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Crouch End neighbours fly balloons to highlight overshadowing threat

PUBLISHED: 13:42 30 November 2017 | UPDATED: 13:59 30 November 2017

Residents flew balloons over Hornsey Town Hall on Saturday to show Crouch Enders and councillors how high proposed new blocks of flats behind the site will be. Picture: IAIN LANYON

Residents flew balloons over Hornsey Town Hall on Saturday to show Crouch Enders and councillors how high proposed new blocks of flats behind the site will be. Picture: IAIN LANYON

Archant

Neighbours have used balloons to highlight their fears of overshadowing sparked by a developer’s bid to build seven storey apartment blocks on their doorsteps.

Residents and Crouch End councillors watch as the balloons fly over Hornsey Twon Hall. Picture: IAIN LANYONResidents and Crouch End councillors watch as the balloons fly over Hornsey Twon Hall. Picture: IAIN LANYON

In August Far East Consortium (FEC) submitted plans to restore Hornsey Town Hall and to build 146 flats at the back of the Grade II*-listed former council HQ.

But the application attracted hundreds of objections from the community with some residents on Saturday flying balloons up to the height of the planned blocks in a bid to raise awareness of how tall they will be.

Kathy Smith, who lives in Prime Zone Mews, Crouch End, said: “It’s great the town hall is being restored, but it’s at the expense of a conservation area. People’s needs aren’t being met.”

Ms Smith’s comments come after critics questioned Haringey Council’s capacity to tackle FEC and call on the firm to re-apply with more sensitive designs.

A council spokesman said in response: “The application will be considered in line with our usual planning procedure, which looks at criteria including the impact on light and privacy.”

But residents commissioned an independent review by firm Building Research Establishment (BRE) to check the conclusions of a daylight survey carried out by Point 2 Surveyors submitted as part of FEC’s application.

Among its findings, BRE state Point 2 underestimated the impact of FEC’s plans on daylight noting three homes in Weston Park would be overshadowed with gardens likely to lose most or all sunlight with a ‘substantial increase’ in loss of privacy.

BRE added the developer’s architect, Make, drew the wrong conclusions in its own privacy report and did not meet the requirements of Haringey’s own plans for future developments.

Point 2 and Make, acting for FEC, have shared their responses to the report with Haringey.

Acting for Make, Point 2 and FEC a spokeswoman said: “These are technical responses to the points raised in the BRE report and are on the planning file.”

Weston Park resident Dr Paul Toyne said: “This report has highlighted the development is too high and close to properties.”

He added he was unsurprised by BRE’s findings given a 2010 application submitted by another developer was found to have ‘adverse’ impacts on the area.

“How can a development that is even taller with a larger footprint be any better?” he asked.

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