It has come to our attention that Islington and Camden Councils are to make a joint application for a judicial review of Boris Johnson’s decision to grant planning permission for the Royal Mail Group’s (RMG) proposals at Mount Pleasant. The Mount Pleasant Association (MPA) supports this application, though we regret that it is necessary.
We have always maintained that the process has been closer to a cynical exercise in land valuation than a genuine desire to create a new and vital part of our city. The RMG’s universally unpopular fortress-like scheme of luxury investment units and unaffordable housing inappropriately arranged around a flawed plan will blight our neighbourhood for centuries. The current scheme is a bad design, a bad investment and bad for London.
The Mayor of London ‘called in’ this planning application in January 2014 to speed up the decision-making process. Since then, despite both councils rejecting the scheme within weeks, the additional planning scrutiny added 16 months and a very substantial cost to the public purse. A judicial review of the Mayor’s unpopular decision will add further to this time and cost. This, sadly, is the consequence of a greedy scheme that has come to embody all that is wrong with development in London at present.
For the sake of our neighbourhood, for Londoners and for the British taxpayer, we want this scandal to end. We have been working for nearly three years with the local community and professional partners to develop a scheme that respects and enhances this historic area and delivers more homes for Londoners. That is why we are pursuing the Community Right to Build project. We believe that the community should be at the heart of a new development on this important site and we are therefore confident that the ‘Mount Pleasant Circus’ is a good design, a good investment and good for London.
We will be holding a public consultation on our Community Right to Build submission on 8 June at the Margery Street Community Hall (corner of Farringdon Rd/Margery Street). We warmly invite all of our neighbours, friends and visitors to come along to learn more about our plans and to give us your comments.