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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e: aobyrne@volterra.co.uk
t: +44 020 8878 6333

Alex O’Byrne, Associate at Volterra, is an experienced economic consultant specialising in economic, health and social impact, economic strategy, project appraisal and socio-economic planning matters.

Alex has led the socio-economic and health assessments of some of the most high profile developments across the UK, including Battersea Power Station, Olympia London, London Resort, MSG Sphere and Westfield. He has significant experience inputting to EIAs and s106 discussions as well as drafting economic statements, employment and skills strategies and affordable workspace strategies.

Alex is also experienced at economic appraisal for infrastructure. He was project manager of the economic appraisal for the City Centre to Mangere Light Rail in Auckland. He also led the economic and financial appraisals of the third tranche of the Transport Access Program for Transport for New South Wales, in which Alex developed and employed innovative methodological approaches to better capture benefits for individuals with reduced mobility.

He is interested in the limitations of current appraisal methodologies and ways of improving economic and health analysis to ensure it is accessible to as many people as possible. To this end, Alex recognises the importance of transparent and simple to understand analysis and ensuring all work is supported by a robust narrative.

Alex holds a BSc (Hons) in Economics from the University of Manchester and he was a member of the first cohort of the Mayor’s Infrastructure Young Professionals Panel.


Senior Partner

e: eevans@volterra.co.uk
t: +44 020 8878 6333

Ellie is a partner at Volterra, specialising in the economic impact of developments and proposals, and manages many of the company’s projects on economic impact, regeneration, transport and development.

With thirteen years experience at Volterra delivering high quality projects to clients across the public and private sector, Ellie has expertise in developing methods of estimating economic impact where complex issues exist with regards to deadweight, displacement and additionality.

Ellie has significant experience in estimating the economic impact across all types of property development including residential, leisure, office and mixed use schemes.

Project management of recent high profile schemes include the luxury hotel London Peninsula, Battersea Power Station and the Nova scheme at London Victoria. Ellie has also led studies across the country estimating the economic and regeneration impact of proposed transport investments, including studies on HS2 and Crossrail.

Ellie holds a degree in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Cambridge.