OpinioN8

Connecting Crouch End and Hornsey with news, views and information

Proposed demolition of the Old Hornsey Journal Building - a very constructive meeting

I attended a meeting yesterday with a number of local residents and the planning officer handling the application for 161 Tottenham Lane. The meeting was well run by Alison (whose house back on to the site), with very constructive responses from Valerie Okeiyi from Haringey. Chris has summarised the meeting in an email which I have included below.

My own view is that this development is overbearing both for the space available and in respect of the neighbouring buildings, so I have submitted an objection using the relevant Haringey form. If you want to read more about the proposals there are two '161' items on OpinioN8 with links and comments. I think this response is well constructed

Please do let Haringey know your views, for or against - there is still plenty of time, as we have now agreed with the planning department.

In the meantime the temporary tenants/guardians of the empty building are exercising their artistic talents in the back yard

Chris's summary email

The meeting went well - I thought the planning officer very professional and helpful - she listened carefully to everything that was said and took particular note of our concerns and requests. We looked at the site from various vantage points and she pointed out at least one aspect we were not fully aware of. Alison, with help from her partner and Matt (who lives next door), has done a huge amount of work showing what we object to, just how flawed the application is and listing the many errors of fact and misstatements made by the architects.  
 
It's now up to us to ask for an extension of time (will you do that, Alison?) and for the Head of Planning and the Haringey Councillor who is Chair of the Planning Committee to meet and decide whether or not the Planning Committee should have a hearing to decide on the application. The planning Officer said she will speak with the developers and is armed with several things, any one of which could cause the application to be refused. It seems to me that their application is highly likely to fail but the nature of these things is that they will keep re-applying until they wear us down and we let them walk all over us.  So what we need is for it to be dismissed in a way that prevents them re-applying for the exact same thing or a close variant.
 
I was pleased that the fact that a tree was at risk was a material consideration - the lack of a tree survey is just one more nail in the coffin - they'll have to do one if they are to have any chance of succeeding with any future application and I've informally briefed the Haringey Tree Service so they are in the best position to save them.
 
The planning officer said she would raise the issue with the developers that there has been no community consultation and so it's likely that we will get to meet with them. People are not opposed to development, just opposed to ugly over-development that sets a bad precedent for the rest of Crouch End. What we need now is people who care enough to get involved. 
 
Maybe we could find local architects who would help us express a collective view so as to influence the architects that developers employ before they submit time-wasting applications that have no chance of success? I think the developers will realise that it is more expensive for them to have their applications defeated by residents, than to meet us first, so we just need to be as prepared as Alison was and that means finding people prepared to put the work in as she is leaving the area.

Tags: 161 Tottenham Lane, dec2014, objection, planning

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