A decision on plans for a multi-storey office block near Old Street station has been delayed for a third time.

Islington Council’s planning committee discussed proposals to replace Fitzroy House and Castle House with a nine-storey building yesterday evening (January 9).

Residents in neighbouring blocks of flats raised a number of objections about the scheme at the meeting, while almost 200 individual submissions have been made to the council during the planning process.

Some tenants fear that the development by Lion Portfolio, which would be six storeys high in places, would block daylight to their flats.

Planning officers had recommended that councillors approve the scheme, after changes were made to the designs since the plans were last considered in October.

At that meeting, councillors had asked the developer to revisit the scheme to mitigate the impacts on daylight and sunlight to nearby homes, as well as further consulting with impacted people.

There had previously been concerns that disabled residents at 10 Epworth Street would see significant reductions in daylight reaching their flats.

But planning officers claimed last night that there were “marked improvements” for the block in the latest plans.

These include completely eliminating the top floor of the new development directly facing these residents, as well as setting the fifth floor further back.

In total, the new plans would have seen a reduction of the development’s floorspace by 411sq m, a loss of just over 1% of the original scheme.

But residents of other residential blocks in Epworth Street and nearby Clere Street claimed these measures were not enough to mitigate the overall impact of the scheme.

One objector, who has lived on the first floor at 17-18 Clere Street since 2009, said that the small cutbacks facing her block did “nothing" to ameliorate the problems with daylight.

She said: “It has shocked all of us that they think they [the developer] can possibly behave like this – they simply haven’t listened.”

Another objector, who has lived at 24 Epworth Street for more than a decade, claimed that there was “no meaningful consultation” on the revised plans.

He said that the developer only organised a single Zoom call about the new plans, and this was only after they had been submitted to the council’s planning team.

But the developer told councillors that the revised scheme “directly addresses the concerns” they raised in October.

They said that the setbacks had reduced the visual impact of the development from neighbouring streets, with the upper floors pulled back by two to three metres in some places.

The developer added that they had started consultation on the project in March 2022 with a series of meetings open to the community, before inviting residents at more than 1,400 properties to the Zoom meeting in December last year.

Councillors ultimately decided to defer the decision on the scheme, citing concerns around the daylight impacts on residential blocks in Clere Street.

They have asked the developer to revisit these aspects of the scheme in their plans.