Whitbread, owners of Premier Inn, are organising a public consultation on plans to convert the office block behind McDonalds into a Premier Inn hotel.
The consultation will take place in the building itself – Hamlyn House – Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th December 5pm to 9pm.
This application offers opportunities to improve the public domain and increase the workability of the centre of Archway, so getting plenty of people to come along will help push for changes which strengthen Archway as a whole. As well as your comments on the planned appearance of the building, key ideas you could mention are:
1. The core site needs a pathway from leisure centre to tube station which will mean knocking down the lower level of the other blue and white building (in the same ownership as this one). That much needed change will (finally) make the site work. It will also, incidentally, increase value for the owner, who with the new stream of pedestrians will be able to install successful shops along that pathway.
2. The bridge next to the library was shown in a Cambridge wind study to be a key problem, exacerbating wind blight a bit like the hole in a whistle. When they create the walkway (see above), they can get rid of the bridge. That would enormously reduce wind turbulence.
3. A hotel needs a bar and the top floor of Hamlyn House has great views so it should go up there. That would really bring the visitors.
4. Archway lacks anywhere for public events like weddings, or Golden wedding parties. Next to the bar they should put that sort of space.
5. The building has an original 1950s entrance hall (off the Macdonald Road entrance) that would usefully be kept as part of the refurbishment.
They will of course make much mention of sustainability, but this is likely to be at the level followed by everyone nowadays.