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Cllr Arthur admits we need more information on Hornsey Town Hall

The formal minutes of the Hornsey Town Hall Development Management Forum have been published. I reproduce them here.

Cllr Jason Arthur (Cabinet Member with responsibility for Health and Finance) also addressed the meeting, to set out a list of things the public really ought to know. It seesm to have taken a long time to get through to him, that when public money is being dispensed, when the public realm is being reduced so dramatically (cf also HDV and Highgate Library, for just a couple of recent examples in Haringey) then the public ought to be told just exactly what is going on, if there is to be any chance at all of cheerful acceptance. 

The notes read:

Cllr Jason Arthur also addressed the Forum at close of the meeting. He noted the developer needs to more clearly address why a hotel use would work in Crouch End. He noted the developer also needs to clearly articulate why the delivery of an Arts Centre will benefit the local area and Haringey as a whole [see "local importance"]. The Councillor was also of the view more specifics on affordable housing, local transport and privacy need to be provided and then local support for the proposal may increase.

He noted a lack of detail on viability at this stage is part of the planning process.

The final sentence does not ring true. does he really believe that a giant, multi national, property development corporation would expend a small fortune on a bid and a detailed planning application if it were not sure of a whopping profit. He does not really believe that so he probably shouldn't have said it. And was it not he who set out just how secretive the OJEU tendering process should be.


Development Management Forum - 10th July 2017 (7pm) Hornsey Town Hall

A Development Management Forum for a development proposal at the Hornsey

Town Hall was held on 10th July 2017 at the Earl Haig Hall in Crouch End.

This note is a summary of the meeting.


74 individuals signed the attendance list on the evening. These attendees included

5 Councillors (Cllr Natan Doron, Cllr John Bevan, Cllr Clive Carter, Cllr Jason Arthur

and Cllr Adam Jogee) and members of the pre-applicant’s team and Haringey

planning officers. A representative of the local media (Ham and High newspaper)

was also in attendance. Attendees were advised that unrecorded questions (where

the speaker was not speaking into the roving microphone) may not be captured in

the note.

Summary of Issues

The key planning concerns highlighted at the meeting by residents were: the

principle of the development, density and design, heights of new buildings,

privacy/overlooking to adjoining occupiers, heritage issues, loss of trees and green

space, increased pressure on local services, parking, accessibility and affordability of

community uses within the Town Hall, affordable housing, and consultation issues.

More specifically, the issues and questions raised by local residents were as follows:

Design, Density and Building Height

Is the developer’s assessment of the scheme’s location as ‘Urban’ in relation to

the London Plan Density Matrix appropriate?

Why is the hotel use not included in the developer’s density assessment?

Will the hotel be converted to conventional residential use in the future, and will

this lead to a higher density scheme?

The footprint of the site is too small for the amount of development and the

scheme represents over-development. The massing of the new build blocks is

visually unappealing.

Is the separation distance from Block A to the Prime Zone Mews sufficient?

The height of Block A is excessive.

Will the development set a new precedent in terms of building heights? Will Block

B be highest building in Crouch End?

Will the scheme be a gated development?

Local Services

The scheme will put pressure of local services (including local schools, transport,

health care, waste collection and other infrastructure)

Page 1 Agenda Item 10

A local Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) spend of 15% is insufficient and

most CIL money collected will be spent in Tottenham.

CIL will not specifically address pressure on local services, including health care,

transport, and schools and there is a disconnect between the release of CIL

money and any specific planning permission.

Heritage Issues

The Town Hall is in a state of disrepair and is on Historic England’s ‘At Risk’

register – something needs to be done with the Town Hall.

Has the 20th Century Society been consulted on the scheme?

Community Use

Has the arts operator for the Town Hall been appointed?

Will the arts operator control access to the public areas of the Town Hall and will

these be restricted during private events?

Clarity around the definition of community use is required.

The local community has been surveyed and a very small percentage of survey

respondents wanted a hotel in the Town Hall.

Plans do not reflect the full extent of hotel use within the Town Hall and this use

will predominate when the community use is in operation.

Assembly Hall space will only be for private use, not local residents.

Is the proposed Community Use agreement subject to market conditions?

Will the proposed Community Use Agreement be made public before signature?

The Community Use Agreement should have covenants to ensure local groups

can afford to use the space and to control insurance provision.

Green Space

The proposed design of the Town Hall Square is not child friendly

The Town Square contains too much hardscape.

The Local community does not want historic features reinstated.

Has the bench design for the Town Square been retained from previous versions

of the scheme?

Will the design preclude the use of the Town Square by the Crouch End Festival?

The 3 options for the Town Square presented at the drop in sessions were all


Parking and Traffic

The parking proposed is insufficient.

Parking in the local area is limited and already over-subscribed.

How will on site residential parking spaces be controlled and managed?

Pre-booked pick up and drop off for the hotel at the main access to the Town Hall

will be difficult to manage and generate noise and traffic along Hatherly Gardens.

Who will be controlling access to the wider site during events?

