Stop architectural vandalism


29 September 2011: Islington councillors unanimously reject plans to build on top of Northview. See Northview News


Northview avoided the bombs that hit near neighbours the Odeon and the buildings where Holloway Road post office is now. It survived a gas explosion in the 1980s, the collapse of a road nearby above its underground river and ill thought out building proposals just 10 years after it was finished.

Despite it heritage and historic value, it is now under threat from a fourth attempt at architectural vandalism by its owners. See New threat to 1930s oasis.

Northview is the only survivor of its kind in the whole borough should be protected from such attacks.

In December 2009, the freeholders applied to Islington council to build a hideous extra storey on top of Northview (scroll down to see details). This was withdrawn in July and a second application, made in summer 2010, was declared invalid. Another application ws made in December 2010.

The latest application was made in summer 2011. It will ruin the heritage value and community feel of Northview. The proposed scheme is the same as the last one, with a bit lopped off one end.

northview residents defend oasis flats in the islington tribune

Press coverage

We've been covered in the Islington Tribune: see, for example, Battle lines drawn as neighbours plan defence of their ‘oasis’ flats and “Architectural vandalism’ threat to Northview estate with own village green”.

It was also covered in Building Design and Property Week.

See the Northview News page for more of our press coverage.


James Dunnett at NorthviewA lot of people agree with us

Residents have been supported in resisting attempts to ruin Northview by modern architecture expert James Dunnett RIBA (left).

We've also received messages of support from SAVE Britain's heritage, local politicians and amenity groups, and others interested in heritage. See the Northview News page for more details.

James Dunnett, commenting on an early application, said: “The proposed extra storey will certainly detract from any feelings of light and space in the courtyard and the flats overlooking it, and will spoil a modest but attractive development characteristic of its time.

“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.”

Letter rejecting Nissen hut application
A long time back

The council recognised the value of the block when it refused permission for extra building back in 1948 on the grounds it was “detrimental to the amenities of the adjacent buildings ”, when the estate was hardly a decade old (click on the letter, right, to read it).

We trust it will apply the same wisdom for something much worse on a far greater scale now.

Prevent such cultural disregard

Local listing could help prevent applications that show complete disregard for such a rare and important piece of architectural and social history.

proposal to build hideous extra storey First recent attempt at architectural vandalism

The first application – thankfully withdrawn – was to build a dreary floor in glass and grey metal.

An overbearing extra storey, in harsh glass and hideous grey metal, was proposed for the larger, back block. Our Opposition to the application (download here or click on the picture) detailed how it would ruin the look of Northview and its community feel, and make it gloomy and less safe, and how it breached many council planning policies.

About this scheme, James Dunnett said: “It does look as though the proposed extra storey will be crudely detailed and ill-related to the quiet and pleasant pre-war development and, furthermore, the present height of the buildings is appropriate to the size of the courtyard, whilst the extra storey will tend to make it feel dark and cramped.

“The full-height glazing in the proposed extra storey, extending down to the present roof level, seems problematic visually and in terms of privacy and functionality. The design of the extension makes no attempt to relate to the delicacy of scale of the existing bay windows and other features.”


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Home: Northview – a rare survivor of its time

Northview news

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

Archive: New threat to 1930s oasis

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

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