Multi-million pound Finsbury Park plan moves closer

An artist's impression of how the Finsbury Park town centre might look following the development

An artist's impression of how the Finsbury Park town centre might look following the development - Credit: Archant

An ambitious multi-million pound plan to make Finsbury Park a cleaner, nicer place to live and visit moved closer this week.

Cllr Richard Greening

Cllr Richard Greening - Credit: Archant

The Finsbury Park Town Centre Planning Document - running to almost 60 pages - has been released for consultation, giving more details about plans to improve the area.

As well as sprucing up the shopping district and waging war on fried chicken shops and pay-day-lenders, ideas include brightening up under the bridge with art installations, reducing crime by adding CCTV and ticket barriers at the station, building new housing, reducing traffic and creating new walking and cycling routes between the park and Highbury Fields and Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.

Cllr Richard Greening, chair of the Finsbury Park Regeneration Board, said: “The bridge has needed more than a lick of paint for a long time.

“The whole environment isn’t great.

“There’s lots of traffic, which the affects the whole town centre, so we are talking to Transport for London (TfL) about this.

“And there is a lot of the wrong type of shop - pawn brokers and the like - which we would like to change.

“We are trying to make the whole area cleaner and nicer, to improve the whole atmosphere.

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“We want it to be the kind of place where people want to stay, rather than just rushing though on their way somewhere.”

Because Islington Council “does not having a lot of money to throw at it the project” it hopes most of the cash will come from planning gain - money developers agree to spend in return for planing permissions - like the £220million City North twin towers, which will begin to be built next year.

Cllr Greening said; “I’m focussing on the safety aspect, as well as the arts projects which will transform the bridge.”

“I think improving the bridge will make people feel differently about the whole town centre.”

The historic Sir George Robey pub, on Seven Sisters Road, won’t be part of the future of Finsbury park however.

“Unfortunately the pub will be demolished,“ said Cllr Greening.

“We tried to force the owners to do something with it, but we were unsuccessful in court. It’s a great shame, considering the history of the venue.”

To have your say on the plans, click here

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