Peabody unveils fresh plans for Archway Campus scheme on old Whittington Hospital site
PUBLISHED: 16:32 25 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:32 25 July 2019
Fresh plans for a major new development in Archway have been revealed - two years after the project was criticised by neighbours over its scale.
Housing association Peabody held public exhibitions last week to showcase its new designs for the former Whittington Hospital site, which it bought in 2014.
It is the third set of scaled-down designs to be presented for the Archway Campus scheme, following two consultations in 2016 and 2017. The consensus among the community in 2017 was that 308 homes was too many for the site.
Peabody has responded by reducing the size of a 20-storey tower to 12 storeys, and the number of homes to 290.
Plans to build homes near to the back gardens of neighbours on the north of the site remain, though, and a neighbourhood action group still isn't happy.
One member told the Gazette: "They are just trying to get too much on the site. Some people want the tower squished and the homes spread out up our way, and we are fighting against that.
"There is still a block as close as possible to our rear boundaries, much higher than our houses."
Half of the homes would be classed as "affordable", up from 40pc, bringing it in line with Islington Council's planning policy. They would be a mix of shared ownership and Peabody's "low cost rent".
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The main Holborn Union building and the Clerkenwell and Charterhouse wings will still be refurbished and brought back into use.
The campaigner added: "We're all in favour of redeveloping the site, especially with a maximum proportion of affordable and social housing.
"But Peabody is persistently trying to fit many more homes than they should so they can make money from market rate flats, and we think this will overcrowd the site."
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 in a £150million deal from University College London and Middlesex University, who taught medicine there.
It was built in the 1870s as the Holborn and Finsbury Union Workhouse Infirmary. In 1948 it became part of The Whittington and the buildings were in use until it was sold to the unis in 1998.
A library at the bottom of the tower remains in the updated plans, but a mooted medical centre has been replaced by commercial units. A thoroughfare will slash journey times between Highgate Hill and Archway Road.
A Peabody spokesperson said: "Having listened to the local community, the council and others, we feel our updated proposals will deliver significant benefits for the area.
"We want to increase the number of genuinely affordable homes on the scheme as much as we can. We also propose to provide new community and public open space for everyone in the area."
Peabody hopes to submit a planning application by the end of the year, after listening to feedback from the community.