate (above, left). Download Northview Residents’ Association’s objection document.

19 January Letter from resident to council describes proposals as “architectural mugging”.

16 January Consider looking to see if there’s and award for Least Sustainable Housing Development – proposed floor seems to breach every Islington council, London Plan and government sustainability policy. Is sustainable neither inenvironmental terms nor as a place to live.

15 January Bike enthusiasts on Northview point out that proposed cycle store is insecure and be a magnet for thieves. And it’ll create a dark corner where people can lurk unseen.

14 January Email from Architects Registration Board about the company that drew up the plans. It’s called Pinnacle Architectural Services, and Pinnacle Architecture is registered at the same address at Companies House. Email says: “I can confirm that there is no architect registered at that address, so one can therefore safely assume that Pinnacle Architectural Services is not an architects’ practice.”

12 January Light report also seems to infer that, because city homes often have less than optimal light, it is acceptable to cut this further.

11 January Discover that 1-12 Northview is also an area of special character. In the Greater London Development Plan, these were “areas of metropolitan importance, the preservation of which is considered essential to the retention of the character of London as a whole”.

10 January A neighbour says the new designs will make Northview look like a barrel, instead of a classic 1930 building.

10 January Conflicting statements in latest application to build another storey on Northview – one application document says it won’t cut light, another says it will. Likewise, one document says trees won’t need to be cut, another says they will.

6 January Drawings for extra storey now available. Application actually admits that proposed development will cut natural light to some windows

5 January Application documents appear on Islington’s website. So much for getting 21 days for making comments – it’s more like two weeks. We’d have even less time if we had to go to the office or ask the council for hard copies.

30 December Letters received by some leaseholders saying our freeholders are making a third attempt to build on top of Northview. Application lodged, consultation open until 20 January, but no papers, drawings or anything else available. Letter from council dated 21 December, postmarked 23 December.

22 December Islington council’s building control department confirms that window has been replaced in Northview without consent. Picture of the window on Flickr at

30 November Have found the front block of 12 flats in Northview has been designated a special policy area.

12 November Enclave is a design gem. A gem of an enclave that could be a blueprint for housing schemes – letter in Islington Tribune after CABE’s funding cut. Click here to read Design gem letter in full. Excerpt below.

“Earlier this year, CABE started a debate on ‘ordinary places’, and found that cost and time were preventing locally distinct schemes from being designed and built.
“We were able to point to a simple solution, as we live in a distinct local gem that could provide an attractive blueprint for future homes – Northview in Holloway, a residential enclave whose design as a natural community has worked for decades (see it at
“CABE’s head of evidence said: ‘We like unheralded examples of good design. We’ll investigate Northview.’
“CABE has now lost its funding. We hope that the opportunity to learn from local examples of tried and tested sustainable design will not be lost.

Northview tree21 September Seven trees at Northview get protected by tree preservation orders, including the one shown here. So we won’t be arriving home to find they’re being cut again.

14 September Message from Save Finsbury Health Centre campaigners: “Have seen about your fight at Northview - best of luck.”

16 August More social history needed if we’re to get Northview locally listed, say the council, so it’s back to the local history centre today

11 August Planning application to build another storey on top of our nearly intact 1930s estate has been deemed invalid by the council.

16 July Architectural gems deserve preserving, not vandalising. Letter in the Islington Tribune. Excerpt: “Sadly, Holloway’s unique and eclectic mix of architectural styles – including our 1930s corner here – can be particularly vulnerable to overdevelopment. Local architectural gems should be preserved, not vandalised in the name of profit.” Click here to read Architectural gems letter in full.

14 July Withdrawal of planning application covered in Building Design and Property Week (both behind paywalls), as “Carbuncle Cup forces retreat over Northview roof extension”.

7 July Our freeholders have withdrawn their application for a ghastly extension to Northview – but we’ve heard rumours they’re planning something else. Await with dread…

2 July Buzz off! 40,000 bees, which made a perfect honeycomb about 4ft long in Northview’s roofspace, were removed this week.

25 June Building control say they’re investigating whether window that’s REALLY in keeping with original Crittall and replacement windows has consent after we reported it. Picture of it at

30 May Message from Russ Ager, commercial manager at Crittall windows, regarding the window installed this month: “Totally agree. The uPVC replacement looks awful and spoils the architecture of this classic building.” Follow Russ Ager on Twitter at

28 May Upper window, installed this month, is neither in keeping with original Crittall windows on Northview – nor with replacement windows. Pictures on Flickr at

26 May Bad repairs to an original Crittall window at Northview. Pictures on Flickr at

18 May Elanor Warwick, head of evidence at CABE, says: “We like unheralded examples of good design… We’ll investigate Northview”

7 May The two candidates who have written in support of the list Northview campaign - LibDems Tracy Ismail and David Wilson – have both been elected councillors for St George’s Ward, Islington.

