Search

New owner erects hoardings at Highgate Magistrates Court to keep squatters out

17:00 08 May 2014

The former Haringey Magistrates Court being boarded up and fenced in. Picture: Polly Hancock

The former Haringey Magistrates Court being boarded up and fenced in. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Anxious neighbours have been reassured about the future plans for the former Highgate Magistrates’ Court after builders with pneumatic drills erected hoardings around the derelict building this week.

Workers erect the hoardings at the former court house. Picture: Polly HancockWorkers erect the hoardings at the former court house. Picture: Polly Hancock

The former court in Bishops Road closed its doors in December 2012 and has lain empty ever since.

But last week workmen boarded up windows, erected a fence and started drilling, angering residents who were concerned that demolition work was being carried out without their knowledge.

Crime novelist Matthew Baylis, 42, of Bishops Road, said: “I’m not one of those mad nimbys who doesn’t want anything to happen. I can see it’s inevitably going to be turned into flats, it’s what everyone jokes about.

“But obviously there has to be a consultation and that doesn’t seem to have taken place. How tall is it going to be? And from a sheer logistical point of view, how long is it going to take?

“I rather like the building, so if it is demolished I think it’s a shame. It has lots of beautiful green marbling on the windowsills. There’s something quite interesting about it.”

But new owners Bellway Homes, who exchanged contracts on the property on April 28, said the only work carried out was to erect hoardings to secure the court site.

The derelict court has previously been targeted by squatters and the legal process to evict them is understood to have delayed the sale of the building.

A spokesman for Bellway Homes said: “Following recent completion on the sale, we have erected fencing to secure the site.

“Following this, we were informed that there was some concern that we may have began developing on the site prematurely.

“Residents and interest groups can be reassured that we are simply looking to take precautions to safeguard the site and have not begun development work.

“They will be fully consulted during the planning application process where we will welcome all comments and feedback on our proposed plans.”

Bellway Homes is in pre-application talks with Haringey Council about plans for the site, which the local authority suggested could be turned into a hotel following a land assessment in January.

However, it is understood that Bellway Homes developments usually mix residential and commercial units, or are purely residential in nature.

The company is one of the UK’s largest house-builders.

Before preliminary works could take place, the owners would need to apply for conservation area consent as well as planning permission, as the court sits in the Highgate Conservation Area.

Haringey Council enforcement officers visited the site on Friday to check that works were not in breach of the conservation area guidelines.

Michael Hammerson, vice-president of the Highgate Society, said the association was not aware that works had begun.

Latest News Stories

12:30
Juan Calderon was jailed for seven years for raping a woman at his home in Hampstead

A man from Hampstead who raped a woman after she fell asleep on a night bus has been jailed for seven years.

11:29
The prestigious Cumberland Lawn Tennis Club has become embroiled in a bitter row in recent weeks. Picture: Twitter/@Tennis_Europe

Word has reached the Ham&High of an almighty, and somewhat bizarre, row that has broken out on the lush lawns of one of the most prestigious tennis clubs in the country.

14:48
Beatie Wolfe on Hampstead Heath. Picture: Stu Nicholls

A singer-songwriter has helped dementia patients reconnect with the world as part of a groundbreaking experiment into the powerful effect music can have on sufferers’ lives.

Yesterday, 18:19
Christopher White has been jailed for his part in the kidnap and torture of two men

A gang member who blackmailed £30,000 from a torture victim’s mother by threatening to cut off her son’s finger was jailed for 20 years yesterday (Wednesday).

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Time to expand with the LeefiBRIDGE.

More iOS memory in a flash: Introducing Leef iBRIDGE.

The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder