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Haringey Civic Centre Listing - it's leaning to the left

In a bizarre development Haringey's Civic Centre has been listed Grade II. 

I say it's bizarre because a listing if this sort is almost certainly a cross that the building will have to bear, until the apocalypse comes. The owner of a listed building becomes not its owner but its custodian, and has to treat it with respect and care forever after. Often, far more care and respect than is reasonable. So it is bizarre that Haringey itself has applied for this status, or at least so rumour tells me. Perhaps this is part of some [very high stakes] game Haringey is playing with Lendlease - the listing means that Lendlease will now have to work much harder to get the building demolished, whilst not long ago Haringey was looking to demolish and put up flats.

I will also confess that I am not seduced by the buildings charms. The architects who have written the assessment can clearly see things that I miss. Indeed I am much more in tune with this comment from six years ago which nominates it as one of the ugliest buildings in the borough.

Tags: haringey civic centre

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Haringey itself has applied for this status, or at least so rumour tells me. 

Adrian, if by “Haringey”, you mean the Council, then I much doubt it. The Council would not welcome this listing. The council wanted to pass this site and others, into the #HDV, that is now defunct. Lendlease would then have demolished the Civic Centre and re-developed the site.

An individual within or without the Council may have applied for the Listing. I don't know who did, but anyone in the country could have.

Once the Application is made, it is out of the hands of the owner, which is a deliberate procedure, as many owners of old buildings can't wait to demolish them or if not demolish, then, regardless of Listing status, allow them to fall into such disrepair that demolition may be the only choice left. Haringey probably made representations on its merits, as they did with Alexandra Palace, also Grade II listed and more deserving of that status.

As for it's merits for Grade II Listing status, I do not comment.


Joe Goldberg asserts that the listing has been brought about by "hard core Corbynistas" . But I'm not sure his tweets are entirely without prejudice. 

You have an ugly empty building which has liabilities. You are hardcore Corbynistas. Do you use it to build council housing or do you devalue the property by getting it listed so it can stand as a monument to 1960s municipalism

FORMER Councillor Goldberg asserts many things. Often, they are hot air, as with the repeated fatuous claims about carbon dioxide reduction.

Joe's nemesis (and that of several of his New Labour colleagues) has been Corbynistas, but the Corbynistas would not have unseated him and others, had it not been for the #HDV issue, opposition to which united political opinion across the spectrum in Haringey, apart from a narrow wedge of New Labour supporters that became progressively thinner during 2017.

Joe Goldberg suggests he would have used the site to "build council housing", which is untrue, as anyone familiar with the HDV would know. Over its 20-odd year life, the HDV would have built housing, but it would not have built one single council house, a fact about which New Labour consistently and repeatedly tried to mislead people, by eliding (un) affordable housing with social housing (e.g. here).

The application for Listing status could have been made by a single Corbynista, rather than the plural Joe asserts. (He's bound to see a conspiracy of the many, rather than a few).

On the other hand, it could have been an individual unrelated to politics and simply a fan of that style of architecture. I hope it won't be necessary for English Heritage to enrol the perpetrator in some form of witness protection programme.

The interior shines more than the facade - as so often with post war public buildings.

But, merited or not, it's on the list now, and has already created a great fat hole in the Wood Green Area Action Plan - particularly the bit that wanted to demolish the Civic Centre, stick up a tower block and use the proceeds to build a brand new Council HQ (and public square) near where Shopping City currently stands.

HDV is dead, but the option to build on the Civic Centre site was not - and that wholly owned council house building thing Haringey have just announced relies in part on raising capital through land sales. They must be 10s of £millions down.

I'm prepared to entertain the possibility that Haringey does not always act in a logical fashion.

PS. When do they begin to apply for de-listing?

BD online's take - 


They report that Haringey themselves did not submit the listing application.


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