Islington Tribune - by SIMON WROE Published: 13 July 2007
Construction at the controversial Highbury site
Outcry over extra flats for Highbury
EXTRA flats will be added to the controversial redevelopment of Arsenal’s old Highbury stadium instead of a new doctor’s surgery. Opponents say pulling the plug on the much-needed GP and dentist facility will cripple local services, which are already under enormous strain.
Councillors agreed to replace the medical centre with 14 extra flats at a fiery meeting of the East Area Planning Sub-Committee on Tuesday night.
A number of angry residents stormed out after Lib Dem councillor Anna Berent used her casting vote to push through the plans.
It brings the total number of units at the site, known as Highbury Square, off Avenell Road, to 731 – there were only 550 in the original plan.
Highbury West Green councillor Katie Dawson said after the meeting: “The number of flats has been able to increase from any reasonable proportion. There’s already huge demand for services, such as doctors, dentists and the tube.”
Deputy council leader Terry Stacy said: “We were disappointed but have no control over the PCT’s decision. We don’t want that space to sit there and become and eyesore.”
Rachel Tyndall, Chief Executive of Islington PCT, said: “We are confident that we have good plans in place to provide GP services to Islington residents and do not need the premises earmarked as part of the Arsenal redevelopment”