Search

Hillcrest estate residents cry ‘Not in our back garden!’ in Highgate development row

08:00 15 July 2014

Haringey Council are considering building new housing on Hillcrest estate in Highgate and residents are furious. Pictured acting chairman of Hillcrest Residents

Haringey Council are considering building new housing on Hillcrest estate in Highgate and residents are furious. Pictured acting chairman of Hillcrest Residents' Association John Cope. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

The future of a leafy Highgate council estate regarded as one of the best examples of social housing in the borough is under threat from plans to build desperately needed new affordable council homes, residents have warned.

In a bid to tackle Haringey’s affordable housing crisis head on, Haringey Council has earmarked the Hillcrest estate, off North Hill, as one of several sites it owns for development.

The move has prompted the estate’s residents to issue a rallying cry of “Not in our back garden!” this week as they launched a campaign to block tentative proposals for more council housing at Hillcrest.

Four patches of land on the red-brick estate have been targeted as 
potential areas for development – 
including a football green with permanent goalposts that were funded by the filming of a scene from 2004 hit zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead.

John Cope, acting chair of the Hillcrest Residents’ Association, said: “We are not approaching this from a nimby perspective, which typically is about not wanting something built next door. We are saying that they are trying to build this in our back garden.

“In 20 years time, I think people would look back at the decision to not build on the estate and be very proud of Hillcrest.

“But if we look back in 20 years time having built and destroyed one of the best examples of council housing in Haringey, people would talk about that decision and how it ruined what was a very lovely council estate.”

A black hole of affordable housing in the west of the borough has roused the council to action but proposals to build in the post-war Hillcrest estate are at a very early stage.

The council set its sights on Hillcrest as one of the largest estates in the west of Haringey and, as it is 
already council-owned, there will be no land cost to build there.

It has not been decided how many blocks could be built on the estate and council-appointed architects have not yet drawn up designs for what the new buildings might look like.

But at a heated meeting with architects and council officers on Thursday at All Saints’ Church in Talbot Road, the estate’s residents said they will vehemently oppose any plans for development.

The potential loss of green space, 
social integration, architectural merit, and parking spaces were among chief concerns raised on the night.

Cllr Alan Strickland, cabinet member for regeneration and housing at Haringey Council, said he understood their worries but told the residents that he has just as many complaints from people calling on him to build more affordable housing in the west of the borough.

Cllr Strickland told residents: “We are particularly keen to see housing built in the west of the borough.

“This evening we have started a conversation with you about what could happen.

“We are at an early stage and want to be open and transparent with you.”

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 17:45
Lynne Featherstone accepts her award from Ben Cohen, chief executive and founder of Pink News.

Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone has been named the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community’s “ally of the year” by Pink News, the biggest gay news service in Britain.

Yesterday, 15:50
Sheila Gunn

A former Camden councillor who served as press secretary to Sir John Major during a distinguished career in journalism and politics has died.

Yesterday, 14:58
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis. Picture: PA Archive/Sean Dempsey.

Communities came together for special events to mark the Jewish day of Shabbat as part of a new initiative spearheaded by the UK’s chief rabbi to engage Jews with the traditional holy day.

Yesterday, 14:48
Dame Maggie Smith was filming on location in Primrose Hill for the film adaptation of Alan Bennett's The Lady in the Van. Picture: Alex Flood

Dame Maggie Smith dressed down for the day to reprise her role as a tramp in the film adaptation of Alan Bennett’s autobiographical play and novel, The Lady in the Van, which was filming at a café in Primrose Hill last Thursday.

Most read news

Biffo and Bobo better stay away from the town of Vendargues this Halloween.

As a state of emergency is declared in Burkina Faso, what does the future hold for its president and people?

It might not be moving very fast but it’s still causing problems.

After staging an Ebola-themed night, a nightclub has been forced to make an apology after hundreds complained about the tasteless event.

Digital Edition

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