THE campaign to save The Mall in Camden Passage appears to be facing defeat, with the landlords of the North London antiques centre having evicted all the remaining dealers. The iconic Grade II listed building at the head of the famous antiques thoroughfare, which formerly housed over 30 dealers, now lies empty with the shutters down.
Members of the trade, local residents and Islington Council have
expressed their outrage at the closure of what has been an
important focal point for the trade and the community.
Islington Council leader James Kempton said: "This is a very sad
day and one we all hoped could be avoided, but the developers are
more interested in making a fast buck. The antiques centre is
famous around the world and this is a very sad day for Islington
and London. Islington Council has fought tooth and nail against the
closure of The Mall and rejected its owner's plans to rip out the
small shops loved by so many.
"We urged The Mall's owner to let traders stay at least until a
final decision is made on the building's future in a few months'
time, but sadly our pleas seem to have been ignored."
The owners of The Mall, the retail property investment company
London & Associated Properties (LAP), gave dealers until
Their original attempt to gain Listed Buildings Consent to
remove the individual dealers' shop units was unanimously rejected
by an Islington Council planning committee in April, and their
appeal is due to be settled at a public inquiry in December.
It is thought that LAP are attempting to convert the two floors
of the building into single units in order to sell the space to a
multi-national chain. The council have warned the owners against
starting any building work before the inquiry. In a letter sent to
LAP, they say they will take out an injunction to stop them if they
A handful of dealers have been able to find space elsewhere in
Camden Passage, while others have left the area.
Jewellery and cufflinks dealer Valerie Whitehouse, who trades as
Circa 1900, has now moved upstairs at No 6 Camden Passage, having
previously moved to The Mall after the nearby Georgian Village
antiques arcade was turned into a Reiss fashion chain outlet two
"I'm very happy to stay in Camden Passage," she told ATG.
"Business has been OK and I hope it will get better.
A number of dealers have moved across London to Grays antiques
centre in Mayfair. One of them, Jan Van Den Bosch, who deals along
with his wife Carole in silver and jewellery, told ATG that if the
landlords' planning appeal does not succeed, they may have to start
re-letting the individual units in The Mall. He said they were very
sad to leave after having just had their most successful year so
far in The Mall.
Mike Weedon of Camden Passage Association said: "For the
landlords to do this at a time when stock markets are falling and
in the midst of a slump in commercial property seems
The public inquiry will be held on December 9-10 at The Crescent
Suite Highbury, 70 Ronalds Road, London N5 1XA. Anyone wishing to
speak should give their name at the door on arrival before 10am on
When contacted by ATG, no one at LAP was available for