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The appeal will be dealt with through a public inquiry held by the government’s planning inspectorate whose consultation period runs until July 2.

The retail property investment company London & Associated Properties (LAP), who purchased The Mall in 2006, had their application to remove the individual dealers’ shop units unanimously rejected by an Islington Council planning committee on April 28.

It is thought that LAP are attempting to convert the two floors at the Grade II listed building into single units in order to sell the space to a multi-national chain.

Before applying for Listed Buildings Consent to carry out these changes, LAP had told some of the 30 traders at the Mall to quit by July, while others had been forced to sign new rolling month-by-month leases for their premises.

Standing by their decision to reject the application, Islington Council has now sent out letters to the 300 people who responded to the questionnaire in their original consultation. It gives instructions on how comments can be made to the planning inspectorate for consideration.

Leader of Islington Council James Kempton said in a statement send to ATG: “We will strongly defend our antiques traders. We know they are struggling and the economic situation means it can’t be easy for them.

“It's at times like these that people need their council to stand up for them and we are doing that. We are asking everyone to send their comments by 2 July to the Planning Inspectorate.”

Anyone wishing to send comments on the application can do so by writing to The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/14 Eagle, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN quoting reference APP/V5570/E/08/2074315/NWF.

Comments can also be posted via the Appeals Area of the Planning Portal at www.planningportal.gov.uk/pcs

Meanwhile in West London, the application for Listed Building Consent to redevelop the King’s Road antiques centre Antiquarius, which is also owned by LAP, is due at the end of this week.