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Highgate residents battle developers to save lane

PUBLISHED: 11:30 12 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:22 07 September 2010

Alan Barter and Mick Mahoney

Alan Barter and Mick Mahoney

Highgate conservationists and residents are gearing up for another showdown with developers in the hope of saving their quiet lane. In April a planning inspector from Whitehall rejected Alan Barter s proposals to build eight modern eco homes on the site

Highgate conservationists and residents are gearing up for another showdown with developers in the hope of saving their quiet lane.

In April a planning inspector from Whitehall rejected Alan Barter's proposals to build eight modern "eco homes" on the site of the old water-board cottage in Tile Kiln Lane.

The officer turned down the development on the grounds of its impact on the conservation area and because it would affect the views from nearby Archway Bridge.

But Mr Barter is back for more, and has submitted new plans to demolish the cottage and build two three-storey blocks containing eight "sustainable" homes in its place.

"The plans are completely inappropriate for this type of semi-rural area. I hope all the powers that be see through the smokescreen," said neighbour Yuri Koorland.

Architect Colin Moore, also of Tile Kiln Lane, said: "I would like to emphasise that Tile Kiln Lane is an asset enjoyed by many local people.

"It is a rare, quiet place to walk and find relief from city streets, which I believe would be compromised by the presence of a large residential development at its most intimate point."

Other objections centre on the added burden on parking and congestion in an area used by hundreds of schoolchildren from Hornsey Lane's St Aloysius College.

But developer Mr Barter, who admits being "tenacious", has hit back and says new homes like his are vital to the future.

"Research says our population is going to grow dramatically - so where are they going to put them all, in shanty towns? They will all want nice homes," he said.

"We are growing to be a crowded nation. Not all the powerful and the intelligensia can have their nice little green patches."

Despite questions about over development of the site, Mr Barter thinks residents should be more realistic.

He said: "We are not going to give up - when you are right, you are right. We are trying to do something positive here.

"It might not be the best thing in the world, but they are good homes. They are all very in keeping with London life."

He added: "I don't see the area as a green piece of countryside - it's more of a brownfield site. But I feel that some people will be against this no matter what.

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