Profit-driven developers put neglected heritage in danger

7 May Letter in Islington Tribune: Profit-driven developers put neglected heritage in danger

Here it is:

“The action to stop developers from stuffing the Beaux Arts Building with flats and offices is to be commended.
“For too long, Holloway’s architectural heritage has been neglected. Bordering conservation areas and eclipsed by Islington’s famous Georgian terraces, the area is in danger of having its unique architectural heritage destroyed, bit by bit, as developers move in, bent on profit. Northview estate, also in Holloway, is likewise threatened with a hideous overdevelopment.
“We’ve applied to the council for local listing – our campaign website is at
The council’s strategy for the area says: ‘The town centre has a large number of architecturally and historically interesting buildings with an eclectic variety of buildings and styles, creating a lot of visual interest generally, with a consistent and human scale.’
“Let’s hope that, now that the election is over, the council acts to preserve Holloway’s architectural gems – and that it makes its move before the developers do.”

29 April Our managing agents’ window is advertising auctions for February and December 2009. In February last year, according to Estates Gazette, nothing was sold in the auction room.

28 April "I’m very much in favour of listing North View,” – email from David Wilson, a Liberal Democrat candidate in the local election.

23 April The government design watchdog, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, approves a Northview post on its website. Its Ordinary Places document is intended to spark a debate about residential areas around city centres, as they can suffer from "badly designed new housing". See

21 April More support – this time from John Keleher, who looks after IT at Crittall, the firm that made Northview’s original metal windows: "I wish you luck in your efforts," says John Keleher, who lists architecture and construction among his interests. We’re following each other on Twitter – he’s on

5 April More strong political support for our campaign to get Northview locally listed. “I support this 100%,” says Tracy Ismail, one of our ward Liberal Democrat councillors

Building Design cutting1 April Carbuncle alert! We’re in Building Design magazine. We compared two finalists in Building Design’s Carbuncle Cup to the proposals for redeveloping Northview to show they're hideous, and neither innovative nor original. It’s at but behind a paywall – scroll down to “Horror storey”.

30 March First political support message – from Cllr Ursula Woolley, Lib Dem deputy leader of Islington council: “That’s a great idea – I do like the building personally and will definitely back you.”

29 March Building Design magazine get in touch. They seemed to find it quite entertaining that we’d compared the proposed development at Northview to buildings shortlisted for their Carbuncle Cup award, “architecture’s only prize for sheer, downright ugliness”.

26 March Our bid for listing is in the letters page of the Islington Tribune. The letter, written in response to ghastly proposals for the Beaux Arts Building, also says: “We trust that local listing would also make owners think twice before trying to vandalise people’s homes and showing such contempt for rare and important parts of Islington’s heritage.”

Here it is:
“So, the architectural vandals are out in force yet again in Holloway. Northview, opposite the Holloway Odeon, is similarly under threat from a hideous development. This week, residents applied for local listing, which we hope will highlight the rare, architectural, historical and social importance of Northview. Our new website – – illustrates why Northview should be preserved.
“Northview retains many original features of the 1930s, from its overall design to deco touches, drawing on Mayan and Egyptian cultures, with papyrus and ziggurat designs. It shows how builders tackled the prejudice against living in flats that was common at the time. It may be the only development of its type in Islington.
“Northview’s buildings also work with each other and the exuberant Holloway Odeon, which is the same age, to provide a cluster of original 1930s buildings, offering a lot of visual interest in complementary and contrasting fashions. Local listing of Northview and the Beaux Arts Building would highlight Holloway and Nag’s Head as historical areas and promote conservation.
“We trust that local listing would also make owners think twice before trying to vandalise people’s homes and showing such contempt for rare and important parts of Islington’s heritage.”

25 March Checking Islington’s locally listed buildings and find that one is an adult cinema club’s shopfront on the Cally Road. Perhaps it has a more interesting history than Northview does.

Architectural vandalism Islington Tribune story



15 January Page lead in Islington Tribune. Read “Architectural vandalism threat to estate with own village green”.

Story follows our contacting James Dunnett (see below).

James Dunnett and Peter Gruner13 January James Dunnett (left) and Peter Gruner (right) from the Islington Tribune visit. James Dunnett says Northview worthy of local listing.

7 January Email James Dunnett RIBA, a modern architecture expert, who spoke about 1930s architecture at a joint meeting of the Islington Archaeology & History Society and the Islington Society (he doesn’t know us). He emails back with extremely useful comments and provides our campaign with some welcome credibility.

December 2009 Freeholders apply to build horrible extra storey on top of Northview’s back block


Back to top


Home: Northview – a rare survivor of its time

Fifth threat to deco heritage

Northview’s architecture – an enclave with deco features

Living in a flat, 1930s style

A 1930s corner of Holloway – group value

Living over the Hackney Brook

Buildings at risk – neglect at Northview

Archive: New threat to 1930s oasis

Archive: It started with a Nissen hut … stop architectural vandalism

Contact, links, sources and acknowledgements