Development will result in increased air pollution and noise from car traffic to

Prime Zone Mews.

Page 2

Loss of parking to the rear of the Hornsey Library will result in increased on street


Developer’s Transport Consultant has not considered the high usage of the

Hornsey library car park.

What guarantee is there that a permit-free scheme will be maintained in the

future and how will this be monitored?

Concerns regarding volume and duration of construction traffic.

Which access will be used for construction access? When will a Construction

Management Plan (CMP) come forward?

Future residents will be able to evade the local CPZ controls, as the CPZ only

operates for a short period during the day.

Will the hotel operate mini-buses during events?

Affordable Housing

How many affordable units will be offered in the scheme?

What is a viability assessment?

The local community does not want Crouch End to be ‘socially cleansed’ and a

luxury housing development is not wanted.

Any shared ownership units will be lost to the private sector (due to rapid

staircasing’) and development should incorporate social rented units instead.

Amenity to Adjoining Occupiers

Block A will impact privacy to the first and second storeys of Prime Zone Mews,

and properties on the south side of Weston Park.

Will the scheme give rise to overlooking/privacy issues to properties along

Weston Park, Haringey Park and Prime Zone Mews?

The roof top bar will result in noise impacts to the local area.

The separate access to the Assembly Hall will result in noise and anti-social

behaviour. The community sought to limit access in this area approximately 10

years ago.

Will a curfew/limit to hours of use for the rooftop bar be in place?

How will air pollution from the proposed car park be prevented?

The development will contravene the EU Convention on Human Rights as the

right to quite enjoyment of adjoining properties will be precluded.


What will happen to the existing trees along the site boundary with the Prime

Zone Mews?

Will the Conservation Area protection for existing trees be maintained following


Consultation/Verified Views

The verified views were taken in the summer when the development would be

screened by trees.

A verified view was not taken from Prime Zone Mews.

Page 3

The CGI’s are not an accurate representation of the development.

The information presented in the agenda was not accurate in relation to the

developer presentation (the number of units was not accurate).

The date of the DM Forum will not allow for changes before deposit of the

application in late July.

What is the process once the planning application is submitted?

Why did a representative of FEC not attend the DM Forum?

How long will the consultation period be?


Will the employment offer (i.e. café) in the scheme incorporate internship

opportunities for local young people?

How many high skilled local jobs will be provided by the hotel? The redevelopment

of the Town Hall will displace current higher value employers.

The details supporting the 2010 scheme were inaccurate.

Will the DM Forum comments be tabled and presented to Planning Sub-

Committee Members?

Will the developer’s assessments (i.e. air quality assessment) be independent?

Officers should be providing advice to the local community to assist them in

stopping the planning application.

Officers should meet with members of the local community.

Towards the end of the Forum, a speaker requested that the number of people

supporting the scheme raise their hands. Two attendees raised their hands. The

same speaker then requested the number of people opposing the scheme raise their

hands. The majority of attendees raised their hands. Numerous people also

declined to raise their hands.

Cllr Jason Arthur also addressed the Forum at close of the meeting. He noted the

developer needs to more clearly address why a hotel use would work in Crouch End.

He noted the developer also needs to clearly articulate why the delivery of an Arts

Centre will benefit the local area and Haringey as a whole. The Councillor was also

of the view more specifics on affordable housing, local transport and privacy need to

be provided and then local support for the proposal may increase.

He noted a lack of detail on viability at this stage is part of the planning process.

The meeting closed at 9pm.

JH 18/7/2017

Page 4

Tags: dorsett, far east consortium, hornsey town hall, ojeu, tax haven

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Replies to This Discussion

This is all so         boring. Why don't you just let the council get on and do their job instead of raising objections to every single little thing they do. Is your plan to actually just scare off the developer, the only chance we have to refurbish the town hall and turn it into a functional building instead of some sort of community jumble sale?

Hear Hear! It was people like you who scared off the nice potential developer of Alexandra Palace into a casino complex, who cost the Council a mere £1.5 million.

Isn't that just a teensy bit unfair Bob?
After all the buyers are a very large international corporation. Surely we should all trust them to take this listed building off Haringey's hands and do the very best for local people. Which of course will precisely match the interests of local people.

Anyone would think that Haringey residents had some sort of right to waste everyone's time by asking questions and insisting on public information and transparency and all that old-fashioned out-of-date guff.
Okay, I know about the Seven Nolan Principles and so do Jason Arthur and Claire Kober and our other revered leaders.
But come on! Antiquated phrases which everybody knows and sensible people ignore.
"Acting solely in the public interest". What's that all about? Objectivity? Rolls off the tongue but it's just a word. As for Evidence and Scrutiny? Openness and Accountability, Transparency, Giving full information. If Haringey Council took all that seriously it would hardly ever send someone to free jollies at MIPIM in Cannes.

These fine sounding sentiments are for kids in school. Please let's get real!
Out in the real world our leaders are lads and lasses who lunch. And international investors love working with them.


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