Student housing with daylight-blocking rooms wins UK's 'worst new building' award
Natural light is a luxury not a necessity for some students in UCL's multi-million pound block in London
A £18m student block criticised for letting rooms without daylight has officially been named the UK’s worst new building.
Part of University College London, the development on Caledonian Road was awarded Building Design magazine’s annual Carbuncle Cup today, weeks before welcoming its first residents.
The now infamous building has 23 rooms that face directly onto an old, listed façade and do not meet legal requirements for daylight. Students allocated to these rooms will have to look sideways to see outside.
Planning permission was refused by Islington Council and only awarded after a 2010 appeal, in which a planning inspector decided the rooms 'would not be unacceptably oppressive within the context of the intended typical nature of occupation'. He ruled that daylight is not a necessity for the average student.
Cllr Paul Convery, chair of the Islington Council committee which turned down the original planning application, said: "We refused planning permission for reasons including the poor quality of the design, and the poor quality of amenity for students.
"We were very disappointed that the government inspector overturned the council's decision and granted planning permission for this building."
Defending the decision to go ahead with the new build, a spokesperson for UCL commented: "The final design complies with all necessary planning regulations in respect of outlook, amenity and natural daylight. It evolved through in-depth and extensive consultation with Islington Council’s planning, conservation and urban design officers."
The flats are advertised on the UCL accommodation website with prices at £169.05 per week for a single ensuite. With rents in university housing rising annually and many students struggling with debt, the rooms have been met with fierce criticism and dubbed "unfit for purpose" by the National Union of Students.
This article was updated to include a comment from Islington Council.
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?
Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent
"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier
Striker's four-month ban for biting an opponent expires on Friday
Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
£24000 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The Job:Te...
£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: the job ? We are looking for...
£4800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: A full time...
£21000 - £36000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: SENCO - Benfleet - J...