Caledonian Park visitor centre saga a clear warning to us all
02 March, 2018
• YOUR readers might be tired of the Caledonian Park project and its ongoing problems but the lessons it teaches are area-wide and worrying.
Islington residents should be aware of what is going on here and, by implication, what might happen in their community next.
Despite strong local objections and more than 1,500 signatures from residents and park-users, Islington Council planning committee allowed this project to go ahead but put limits on the hours that the building could open.
The committee stated the reasons for the restrictions were: “To ensure the use does not adversely impact on existing and future residential amenity” and “To ensure that the proposed development does not have an adverse impact on neighbouring residential amenity.”
The project has not been built and is months away from opening, but next week a new application will appear before the same committee requesting that the hours exceed these limits by up to 260 per cent – for example, on Sundays during the summer, when there would be the most impact, an increase from a maximum of five hours to 13 hours a day.
This is no small adjustment; it is a major, damaging removal of the measures designed to protect residents.
The location has not changed, the proximity to those living within metres of the centre is the same, the potential impact in terms of nuisance, noise, traffic, privacy and litter all remain unaltered.
If this application is accepted the planning committee will have effectively decided that either the local population is less important than it was when this matter was last discussed or that it accepted a business plan so dysfunctional that it needs to be drastically changed before it is even put into effect.
Either would be shameful and, moreover, a clear warning to every resident in the borough.