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Design and Conservation

Islington has a rich and unique built environment. Historic buildings and spaces and well-designed new development contribute to the local character and distinctiveness of the borough and make it an attractive, more sustainable place to live, work and visit.

As a result, urban design and conservation issues play a major role in our planning policies and are an important factor when we assess planning applications.


Enhancing the quality of the built environment through high quality, accessible and sustainable design is vital to ensuring the continued enjoyment of the borough by those who live, work and visit. We want to encourage appropriate modern development and public realm improvements in the borough by working closely with developers, architects and other stakeholders.

Our design guidelines are split into three sub-categories:

  • Urban design - a broad approach to designing well thought out buildings that relate to the spaces around them and work well in their context
  • Inclusive design - accessible and inclusive environments
  • Sustainable design - designing buildings which are environmentally sustainable.

In addition, Islington’s Design Review Panel has been set up as an independent advisory body to the council to contribute to the design development of major or other significant schemes within the borough.


Islington has many high quality historic buildings and spaces, so conservation is a very important aspect of planning policy and development management.

The borough currently has:

All of these heritage assets add much to the borough’s character, economy and community pride – they are irreplaceable features which need careful protection and management.

The Design and Conservation Team works to preserve and enhance the borough’s historic assets and to ensure new development is of the highest design quality for the long term enjoyment of current residents and visitors, as well as future generations.

You can contact the Design and Conservation Team by email on

Repairing and upgrading windows in listed buildings and conservation areas

If your property is a listed building or in a conservation area, and you would like to repair, upgrade or replace your windows, then you are likely to need planning permission and / or listed building consent to undertake the works.

This guidance will help residents to find the best option and make a successful application for their windows. This is to align with the council's target of being a Net Zero Carbon borough by 2030.

Download our guide to repairing and upgrading windows in listed buildings.

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