Welcome to the Better Archway Forum Web Site

Archway is a lively London village.
We have independent shops and cafes, a swimming pool, library, hospital, internationally acclaimed art school. There are also fantastic transport links with tube and overground stations, plus 14 different bus routes, not to mention the spot where Dick Whittington and his cat turned again to become Lord Mayor of London.

Stagnell's Window.JPG

Archway’s boundaries are Dartmouth Park Hill to the west, Hornsey Lane to the north, Hazelville Road to the east, and Fairbridge Road and the Upper Holloway railway line to the south.

The Forum is a community organisation and emerging development trust which works for everyone with an interest in Archway, whether they live, work or run a company here.

Our aim is to make Archway an even better place to live, work and play.

We start and support projects that improve the quality of life in the area, and empower the community in sustainable and environmentally friendly ways to help make it a place where people can live, work and relax safely and successfully.

We work with local organisations and Islington council on a wide range of projects from greening to protecting historic buildings, improving air quality, and reducing carbon our footprint.

Vorley Road Development Proposal

A proposal has been made by Islington to build private and social housing on the Vorley Road bus stand and site of the old Neighbourhood Office.

This is obviously a very large scheme and once plant added to the roof would be as tall as the converted office block behind the leisure centre.

There are a number of concerns.


If permission is given for this (which would be visible from Hampstead Heath), it would be close to impossible to refuse applications for more towers in the rest of Archway. For this reason among others, building to this height here is contrary to several LB Islington policies.

Research shows that the densest housing is in street properties of around five storeys This is what is proposed in policy and would be ideal on this site and could include disabled access.

Worryingly, and also contrary to policy, the proposal is for the private and social housing to be segregated. For social cohesion 'blind tenure' is always recommended. Street housing would have the additional benefit of making this easier.

There are concerns over viability and costs going forward. Tall buildings are particularly expensive not just to build but also to maintain and as the freeholder of these towers LB Islington would have to find the money for those bills.

The proposed size of units is for the most part small (one or two bedroom), and particularly in high rise buildings do not reflect changing housing demand or need. While growing numbers are moving out of central London, reducing demand for buy-to-let, those who remain are increasingly working from home, requiring more space. Meanwhile a marked fall is predicted in London house prices. This is all crucial to the workability of the proposals.

Notably, this size of unit may be contrary to Lifetime Home standards.

If you have any comments please write to planning@islington.gov.uk copying local councillors.

Arts Centre Proposal

After time spent finding organisations to back it and producing the worked up plans, there is now a planning application to turn the old Methodist Hall/Cinema into a community arts centre.

The idea is to make use of the building's original purpose, which was to be a welcoming place for everyone, with a wide range of activities in a layout including a performance space, projection rooms, cafe/restaurant, rehearsal areas and more.

The proposals include reducing the carbon footprint of the building by 70%, while keeping its original appearance and as much as possible of the internal and external detailing.

The Road Layout


The number one problem in Archway, according to community consultations for more than a decade has been the road layout and the impact of traffic. TfL’s scheme, rejected by 75% of respondents in consultation, shows significant problems when assessed against the main objectives:


  1. Motor traffic to keep to the roads hierarchy with most vehicles on the main roads. But traffic including HGVs is now displaced to side roads

  2. Improving southbound bus interchange to equal that northbound. Now northbound interchange is as bad as southbound so potential visitors, including shoppers, actively avoid the area

  3. Shortening pedestrian transit times across the centre. Even TfL calculations show longer transit times, particularly to reach bus stops.

  4. Separating cyclists from pedestrian and motor traffic, especially the HGVs that make up only 4% of motor traffic but are involved in 50% of cyclist deaths But cyclists are taken close to the sharp turns of the A1 and have frequently to give way to other traffic, motor and pedestrian.  

Still lacking is:

  1. Public transport serving points of demand ie terminating routes running to the Hospital  northbound and Archway Market and Upper Holloway station southbound.

  2. All buses travelling to the same destination (Archway Road or Highgate for example) leaving from the same stop.


For more information about Archway’s shops, services, history, children’s activities and more visit www.livinginarchway.org.uk.

Section Image.JPG
Proposals Vorley Rd 2020 Overview.jpeg