Fears Archway Tower will be filled with “sub-standard” accommodation

Archway Tower

Archway Tower - Credit: Archant

The much detested Archway Tower is set to be developed into a large number of sub-standard bedsits, the council has claimed.

It comes in light of Islington Council becoming the first to challenge the Government’s ‘flawed’ plans to cram flats into offices.

Last week, the council took action to overturn the Government’s General Permitted Development Order, which it believes will have a devastating effect on Islington’s economy.

Under the order, residents and local authorities are powerless to object to, prevent, or impose conditions on developments including the change of office building into housing.

Consequently, the council are worried about what this could mean for affordable housing in the borough as any office space could be converted into private housing.

Islington Council’s executive member for housing and development, James Murray, has shown concern about the effects the changes could bring to the borough.

He said: “There’s a real danger that small offices across the borough will be lost to private housing, and tower blocks will have as many flats as possible crammed into them.

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“Archway Tower is already being lined up to have a large number of small, sub-standard bedsits squashed into it with no affordable housing.

“This is not right for Islington and so we have decided to challenge the government, we have started the legal process to try and overturn the government’s changes.”

Archway Tower became empty in 2012 after the Office of the Public Guardian moved to Birmingham. There were wide calls for it to be demolished, but the work was judged to be too expensive.