Islington architects - refurbishment of georgian listed flat with wooden floor

Architecture for London has completed a number of projects in Islington. We have expertise in working with listed buildings and heritage projects, and our Islington architects understand the particular planning and conservation issues of working in the borough.

At our house extension and refurbishment in Calabria Road, Highbury, planning consent was achieved for a contemporary rear extension to a Victorian property in a conservation area. The extension features a double-height space in the kitchen to create a generous new family room at the rear of the house. A continuous polished concrete floor runs out from the kitchen into the garden, connecting the interior and exterior spaces. If you are looking for experienced Islington architects, please contact us to arrange an initial design session.

Other recent Architecture for London projects in Islington include extensions, basements and refurbishments in Canonbury N5, Barnsbury N1, Angel N1, De Beauvoir N1, Tufnell Park N7 and Clerkenwell EC1.

View Architecture for London’s portfolio of recent architectural residential projects.

Highbury House Extension, N5

Highbury house extension: north London architects

Sustainability is a key consideration of every project we work on in Islington. We consider both energy use and the embodied energy of materials in detail, whilst also being aware of the conservation issues in the borough when selecting external materials. We have achieved planning and listed building consents in Islington for sustainability improvements including insulating listed buildings, replacement triple glazing, solar and PV panels and heat pumps.

Islington Conservation Areas: Design Guidelines

Much of Islington has a consistent character, with Georgian and Victorian squares and terraces. This is due to the enormous expansion in housing in the borough in the 19th Century. This rapid development is illustrated by the population growing from 10,000 In 1801 to nearly 320,000 in 1891.

To protect the unique character and charm of Islington’s neighbourhoods, 41 conservation areas span nearly 50% of the borough. Conservation issues are a key consideration in Islington’s planning policy.

Developments in listed buildings in Islington

With a total area of just 14.87km², Islington is one of the smallest boroughs in London. Despite its small size, there are over 4500 listed buildings in Islington.

Our architects have significant experience working with listed buildings in Islington, having recently achieved successful planning consent for over 35 homes in the borough, including 15 listed buildings.

Grade II Listed Villa Stone House, Barnsbury, N1

“AFL transformed our rather dowdy Grade 2 listed building into a beautiful, bright home, carefully preserving its heritage but bringing the house elegantly into the 21st century. From the first rough drawing to the completion of the project, AFL’s creative and vibrant expertise has been exceptional.” – Mike and Judith, Islington

listed building architect islington

Islington architects & planning permission policy

It is important when appointing an architect in Islington to ensure that they are knowledgeable of the borough’s Local Plan and Core Strategy.

Every Local Planning Authority is required to produce a Local Plan which will guide the planning decisions for the area for the following 10-15 years. Islington’s previous Core Strategy was released in 2011. The borough is currently in the process of producing a revised local plan and core strategy, which will guide the development in Islington for the next 10-15 years.

A Local Plan is a document produced by local planning authorities in consultation with the community. The document sets out the plan for the development and use of land in a local area over the next 15 years. A Local Plan may be one document or may contain several documents such as a core strategy. Within London, boroughs are required to ensure that their plans fit within the framework of the wider London Plan. Local plans contain detailed planning policies and development proposals and are the basis for informing planning decisions.

Our architects understand the importance of ensuring that we are aware of any changes to planning policies which may impact our clients. Islington’s local plan is currently in the final stage of the plan-making process. Once this has been completed it will replace the local plan from 2011 and 2013, which this page currently references.

North London architects: Islington house extension

Islington Permitted Development rights

Permitted development rights allow many improvements and extensions to existing homes, for example, rear extensions, garden rooms and loft conversions. If you live in a freehold house, then you may have permitted development rights.

Article 4 Directions sometimes exist in conservation areas, they can remove some or all permitted development rights that would otherwise have existed. Islington publishes guidance for each conservation area that makes clear if any permitted development rights are removed.

Pre-app advice in Islington

Islington offers a pre-application service. This provides written advice from a planning officer based on outline sketches that can be before submitting an application. We don’t always recommend this route, mostly due to the time scales involved. For simpler householder projects, proceeding straight to a full planning application is usually our recommended route. Pre-apps are often however productive on larger schemes, for example on new build houses and multi-unit residential and commercial developments.

Halliford Street, Islington N1 – House Extension in North London

Architect kitchen extension north London

Loft conversions in Islington

Often loft conversions can be undertaken in Islington under permitted development. In conservation areas of Islington, sometimes an Article 4 direction removes PD for loft conversions. In this case a householder planning application will be required. Listed buildings will always require both planning consent and listed building consent. We have achieved consent for mansard roof additions to Grade II listed buildings and to locally listed buildings in Islington.

Top-floor flats in Islington will generally always require planning permission for a loft conversion. There are exceptions where there are no visible external alterations to the property.

Rear extensions in Islington

Many residential extensions and garden rooms can be built under permitted development and therefore don’t require planning consent. When consent is required, rear extensions in Islington must respect the integrity, rhythm and visual amenity of the street. Garden rooms and outbuildings should retain a sufficiently large proportion of the original garden and be subordinate to the main buildings.

Islington Design Guide SPD provides detailed guidance on rear extensions:

  • Ground floor infill extensions are usually acceptable in design terms.
  • Where there are generous gardens, there is sometimes an opportunity to extend out beyond the existing line of the rear outrigger.
  • Where there is variation in the elevations, extensions above existing rear outriggers will normally be acceptable if they are below the lowest point of the roof.

Basements renovations in Islington

Most basement developments in Islington require planning consent. When there are no visible above-ground changes proposed, there may be some circumstances where basements are permitted development. Islington requires basements to be no greater than 50% of the original garden and to be smaller in area than the original footprint of the building, whichever the lesser.

Basements should generally not exceed 1 storey in depth, and not exceed 3m floor-to-ceiling height in Islington. However, for a detached residential house with large distances to adjacent properties, the council may find it acceptable to have a basement greater than one storey in depth, if demonstrated that there would be no significant impact upon the ground conditions and on neighbouring properties.

External alterations associated with basements such as lightwells, roof lights, stairs and railings require careful, sensitive design.

Islington’s built environment

The borough’s proximity to The City has transformed Islington from a small leafy hamlet to a thriving community. There are many grand Victorian homes and sweeping Georgian terraces and the historic charm is highly prominent. As Islington has moved into the 21st century, many outstanding modern buildings have also been built in the borough. Each neighbourhood has its own identity, from the residential squares in Barnsbury to the Victorian villas lining the gently curving road of Highbury New Park.

Project architects in Islington: Matt McKenna, Ben Ridley, Amrit Marway

Please visit the AFL residential projects page to view our completed architectural residential projects in Islington.