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As someone who's lived on Elder Avenue for ages, it is such a crying shame to see the current state of the Earl Haig building. Not only is it falling into disrepair, the forecourt has become a complete eyesore - overgrown with weeds and piled with debris that has been dumped there, and unfortunately people sitting there drinking at nights and early morning... Does anyone have an update on what is happening? Or an idea whose responsibility it is to maintain its upkeep?
There is a lot of information here on this site about the hall.
This from when it went up for sale in Nov 2010
This from when it was sold earlier this year (Feb) - at an extraordinary price way over the £750,000 ask it had failed to sell at for the last year.
In between times there were a few suggestions - a brewery or a community resource, but apathy ruled until after the auction when an organisation did make its presence known, but too late. A Mr Sensible told some half truths at one stage.
And some other links below.
But now it has been bought by a developer (City and Westminster Developments) who has paid too much for it, and indeed did their best to wriggle out of the deal). Thisrecent pronouncement by the council includes the words "The building is noted in the Crouch End Conservation Area Character appraisal and should be protected under planning policy" which makes demolition unlikely.
So for the moment it awaits a move by the developer who has to think of a scheme which will make money without changing the character of the place. It belongs to City and Westminster. I guess if they want to let ot rot and be taken over by itinerant drunks then that is what will happen!
Thanks Adrian for this information. I contacted CAWD to ask them if there was a routine maintainence programme in place. The minimum they have is a security guard (who I haven't seen for some time!). I expressed my concern at the overgrown aspect, but mostly the dumping of litter and old clothes etc. They said they would ask someone to investigate but that a representative had been out yesterday and did not report anything. If nothing changes in the next fortnight I will speak to the relevant department in the council and then take it up with the local councillor.
Cllr Winskill has submitted this member's enwuiry to Haringey
I received a telephone call from Mr Gary Olsen from CAWD this morning following my enquiry yesterday. He made it clear in no uncertain terms that his company would take no responsibility for the upkeep of the building’s forecourt (or building) under their ownership. Olsen said that the Local Authority was being obstructive in the company’s wish to build four houses on the site and that his only concern was to push this through to completion. When I enquired about his responsibility to the local community and residents he expressed no interest in the building becoming a blight, unsafe or attracting dumping. I asked how he felt if I (as a local resident) cleared the forecourt up, and he said that he had no objection. He outlined that the building will continue to fall into dereliction thereby enabling him to push his development plans through within the next year to eighteen months. I will be now pursuing this with the council as the issue of ongoing dumping and clearance of rubbish is of the uppermost concern to me, and in reality, the only area in which they may be able to help. It is all very sad. The cynicism of CAWD is breathtaking; but their only interest is in developing the building for its commercial value, so it should come as no real suprise!
Haringey's reply to the Members' Enquiry
Thank you for your enquiry of 7 September 2012 regarding the state of the forecourt of the British Legion Building.
The Neighbourhood Action Officer, Kamil Eyyup visited the location yesterday and found no issues specifically in regards to overgrown foliage and flytipping from the front of the British Legion building. It was noted there has been a recent cut back of weeds/foliage from within the grounds which has left the appearance neat and presentable.
It was not felt that there are any grounds to serve an enforcement notice because of the conditions of the property at this stage but the situation will be monitored.
Building Control has been asked to investigate the issue of disrepair of the building and will take the appropriate action whereby contacting the owners if found to be deemed necessary.
With regards to the problem of drinking/anti social behaviour on the site, the Safer Neighbourhood Team has been made aware of concerns raised.
I do hope this information is of assistance.
I wonder if you could pass on the contact deatails of the correspondent. I should like to point out that after a unconstructive conversation with Gary Olsen at CAWD who said he would take no responsiblity for the upkeep of the forecourt and his intention was to let the place go to dereliction:
With many thanks.
Hi Joanna, Re: POP UP Gallery at The British Legion
Well done you! I think it's fantastic that someone took the time & considerable effort to clear what is fast becoming a depressing reality of empty premises & wasted community space in Crouch End. I, like you, live round the corner (Aubrey Road) & pass by every day what should be a vibrant community space providing something for every age group in the area.....So here's a plan to make the point & hopefully get some press interest along with more petition signatures this Sat 22nd September. I'm rallying some other to assist me in creating the following:
A pop up 'recylcing/upcyling SWAP & sale gallery' style art installation to demonstrate how we can use empty space more productively as well as highlight the threat of losing what should be a community focussed space. I've recently done 2 art installations locally linked to a pop up gallery with local artists & another for a fundraising day for the local 'Action for Kids' Charity & know we can draw attention to the issue. As well as selling recycled clothes, accessories & bric & brac I'd love to promote the concept of SWAPPING.
I will invite the press & local councillors but only release the location at the last minute as well as getting signatures (do you know if there is a formal petition sheet I can use?)
If you want any more information, or want to get involved in any way either message me here or you can reach me on 07989 346131
Count me in - my petrition on the issue is here - http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/no-pub-at-earl-haig-hall/
There should be a letter from me and a news story in today's Hornsey Journal on this issue, so I know a journo I can call if that's helpful. I'm on 07976 793 666
Let me know if you want me to promote via twitter.
Best wishes and great idea!
Brilliant. Heading off now but will look at this & liaise later today - just waiting to hear if others will join/assist in setting up & providing a bit of mass so will report back
Hi All, Re; 'Art Street'
geurilla community arts event now being planned for next Sat 29th September on the Earl Haig forecourt & this will include an art installation, SWAP shop, artists painting at their easels, &, & , &...more info to follow...anyone interested in helping further tidy up the forecourt in preparation or even better in planting up flowers & plants in 'old discarded, falling into disuse but once lovely' containers, would be a great way to get the message across, you know sort of rusted buckets, broken handle teapots etc. Email me if you want more info
In a meeting in town so can't make tonight's meeting but spread the word! Over weekend will start promoting working title of 'Art Street' to make point of difference for classic 'street art'. ALL positive ideas welcome as long as they 'fit' literally (& conceptually!) within the forecourt as need to beware causing an obstruction on the public highway. Any graphic bods who will improve on my basic skills, we need an 'Art Street' in an ' alternative' street sign logo for Fb page & signage. Will update again soon
Thsi may also be of interest - a plan to tun it into a pub
My husband, Mark Afford, was in touch with the Antic Pub people whose plan is to develop it into the pub. He says:
"They were one of the original bidders in the auction, but lost out to CAWD. However it now appears that Antic are in negotiation to buy the property from CAWD. I imagine CAWD have had their snout put out of joint as their grand project has hit a brick wall and are seeking to offload. Which would go someway to explain the blunt phone conversation you had with them earlier.
If Antic get planning for a pub the deal may well go ahead. Just to add that the Antic Pubs notion is to replicate what they did with the Balham Bowls Club"
It would be interesting to see how this develops as an idea, for us as residents opposite it would be issues of noise/smokers outside which was only an irregular problem when the Earl Haig was in operation. But at least there might be some sympathetic treatment of the current building and the retention of a ‘community feel’! Thanks Joanna