The Big House, Islington

Education & Community

Firstplan advised on and lead the planning process on behalf of “The Big House”, an Islington-based charity working with care leavers at a high risk of social exclusion, helping them to unleash their members creative potential through theatre.

The proposals related to a constrained and contentious site located in a quite residential backland site just off Essex Road, formerly used for the production of mirrors but vacant for over 10 years and the subject of a number of unsuccessful attempts to secure planning consent for redevelopment/ change of use. Firstplan successfully negotiated with the Council through pre-application discussions and a subsequent full planning application, overcoming issues relating to loss of an employment site, contamination and noise/amenity considerations relating to a public-facing use on a residential-surrounded site to secure planning consent at the first attempt. The process secured the charity their first permanent home, providing a bespoke head office facility as well as the theatre area, other multi-use spaces and additional office space for private rental.