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BDP reaches out to residents in Archway

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BDP has launched a bid to pacify militant locals opposing work the practice is carrying out in north London's Archway.

The office - which is working for the London Borough of Islington - was commissioned last year to draw up a masterplan for the area, but has faced serious opposition from the Better Archway Forum.

The group, which counts many local architects among its members, is particularly opposed to the scheme because of the involvement of a major supermarket chain.

But now, after major wrangling and local meetings, BDP has attempted to bring the group, which includes Farrell architect Simon Kaufman, on side.

Yesterday, members of the forum were invited to join the Archway Development Framework team and Islington Council planners to 'workshop ideas' on the development.

The BDP team, whose idea the workshop was, is still developing options for the site, and yesterday said it hoped the event would be 'the first of a number of such meetings'.

BDP town planner Tessa O'Neill said the two parties have to come to an understanding. 'Once this baseline has been adopted it will form the foundation for further constructive discussions and developments in the meetings to come,' she said.

'We think this is an enormously positive step towards achieving a framework that will really work.'

However, it will take a lot to pacify the forum, which launched a competition to develop a rival framework for the area in February.

by Ed Dorrell

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