With an acute shortage of affordable housing in the borough, an airspace development of this kind would avoid the need to build on local green spaces and other open areas.

This was our latest assignment for Apex, having advised on other projects including a residential scheme in the London Borough of Southwark which Apex has now completed.

What we did 

As well as members of Apex and Shian, we worked on the Islington scheme 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 took 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


The results 

We heard many views and constructive ideas for building improvements from the residents – ranging from better security and new windows to solar energy panels, upgraded communal outside spaces and a roof terrace or balconies.

And we analysed these to provide a summary for the design team to take on board in creating initial proposals, which it has discussed with Islington Borough Council’s planners, backed up by a consultation report.

Next steps 

We intend to involve the building’s residents again 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.