We’ve completed the first phase of community consultation work for property developer Apex Airspace and Shian Housing Association – for a residential scheme in the London Borough of Islington.

The early-stage project is exploring the potential upwardly to extend a four-storey block of 28 flats (pictured) to develop more affordable homes, while making improvements to the existing building. With an acute shortage of affordable housing in the borough, an ‘airspace’ development of this kind addresses the lack of vacant land and avoids the need to build on green spaces and other open areas.


As well as members of Apex and Shian, we’ve been working with a multi-disciplinary team including architects from RCKa and project managers and planning consultants from RPS Group.

We decided it was vital to involve residents from the earliest point to put them in the picture and enable the team to draw up proposals which take their views and ideas fully into account.

To do this, we:

  • arranged a drop-in event (pictured), supported by plain English materials, to explain the project to residents and listen to their views
  • held a preview session for the ward councillors
  • helped the project team prepare to answer questions that were likely to arise
  • sent follow-up information to residents and councillors, with an invitation to send us further comments
  • created a section of the Apex website to outline the project and provide an online means to send in views


We’ve heard many views and ideas for building improvements – ranging from better security and new windows to solar energy panels, upgraded communal outside spaces and a roof terrace or balconies. We have analysed these to provide a summary for the design team to take on board in creating initial proposals to discuss with Islington Borough Council’s planners.

We intend to involve the building’s residents again soon when the team is ready to develop more detailed designs, and will consult the wider community before Apex submits a planning application to the local authority.

See more on our community engagement services and our work in the property sector.