Around 100 families in need could have a genuinely affordable new council home under new Islington Council plans for new housing, a fantastic new leisure centre and NHS GP surgery to replace the ageing Finsbury Leisure Centre.
The outline designs, published today for local residents to feed back on, would see the 58-year-old centre demolished to make way for the modern buildings, responding to the borough’s housing crisis and providing new sports and medical facilities. They include:
Around 100 new council homes, with another 100 for sale to help pay for them, that will help transform the lives of local people waiting for council housing – prioritised for nearby families in housing need, and those with disabilities.
A brand-new leisure centre with all the current facilities re-provided, including a six-court sports hall, four rooftop football pitches, four squash courts, general use studios, and a new, modern facility for the gym currently at Ironmonger Row Baths.
Space for an NHS GP surgery, delivering a new modern medical facility designed to best serve Islington communities as they grow.
Safer, greener, cleaner streets and public spaces, including new planting and improved, better-lit streets and cycle paths.
With more than 15,000 people waiting for a council home in Islington, the plans are a key part of the council’s commitment to tackle the housing crisis and its ambition to start work on 750 new council homes by 2027.
The scheme will also see Finsbury Leisure Centre, built in 1975 and last refurbished in 2004, replaced with a brand-new building with better facilities, improved accessibility and a smaller carbon footprint.
The council has been working with the local community to explore ways of improving the site and delivering benefits for the local community since 2017. Most recently, it invited people to share their feedback on its early proposals in July 2022. The latest plans respond to that feedback and show more details about what the site could look like, subject to planning permission.
The council is expecting to submit a planning application in spring 2024 and a further round of public engagement on the detailed proposals will take place before the application is submitted.
Councillor Diarmaid Ward, Deputy Leader of Islington Council and Executive Member for Finance, Planning and Performance, said: “Islington has a housing crisis and doing nothing is not an option. These proposals will create fantastic new council homes and help us achieve our vision of a more equal Islington, where everyone has a safe, decent and genuinely affordable place to call home and can enjoy a greener, healthier borough.
“We’ve listened carefully to what people told us they wanted, including for leisure facilities to stay on-site, greener outdoor spaces and genuinely affordable homes for local people. Now we’re keen to hear feedback on our more detailed plans, to make sure we get this right and make the most of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the area. I hope you’ll take part.”
The council is holding three events to gather feedback from local people on:
Tuesday 9 January, 12-5pm, Finsbury Leisure Centre, EC1V 3PU
Thursday 11 January, 6-7pm, online via Zoom – register for online event
Saturday 13 January, 10am-2pm, St Luke’s Community Centre (Bunhill Room), EC1V 8AJ
Residents can also take part online until Sunday 28 January.