Antique traders Bennet and Brown forced out of Finsbury Park shop by landlord

Dominic Bennet outside Bennet & Brown. Picture: Polly Hancock

Dominic Bennet outside Bennet & Brown. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

An independent antique restoration business whose clients include Westminster Cathedral is being thrown out of its Finsbury Park shop to make way for housing.

Dominic Bennet of Bennet & Brown with the petition. Picture: Polly Hancock

Dominic Bennet of Bennet & Brown with the petition. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Bennet and Brown has been in Mountgrave Road for 10 years but has now been told to leave by Brownlow Developments – which wants to chop it in two and turn it into a flat.

Owner Dominic Bennet said: “They have decided they can make more money by carving it in half and making a flat out of the rear of the shop and the basement.

“That would make it too small for me to carry on but I got a letter last week anyway telling me to leave.

“I want to stop them. We’ve got a petition going that’s had well over 300 signatures from people who don’t want to see a local business disappear.”

As well as restoring the pew at Westminster Cathedral, the guys have done work for the treasury, the Spanish embassy and Dr Johnson’s House museum and are popular with artists and photographers who rent out their pieces.

Now Dominic wants all the help he can get to stop the investment trust forcing them out.

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“It’s absolutely terrible,” he continued. “Because residential property is so expensive people see there is money to be made by converting anything into a home.

“But they are building 1,000 flats on the Woodberry Down estate now and those people are going to need shops to go to.”

Representing the landlords, Matthew Allen said: “Our client is seeking to make the best use of its assets by improving its property. The proposed works will create a newly refurbished shop unit and provide an additional residential unit, which is much needed.”

He added that while other shops on the road had been converted fully, his landlord had recognised the importance of shops in the area.

He said his company was in discussions with Bennet and Brown “regarding its occupation of the property, both pre and post any redevelopment.”

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