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Planning permission granted to new hotel development in Finsbury Square following Volterra Report

logo (large)Permission was granted earlier this month for The Montcalm Hotel Group to convert the Royal London House in Finsbury Square to a 256 room hotel. Islington Council initially refused planning consent as they did not want to lose office space and stated that a hotel would compromise the economic function of the area. Volterra were brought on board to challenge this judgment and assess the potential benefits the hotel could bring to the local economy. Our report shows that the jobs created by a hotel would better match the skillset of the locally unemployed. Furthermore the proposed partnership with the Central Foundation Boys’ School with work experience, placements and employment opportunities offered demonstrates the Group’s commitment to providing opportunities for local people. We concluded that the hotel would also attract visitors, money and expenditure to the area and would help address the historic undersupply of hotels in London, specifically serving the needs of businesses. Bridget Rosewell gave evidence at the public inquiry. The Inspector concluded that the heritage benefits of retaining the existing, locally listed, building, along with the fact that this is a scheme which will deliver valuable jobs and opportunities for local people in the short term, outweighed any adverse impacts and that the scheme should be permitted. Islington subsequently confirmed that they will not challenge this decision. The team at Volterra are excited to see the hotel develop and add to the vibrancy of this part of London, where a mix of different uses are crucial to creating places that people want to live, work and visit.

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