Better Archway Forum submits rival plans to develop Archway Methodist Hall – and wants to keep it as arts venue
- Credit: Archant
A community group has submitted a rival planning application to develop Archway Methodist Hall and turn it into an arts venue.
The Better Archway Forum has been campaigning for the dilapidated former church hall to be brought back into community use since 2015, when plans to turn it into flats fell through.
In December plans were submitted by architect firm White Arkitekter to flatten the Archway Road site and build a six-storey energy-efficient office block for “local businesses”.
That came as a shock to many, as the same firm had said early last year the plans would include community and theatre space.
A spokesperson for the architects and owners Flowervale said the absence of community space was because talks fell through with Tall Stories Theatre Group and the forum and there was no viable tenant.
You may also want to watch:
The spokersperson added: “Since a cultural facility was not required under Islington planning policy, the team came up with a proposal to meet a very definite need in the area – that of high quality office space, bringing employment to the area.”
But architect Adrian Betham, a member of the forum, said the plans fell through because the “useable arts space” offered was at best a lecture hall.
- 1 Man killed in 'shooting' in north London
- 2 Appeal to find four children missing from north London with father and grandmother
- 3 Letters on People Friendly Streets in St Peter's
- 4 Man killed and two injured in triple shooting
- 5 Thousands of care home staff yet to be vaccinated in London
- 6 Sadiq Khan warns of flooding threat to Islington from climate emergency
- 7 Helen Anderson: Finsbury Park murder victim's father pays tribute to his daughter
- 8 Islington kids are being 'drawn into county lines drug smuggling'
- 9 Man jailed for rape of young girl in north London 40 years ago
- 10 Islington: Housing team failed to answer 50% of calls during lockdown
“What they offered wasn’t viable,” he said. “It was one big lecture theatre. You could use it as a conference centre for local hotels but couldn’t use it for exhibitions or dance shows.”
He has now drawn up his own designs, which would keep to the methodists’ original ethos of it being open to all.
He told the Gazette: “Our design retains the well regarded locally listed building and provides for the local community’s arts needs.”
We want to use that but broaden the scope with community and arts activities and provide a full week
The plans would be fully compliant with council policy and improve the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) rating from below 30 per cent to higher than 70pc, which the council requires.
If given the green light, the project could be financed by major international arts organisations, plenty of which have held talks with the forum.
“It is financially viable but we can’t raise the money until we have approval,” Adrian added.