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New twist in planning row as Archway Methodist Hall goes up for sale

Landmark building’s owners have previously applied for permission to create a six-storey office block at the site

04 September, 2020 — By Sam Ferguson

Archway Methodist Hall, near Navigator Square

A PLANNING row over a landmark building in Archway has taken another turn after the building was listed for sale.

The future of Archway Methodist Hall, next to Navigator Square, has been uncertain since last year when Gibraltar-based Flowervale Properties Ltd unsuccessfully tried to win planning permission to flatten the site and build a six-storey office block in its place.

The proposals were rejected by both the council and then at the High Court on appeal.

The Better Archway Forum have submitted their own plans to turn the hall into a community hub with performance and exhibition spaces and studios.

The forum’s plans are still being considered by the council, but, if given the green light, could eventually pave the way for Islington to force the building’s owners to put the plans into action.

The owners, however, have re-listed both the freehold and leasehold of the property.

Adrian Bethan, an architect and member of the Better Archway Forum said: “They could be trying to show that nobody is interested in it.

“But as it’s been re-listed, a third party could come in and take it on. Ideally they or the current owners would engage with the Better Archway Forum and our plans.”

He added: “It all depends whether the owners think that by hanging on to it they can encourage the view that nobody is interested, and they will eventually be able to do something more substantial with it. But their scheme was turned down at appeal on various grounds, so what that might be we aren’t sure.”

The Tribune tried to contact Flowervale Properties Ltd through their representatives, but were unsuccessful.

Chartered surveyors firm Alexander Reece Thomson confirmed the site was a new listing on their books.

Existing covenants on the hall’s title prevent the building from being used as a place of worship, somewhere where alcohol is sold, or for gambling purposes.

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