New library and housing in Archway likely to win approval from Town Hall planners

What the new library could look like. Image: HTA Design / Islington Council

A new chapter could open for readers with plans for a new library, medical centre and homes in the centre of Archway likely to get the go-ahead.

The Town Hall wants to knock down an empty council building previously used for adult community services and build three towers – the biggest of which is 13 storeys high.

It will also build a new base for Archway medical centre, which is presently on Holloway Road, and replace the library on Highgate Hill.

The new library will have a community room which could be let out for training courses, yoga classes and parent toddler groups. It will also feature quieter reading areas, study zones, an IT area and a soundproofed music practice room.

The scheme includes 37 council homes along with 35 flats that will be sold.

The council also plans to plough £260,000 into a “significant upgrade” of the children’s play area in nearby Girdlestone Park.

It held a consultation on the scheme this summer and 24 people wrote in with objections.

These included concerns about whether there are sufficent services and school spaces for new residents. Some people thought there should be a community centre and a masterplan for the area.

One resident said there was no justification for more tall buildings in the area and said it would be an “eye sore”.

Others pointed out that the council says there is a need for “low-density, family homes with gardens”.

Two people wrote in support of more homes in the area.

The scheme includes a mix of one- to three-bedroom homes and it is predicted that 49 children could be among the new residents.

Historic England called on the council to look at the impact of the tallest tower on the views from Parliament Hill and the nearby Grade II-listed Victorian church.

The council’s tall building report said there is space for a “landmark” tall building in the “cluster” of the existing tower blocks around Archway Island.

A Town Hall report recommends that the council approves the scheme.