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Town Hall rejects ‘bizarre’ nursery plan for Archway Tavern

Proposal to convert half of the historic pub into a nursery and a wine bar are thrown out

21 August, 2018 — By Emily Finch

The Archway Tavern closed down four years ago and has remained vacant ever since. Photo: Jovike on flickr.com

THE Town Hall has rejected “bizarre” plans to convert the historic Archway Tavern into a nursery and a wine bar.

Pub leaseholder Dr Imtiaz Sardar previously told the Tribune that under his plans the building would “definitely be no boozer” while also “family orientated, community friendly”.

But Islington council planners rejected Dr Sardar’s plans today (Tuesday) which would have seen Kolis nightclub to the back of the building converted into a children’s nursery.

The council worker who refused the decision said: “The proposed development would cause the unjustified loss of accommodation suitable for public entertainment, arts or cultural use. The loss of a local public house of community and heritage value. No evidence has been provided to demonstrate the current use is no longer viable as a public house.”

They also said plans, originally submitted to the council in May, to house a wine bar and a nursery in the same building was “incompatible” while the proposed development also “does not represent an inclusive or accessible design for users of the proposed nursery building.”

The pub closed down four years ago and has remained vacant ever since while the area surrounding it has now been pedestrianised and has seen a £13million facelift which was completed last year.

Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Executive Member for Community Development and Councillor for Junction ward, said: “Archway Tavern is an iconic landmark in the middle of the fantastic new public space at Navigator Square, and the local community deserves for it to be re-opened as soon as possible as a community pub.

“Local councillors have been working hard to encourage the leaseholder to reopen the Archway Tavern, and we are very disappointed that it currently remains closed.
“We have met with the leaseholder and written to the freeholder urging them to bring the pub back into use as soon as possible.

“The planning application that was submitted proposed major and time consuming changes to the use of the building, including opening a nursery and the loss of the pub. I am relieved that the Council has refused the application, calling time on this bizarre proposal.

“We remain deeply frustrated that the pub remains closed and once again call on the leaseholder and freeholder to act quickly to see sense and reopen the pub in its former glory.”

Dr Sardar could not be reached for comment by email or phone today (Tuesday).

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