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Haringey planners vote against bid to flatten half Muswell Hill house – but it could still happen

PUBLISHED: 16:02 12 June 2018

Cllr Julia Ogiehor with neighbours outside the house in Woodland Gardens, Muswell Hill. Picture: Haringey Liberal Democrats

Cllr Julia Ogiehor with neighbours outside the house in Woodland Gardens, Muswell Hill. Picture: Haringey Liberal Democrats

Archant

Haringey councillors on Monday voted to block a planning application neighbours had said would threaten the unique character of a century-old street.

Farrol Goldblatt in front of the Edwardian semi in Woodland Gardens, Muswell Hill. Picture: Haringey Liberal Democrats Farrol Goldblatt in front of the Edwardian semi in Woodland Gardens, Muswell Hill. Picture: Haringey Liberal Democrats

The council’s planning sub-committee formally urged the Planning Inspectorate to bin plans to replace half an Edwardian semi in Woodland Gardens with a modern development.

Seven out of 11 councillors voted against the plans and in favour of the 77 objectors, on the basis it would do serious harm to the historic street’s character.

Lib Dem councillor for Muswell Hill Julia Ogiehor said: “This is excellent news and a credit to the residents who have been campaigning to keep their neighbourhood special.

“The national planning policy framework and the local plan are very clear about the importance of preserving the character of areas, wherever possible, so that’s what the inspectorate needs to prioritise.”

The decision was originally in the hands of the council but the applicants appealed to the Planning Inspectorate after Haringey failed to make a decision in the available time.

Architect for the new build Rod McArthur said significant delays had led to a breakdown in the developer’s trust the council could solve the issue.

Farrol Goldblatt, an architect living in the other half of the semi-detatched house, said: “The special character of this area is what drew me and my neighbours here in the first place, but this is not just about preserving it for us.

“Once that sense of history is gone, we won’t be able to get it back, and future generations will be unable to experience it.”

He added other neighbours had previously done extensive internal renovations rather than demolishing and that he believed the street was unanimously against the plans.

By contrast, in his speech to the sub-committee, Mr McArthur said: “A significant number of objections appear to be duplicates and in excess of 85 per cent of the local population do not feel very strongly.

“One interpretation is that a small minority are attempting to exert undue influence.”

Regardless of the inspectorate’s decision, the applicants only need approval for the new development and can still demolish the building.

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