OpinioN8

Connecting Crouch End and Hornsey with news, views and information

beautiful red brick Edwardian building with period windows - and Middeys

The London Borough of Haringey sold Hornsey Town Hall to FEC, a massive development corporation domiciled in a tax haven. FEC gave various undertakings about what would happen to the building, one of which was to commence and complete the development, to include new dwellings and a hotel within the main body of the building. So far very little has happened. It could be argued that the development is well behind schedule, and in the meantime the building is poorly used.

The Ply Gallery remains and is putting on a series of exhibitions, which is a good thing, though it must be difficult working with a background threat of development work about to begin.

Hornsey Works lets office space in the building and has atemporary website. I believe there are a number of tenants still, and hot desk facilities are available. It is said that the hot desking arrangement will suffer only minimal disruption from any development.

There is a cafe in the building which would be quite attractive if it were on the High Street. But it's not, and given that it is just about as attractive as any of the other CE coffee shops I'm not sure why anyone should trudge up there to buy a coffee. Maybe in the summer when there are tables outside it will be a more attractive proposition, or possibly not if development work ever starts.

At the back of the Town Hall is The Old Clinic - the "beautiful red brick Edwardian building with period windows" - part of the advertising blurb for its letting as a film location, and quite a powerful argument against its proposed development. Do I detect an anomaly in the proposed letting of a building by the Haringey Film Office and its imminent destruction by the wrecker's ball?

And then of course there is Middey's. What should be the prime and most attractive location for a restaurant in Crouch End, is once again under wraps and surrounded by builder's rubble. The initial development there took a time measured in years. The current refurbishment has already taken over a month. One wonders again about the business model. But work is proceeding, only yesterday I saw a workman leaning against the window smoking a cigarette.

Tags: hornsey town hall, middeys

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