REGENERATION OR REDEVELOPMENT AT ARCHWAY?
Terry Stacey describes Islington as the planning authority 'for the Archway redevelopment' (AJ letters 18.01.07). But we were consulted about 'regeneration', not 'redevelopment'. He says Islington 'intends to adopt' the supplementary planning document (SPD), but we thought this was going to public consultation first.
Stacey claims that Islington is 'committed to asking and listening to local people's views'. However, local people have overwhelmingly voiced dislike of the Archway Tower - which the SPD would retain throughout the blight during redevelopment and even replicate with more high-rise - and have emphasised the need to remove the harmful and redundant gyratory traffic system, which the SPD leaves to be removed by other but unstated means.
According to Stacey 'there is no major supermarket chain involved' and no 'potential retail operator has emerged'.
But Islington's Retail Study of 2005, referred to in the draft SPD, said that just such an operator had emerged. The SPD suggests 18,500m 2 of additional retail space with no individual unit of more that 4,000m 2, meaning up to five units, each more than 10 times the size of Archway's existing supermarkets.
His last sentence may encapsulate the problem. In 'an area which is overdue for regeneration' (no argument there) he says that the 'Policy Document will inform future development' but crucially not, we would say, inform future regeneration.
Adrian Betham, RIBA/Better Archway Forum