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Latest plans for Archway Campus scheme fail to impress neighbours

PUBLISHED: 16:34 02 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:48 09 December 2019

An artist's impression of how the site could look. Picture: Peabody

An artist's impression of how the site could look. Picture: Peabody

Archant

Fresh plans for a £150million development in Archway have been revealed - after being revised for a third time in as many years.

An artist's impression of how the site could look. Picture: PeabodyAn artist's impression of how the site could look. Picture: Peabody

Housing association Peabody held public exhibitions at the weekend to showcase its fourth set of plans for the historic Archway Campus site, which it bought in 2014.

It comes after feedback from its last consultation in July, which followed earlier surveys in 2016 and 2017.

The plans still contain 290 homes, much to the frustration of neighbours, who have always maintained Peabody is trying to "cram in too many" on the old hospital site.

Half will be affordable, with a "high percentage" now set to be social housing. Previously, they were all going to be shared ownership or Peabody's own "low cost rent".

An artist's impression of how the site could look. Picture: PeabodyAn artist's impression of how the site could look. Picture: Peabody

Those living behind the north of the site have also consistently opposed the building of new homes so close to their gardens, and one neighbour said Peabody had now moved the proposed blocks by 60cm and made them smaller.

"The plans are not much different," he said. "They've been doing this for years and it keeps going up and down. The real problem is how close they are to our homes.

"We were really happy when they consulted and said they'd move them back. But 60cm is extremely cynical. If they moved them back further they could be even higher. We feel crowded and overlooked and we have explained it multiple times.

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"The changes they've made this time are quite minor, it's no better than it was and we will oppose it again.

"But let's be clear. We want the site to be developed. We want more social housing on the site, they are just trying to cram in too many units and it's a shame."

The main Holborn Union building and the Clerkenwell and Charterhouse wings are being refurbished and brought back into use.

Peabody also wants to create a new park and gardens on the land, which it says is currently a target for anti-social behaviour.

The site has been empty since being bought from University College London and Middlesex University, who taught medicine there

Other revisions include adjustments to the tall corner building to allow both ends of the existing Clerkenwell building to be visible from the town centre.

Peabody intends to submit a planning application after considering feedback from the next round of consultation.

Its senior development manager Ellie Probyn-Gibbs said: "Consultation with the local community has been a key priority for us throughout the evolution of our plans for the redevelopment and we have sought to reflect public feedback where possible.

"We want to give residents another opportunity to see and comment on our latest plans before we submit a planning application."

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