CamdenNewJournal

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You’ve got the power to fight against Archway’s taller tower

08 September, 2017

‘Pretty pictures’ of the Archway campus plan

• OVER the holidays a nasty surprise has been in preparation for Archway – a new tower, 50 per cent taller than the existing ones which have so blighted the area.

After a PR-run exhibition of pretty pictures which minimise the impact, the proposals are due to go before Islington’s planning committee shortly.

The scheme for the old university campus has been put together by Peabody Enterprises Ltd. This is an organisation which has much the same relationship to the much loved Peabody Trust as the Church Commissioners do to the church.

While one organisation works for social benefit, the associated operation is purely about making money, of which only a limited percentage filters back.

Contrary to hopes, the offer at Archway is to provide only the very minimum of affordable housing which would be required of any commercial developer. The promise doesn’t even include any accommodation in the cheaper “social housing category”.

We also hear that Peabody Enterprises, like any private developer these days, has a habit of further reducing the affordable component once the project is under way. That means we could expect to see even less of that “affordable” element if the  scheme goes ahead.

The Council worked hard to ensure that the fine Victorian buildings on the campus site are protected from just such an exploitative scheme. Now they look set to wave through proposals to demolish almost everything except a handful of facades – and all so that a private developer can make a bigger profit.

Is this what we want to see from Islington? If you object please write to planning@islington.gov.uk and copy local councillors janet.burgess@islington.gov.uk, Timothy.Nicholls@islington.gov.uk and Kaya.ComerSchwartz@islington.gov.uk

The summer consultation and swift move to planning committee is timed to reduce time for objections. And unless they know that local residents object, the councillors are set to approve the demolition and new, taller Archway tower.

KATE CALVERT
Chair of the Better Archway Forum

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