New Archway flats are ‘ugly and unprofitable’

The plan for the old Thomas Bros shop in Archway is ugly and unprofitable, say residents

The plan for the old Thomas Bros shop in Archway is ugly and unprofitable, say residents - Credit: Archant

Development on 100-year-old Thomas Bros ironmongers site ‘makes no sense’ say neighbours

A multi-million pound plan for nine “ugly” flats has neighbours fuming about the design – and questioning where the profit is.

Developer TPS Brighton spent £6million buying up the former premises of Thomas Bros Ironmongers, in Holloway Road, Archway, which closed last year after a century of trading.

It plans to bulldoze it and rebuild a shop and nine flats, just three more than are there at the moment.

But the whopping cost is thought to be the same as that paid for the enormous Archway Tower across the street, which houses 100 flats.

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At current prices, the sale of the nine flats would leave an expected shortfall of around £3m, before demolition and building costs.

And people who live nearby are concerned about the new building, which will be a storey higher than the existing one.

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They fear it will block sunlight and look “ugly”.

Kate Calvert, from the Better Archway Forum, said: “Best case scenario, it looks like little more than £3.2m return, plus whatever the owners get for the proposed new compressed shop.

“With the additional costs of the proposed demolition, construction, professional fees, finance, and profit and risk, this project looks like someone would be more than £3m out of pocket.”

Ruth Culver, who lives and works next door to the development, said: “Are they going to make a loss? Or just sit on it until prices go up? It makes no financial sense whatsoever.

“The development will overshadow us, their report deliberately hasn’t mentioned that.

“It says our sunlight won’t be seriously affected but that’s not true. It’s also going to block our solar panels and we will have a brick wall outside our window.

“It’s like they are trying to pull the wool over our eyes with complex technical stuff, so we paid to get our own report done.

“Archway is getting some great development at the moment, it’s just a shame this is plonked in the middle of it.

“The current building could be upgraded with far less cost and disruption, and the ugly block they propose is only going to add space for 3 more people.”

The Gazette was unable to contact TPS Brighton.

On Tuesday, the development will go before an Islington Council planning committee.

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