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TV soapstar joins neighbours in protest over Hornsey Town Hall plan

PUBLISHED: 18:38 07 September 2017 | UPDATED: 18:48 07 September 2017

Actress Tamzin Outhwaite has joined neighbours in Crouch End to object to plans to restore Hornsey Town Hall. Picture: Tamzin Outhwaite

Actress Tamzin Outhwaite has joined neighbours in Crouch End to object to plans to restore Hornsey Town Hall. Picture: Tamzin Outhwaite

Archant

A television soapstar has joined neighbours in a bid to stop £29m plans to redevelop land behind Hornsey Town Hall.

Campaigners outside Hornsey Town Hall during a previous protest. Picture: David Winskill Campaigners outside Hornsey Town Hall during a previous protest. Picture: David Winskill

Former Eastenders and New Tricks star Tamzin Outhwaite has objected to plans which would see 146 flats rise up to seven storeys high on ground behind the Grade II*-listed building and overlook homes in surrounding roads.

Ms Outhwaite said: “I have lived in this area for 20 happy years and the feel of this community would drastically change if this was to go ahead.

“I bought my house on the understanding and proof at the time of its privacy,” she added.

However, the 46-year-old actress – who played Melanie Healy in the popular BBC soap – and her neighbours now fear the prospect of people looking down onto their gardens.

Developer Far East Consortium (FEC) submitted plans to Haringey Council last month looking to restore the Town Hall with a hotel and arts centre thrown in.

A consultation underway now gives the public an opportunity to comment on the plans but it is set to end in less than three weeks.

In her objection Ms Outhwaite highlights concerns over increased demands on parking, public transport and fears over the future of the venue’s arts centre.

“We are extremely concerned about the impact and loss of community interaction resulting from the loss of the centre which provides an invaluable service to us as a tight knit community.

“This is unacceptable and I strongly oppose these plans,” she wrote.

On Monday Crouch End community groups announced they will be hold a public meeting as the consultation deadline nears.

Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum, Hornsey Town Hall Appreciation Society, Weston and Haringey Parks Residents Association and the organisers of Crouch End Festival have rallied together to put on the meeting in the Town Hall’s Supper Room.

Forum chair David Winskill said: “The application is one of the most complex seen in Haringey. Many people will never have engaged with planning. We have arranged this session to walk people through the plans and help frame their comments.”

In response to recent criticism, FEC’s John Connolly said: “Our plans are awaiting determination. The experienced project team have worked tirelessly to present plans which are sympathetic to the local setting.

“We have undertaken technical assessments including daylight studies and recently submitted a statement on privacy to provide assurance to neighbours. We have also submitted a transport assessment and travel plan. We have been clear from the outset that new residents will be unable to apply for parking permits for neighbouring residential roads. We’ll also be contributing around £3 million in community infrastructure levy funds which is to assist the council on delivering infrastructure to support the development of the surrounding area.

“We’ll shortly announce the appointment of a top-class arts operator who will ensure the Town Hall is vibrant in the day and evening. Our aim, drawing on an existing planning consent for the site and an adopted site allocation for redevelopment based on that consent, has always been to balance the views of the community with presenting workable proposals which secure the future of the Town Hall and remove it from Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ Register.

“The hotel and residential apartments enable the full restoration of the Town Hall and will secure its long term future,” he added.

A Haringey Council spokeswoman said: “We’ve been clear for many years our ambition for Hornsey Town Hall is to see this iconic landmark restored and secured for future generations to enjoy through a scheme that respects the building’s cultural heritage, offers community access to its important historical spaces and unlocks its potential as an arts venue.

“Consultation on the planning application is open until September 27 and all responses will be considered in the usual way by our planning committee,” she added.

The Town Hall meeting starts 7pm on Tuesday, September 12.

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