Rock legend Dave Davies has backed a campaign to save a high street shopping arcade from demolition.

The Kinks guitarist, who grew up in Fortis Green Road, Muswell Hill, called for the Grand Arcade in High Road, North Finchley to be preserved.

Built in the 1930s in the then-popular Art Deco style, the arcade is home to a range of small shops, including a jeweller’s and a photo studio.

But it could be torn down to make way for new flats and shops under regeneration proposals drawn up by Barnet Council.

Mr Davies tweeted his support for the arcade on October 8.

He said: “The Grand Arcade is definitely of historical value. We need to preserve places like this in England and in London. It’s only going to benefit the area in the long term.”

Mr Davies, who co-founded The Kinks in 1964 with brother Ray, used to buy guitar strings from a shop in the arcade as a youngster

Another high-profile backer of the campaign is Labour peer Lord Wills of North Swindon and Woodside Park.

Lord Wills said: “I spent much of my teenage years in the music shop in the arcade. It was an important part of my youth, and I am sure it played the same role for thousands of others.

“As such, it is an essential part of the heritage of North Finchley, and this suburban heritage is as deserving of preservation as any other.

“There are other ways to meet the unmet need for housing than the wanton destruction of our history that is being proposed.”

This Is Local London: The Grand Arcade, North Finchley (Image: Ian Dunn)The Grand Arcade, North Finchley (Image: Ian Dunn)

More than 1,100 people have signed a petition set up by North Finchley resident Ian Dunn to save the arcade and have it locally listed by the council.

Mr Dunn said: “As a boy, a visit to the Grand Arcade was exciting. I loved the toy shop. Later, I took my Kodak Instamatic film to the photography shop to get developed. Then I became interested in music, and I’d visit the arcade music shop.

“I always liked the look of it – the exterior, the interior windows, light and geometric lines, distinct aspects of the Art Deco era.

“But the arcade isn’t just about nostalgia. It has stood the test of time. It is thriving, it remains independent, it remains – as Historic England said – a highlight of the town centre, it remains an old friend, and I love it.”

In a consultation on the council’s regeneration proposals, Historic England highlighted the “historic value” of the arcade and suggested it be preserved.

This Is Local London: The Grand Arcade, North Finchley (Image: Ian Dunn)The Grand Arcade, North Finchley (Image: Ian Dunn)

But the council said keeping the arcade “would restrict the necessary comprehensive development of the site”, and its North Finchley supplementary planning document confirms the arcade would be removed if the regeneration plans go ahead.

The arcade’s demolition would first have to be approved by the council’s planning committee.

Mr Dunn’s petition is available here:

Barnet Council has been approached for comment.