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Turning to the former club premises, the change of use options, including other community uses and residential conversion, have been explored without success, for both financial and practical reasons.
My honest opinion, having inspected the building, both internally and externally, on several occasions, is that the time has come to consider redevelopment options, for the following reasons :-
1. The lack of a viable use for the existing redundant building
2. The lack of architectural merit in the existing building, which has been much extended during its life, particularly the two ugly flat-roofed single-storiey extensions at the front of the building, which, in my mind ruin the front elevation of the original building. It is not even locally-listed, and is not protected from partial demolition, due to the vagaries of Planning legislation.
3. After speaking to you, another reason to replace the existing building crossed my mind. The club was erected in 1928 and named in honour of Earl Haig, who you will recall was largely responsible for the death of one million British soldiers in the First World War, and the wounding of millions more. These were all A1 young men, and many historians agree that this country has never recovered from their loss. I find it highly distasteful to perpetuate a memorial to this man, and, coincidentally, when I met his grand daughter socially some ten years ago, she stated that she was deeply ashamed of him for the tactics he adopted, which lead to so much loss and misery.
4. Last, but not least, is the opportunity to erect a much better building, which would respect the character of the area and the street scene, and provide a high standard of living accomodation, in an area of high demand. As discussed, my Client and I favour a 3 storey development of family flats, as the rear windows of some of the flats over the Queens PH directly overlook the site. Nine 2 bedroom flats would fit comfortably on the site and I am currently preparing a feasability plan. Alternatively, a terrace of 3/4 houses would be acceptable to my Client, if overlooking of the rear gardens could be satisfactorily dealt with by screen planting. In any event, I envisage traditional architecture, which would harmonise with the adjoining buildings that possess great character and style. As you know, the Queens is a magnificent Listed Building, both inside and out, and the relationship between any new development and this building is obviously of prime importance. Car parking to serve the new dwellings can be provided behind the proposed rear gardens, and would be accessed from Fairfax Road.
So it was eventually sold. I have to say, it's not a particularly attractive building, in my opinion, but MORE flats? It would be great if it was a much better building but given the look of most of the new flats around, it's not going to be, is it?
nice to see that something is going to be done with it before it becomes another haven for anti social behaviour and rot infecting central crouch end...if its flats lets hope its not some modern monstrosity. Crouch End could do with some good classic design.
I totally agree. If they're going to be flats, make them really attractive and interesting.
I went to the development forum about the proposal to redevelop the KwikFit site. The architect thought his flats were interesting and in keeping with others nearby. I think they are bland and unrelieved and as interesting as a slab of cheese. You are asking a lot.
Slabs of cheese are def not welcome in Cend! not are these modern classic hybrid buildings Take note the NHS centre at Park Road!! What were they thinking!!
Look forward to seeing the plans if it means that parking is on site then why not. Parking was always a nightmare when something was held there and it was always noisy. If it couldnt be brought by the community then I would rather something is there than it being left redundant.
At the conclusion of the comments,I believe he means 'Felix Avenue'.
He does indeed mean 'Felix Avenue'.
And even if he were correct in his assertions about Earl Haig, then simply renaming the building would do the trick.
Not sure I'd employ this man as a planning consultant.
Bit harsh Adrian, why not?
Proposals for flats is a non-starter for the clear and simple reason that existing planning policy prohibits any more flats and conversions in a zone already long identified as being under intense parking pressure. Additionally, off-street parking for nine flats could never be accommodated on the site. Underground parking is also out of the question because of at least two major drainage lines which run through the middle of the site.
Three houses of three floors in a terrace fronting Elder Ave would be likely to be acceptable with gardens/parking fronting Felix Ave or breaking away from the predictable, how about four live/work spaces, backs adjoining with each pair addressing the two streets equally, instead of the brutal antisocial planning disaster of the current building in the way it addresses Felix Ave.
And please, is it possible to have some really outstanding contemporary architecture in Crouch End. Not the weak imitation Victorian pastiche or bland Barretesque which seems to have come to satisfy the lowest common denominator requirement of planning officers to be 'inkeeping' or 'fitting in'. Are we to be forever trapped, trying to badly reproduce a style of architecture and quality of construction we can no longer afford, or accept third rate buildings as interesting and tasteful as processed cheese?
Welcome to the 21st Century.
Wheres that sketch!!? :-)
I'm sure the owners architect will be providing a sketch in due course. Best make your demands to them.