sharing news and views from Crouch End and Hornsey
This report is a bit dry, but essentially it means that that the Old British Legion building is the old British Legion building just as we always thought it was, and not some derelict gin joint as the new owners (City and Westminster Developments) tried to pretend ("The owner’s objection is misleading").
"The building is noted in the Crouch End Conservation Area Character appraisal and
should be protected under planning policy"
REPORT FOR CONSIDERATION UNDER DELEGATED POWERS
Reference No: HGY/2012/0624
Ward: Crouch End
Date received: 26/03/2012
Last amended date: 11/06/2012
Drawing number of plans:
Address: Earl Haig Memorial Hall Elder Avenue N8 9TH
Proposal: Certificate of Lawfulness for use of property as a mixed use (Sui Generis)
hall incorporating the British Legion, community centre, training, lectures, public
meetings, concerts, shows, dance and physical exercise classes, wedding receptions
and other private parties.
Existing Use: Sui Generis
Proposed Use: Sui Generis
Applicant: Andrew GoldstoneCrouch Hall
Road Network: B Road
Officer contact: Jeffrey Holt
SITE AND SURROUNDINGS
The subject site is Earl Haig Memorial Hall, Elder Avenue, N8 8TH. It is located on the south
side of Elder Avenue, near Tottenham Lane. The building is a single storey community hall
formerly occupied by the Royal British Legion. It occupies the vast majority of the 939m2 site
but in the northern corner are a small number of trees.
Immediately to the northwest are 4-storey Edwardian terrace buildings which face onto
Tottenham Lane. These buildings have retail or commercial uses on the ground floor and
flats above. The adjacent Queen’s Head pub is a Listed Building. To the southeast are large
double fronted 2-storey terrace houses. The rear of the site, to the southwest, faces directly
onto Felix Avenue, a cul-de-sac, where there is a early 20thC 3-storey block of flats.
The site is in Crouch End Conservation Area.
Planning Application History
OLD/1981/0363 - Erection of storage extension and internal alteration. – GRANTED
OLD/1978/0264 - Construction of new store and security area for bar – GRANTED
OLD/1971/0227 - Erection of club extension – GRANTED
OLD/1964/0637 - Erection of club room – REFUSED
OLD/1964/0636 - Demolition of existing billiard room and erection of pavement building for
use as billiard room – REFUSED
OLD/1964/0177 - Rebuilding of existing clubroom – GRANTED
OLD/1949/0163 - Erection of store.- GRANTED
Planning Enforcement History
DETAILS OF PROPOSAL
A Certificate of Lawfulness for use of property as D1/D2.
2 Objections from City and Westminster Developments (current owners of the site):
The building does not have established D1/D2 use
It was closed in 2010 due to lack of use and has fallen into disrepair
The building contains 2 bars and would appear to have A3 use
No evidence has been given regarding to whom the building has been hired out to
British Legion Halls are Sui Generis and this view is taken by other Boroughs
The other uses are not so predominant as to define the main use class
15 Responses in support
The site is still suitable for community use
The building was built in the 1920s specifically for community use and has been used
for this purpose continuously since
In addition to the Legion, many different community groups have used the site, e.g.
o Crouch End Bridge Club
o Dance classes
The owner’s objection is misleading
The hall was unused for 2 years because it was for sale at a prohibitive price
The British Legion members met at the social bar on the left hand side of the building
The main bar was used for wedding receptions, parties and wakes
There is a stage for bands or for discos
The Hall was never an A3 restaurant/café or an A4 pub/bar
A low-cost community space is needed, not more housing
The building is noted in the Crouch End Conservation Area Character appraisal and
should be protected under planning policy
Expression of support from Cllr David Winskill
It has been used for many different community-focussed purposes
Used by Haringey Council, the MPS and the Haringey Safer Neighbourhood Team
for meetings and consultation exercises and also by the Haringey Primary Care Trust
and Police Consultative Committee
The hall would be ideal for community groups if reasonable rents were charged
RELEVANT PLANNING POLICY
Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended)
ANALYSIS/ASSESSMENT OF THE APPLICATION
The applicant is seeking a Certificate of Lawfulness for use of property as D1/D2. These
Use classes refer to ‘Non-residential Institutions’ and ‘Assembly and Leisure’ uses.
According to the applicant and the consultation responses, the bulding was built for the use
of the British Legion in the 1920s and has been used by the Legion and a wide variety of
community groups and for meetings, parties, and classes until 2010 when it was closed.
The current owners of the site have objected to the application stating that the use is Sui
Generis with no single use dominanting. They also state that the building has fallen into
disrepair and that there is insufficient evidence of who has used the hall.
Following legal advice, it is consdiered that the use of the hall by the Birtish Legion is along
the lines of a members club and is therefore sui generis. The private community activities
which also use the hall (receptions, classes etc) do not form the primary use of the hall but
contibute to a mix of uses, none which are so predomiant as to form the main use.
Subsequently, the applicant amended the description to be for “a mixed use (Sui Generis)
hall incorporating the British Legion, community centre, training, lectures, public meetings,
concerts, shows, dance and physical exercise classes, wedding receptions and other
private parties” and to issue a Certificate of Lawfulness accordingly.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
Based on the evidence received, it is considered that the use of the property is a “mixed
use (Sui Generis) hall incorporating the British Legion, community centre, training, lectures,
public meetings, concerts, shows, dance and physical exercise classes, wedding receptions
and other private parties” and that a Certificate of Lawfulness for this use should be granted.
In pursuance of their powers under the above Acts and Order of the London Borough of
Haringey as local planning Authority hereby CERTIFY that the use of the property as a
mixed use hall incorporating the British Legion, community centre, training, lectures, public
meetings, concerts, shows, dance and physical exercise classes, wedding receptions and
other private parties is Sui Generis under Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order
1987 (as amended).
But in practical terms what does this all mean?
There was a site meeting about 10 days ago, someone from the new owners, a planning officer and a conservation officer. So a planning application will probably submitted.
The implication of all the above is a form of counter to a developer's argument that there is no demand for a public hall, so he should be allowed to demolish and start again. If the application is sensitive to the clues given by the council officers, it may all either be considered irrelevant or as having been successful in its goal of bringing pressure on the developers.