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Archway battle set to come to a head

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The simmering row over the BDP masterplan for Archway, north London, is set to come to the boil.

The Better Archway Forum (BAF), backed by many local architects, has published an alternative proposal for the congested and run-down area. And BDP is set to unveil its latest plans for the site at a public meeting.

BAF members are concerned about the involvement of a major supermarket chain with these development plans, and are also angry about some of the road-traffic ideas expected in the document.

'Bad planning decisions and development in the '60s and '70s blighted Archway,' the BAF document says.

'However, this meant that it did not attract the chain-store shops which have taken over other high streets. At the same time it has remained a relatively tightly knit, yet diverse, community.

'These two factors have encouraged organic regeneration, a significant element in creative fields of various kinds.

'For regeneration to continue it is important to build on the existing strengths of the area and not to focus only on the weaknesses. For this reason (among others) comprehensive redevelopment/rebuilding should be ruled out,' it adds.

But BAF's Kate Colvert said she was particularly frustrated because the group was only being given one public meeting to respond to BDP's latest plans.

She said: 'How are we supposed to respond to their plans in just an evening? We are going to try to make sure that it doesn't get heated but we are very frustrated.'

BDP's final plans are set to be lodged with Islington Council between Christmas and New Year and will be decided upon in January.

by Ed Dorrell

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