Developer pledges to invest £36m in Hornsey Town Hall

Haringey Council has struck a deal with developer Far East Consortium which sees the firm pay for 11

Haringey Council has struck a deal with developer Far East Consortium which sees the firm pay for 11 affordable homes as part of plans for Hornsey Town Hall. Picture: Purcell - Credit: Archant

The developer behind plans to restore Hornsey Town Hall has pledged to invest more than £36million in the Grade II*-listed building and Broadway Annexe.

Far East Consortium (FEC) announced last week it would spend more than £20m in “essential repair and heritage works” to preserve the venue originally built in the 1930s but which fell into disrepair after the council relocated its headquarters to Wood Green in 1966.

Haringey Council and FEC signed an agreement to develop the Town Hall in February.

On the spending plan, FEC’s John Connolly, said: “We’re committed to restoring the Town Hall and safeguarding it for future generations.

“Our cost breakdown for the restoration and refurbishment of this much loved asset sets out the scale of thought and investment that is going into the refurbishment,” he added.

The developer has pledged £5m for structural changes and earmarked £6m for ‘fit out’ costs for community spaces and a hotel.

But FEC has no plans for affordable housing at the rear of the site where the company want to put up 146 flats, this in spite of calls for details from Crouch End councillors and the community.

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Welcoming the announcement as “positive”, Crouch End cllr Natan Doron said: “The restoration is critical to the success of the project but there is more to do on affordable housing. It would be completely unacceptable not to have any. We will not support the application unless this is addressed.”

Liz Sich, chair of Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust said: “We believe this substantial investment is to be broadly welcomed.

“It will ensure the delivery of a high quality restoration and sensitive refurbishment, and takes it off English Heritage’s At Risk register.

“Crucially, it should secure Hornsey Town Hall’s long term future as an historic building and an arts and community venue for all to enjoy, the investment in which we will continue to monitor,” she added.

David Winskill of Hornsey Town Hall Appreciation Society said: “These are very big sums of money and will, hopefully, lead to a first class restoration of this much neglected building.

“It is hard though to distinguish between essential works, work which supports the housing scheme and structural work for the new uses such as restaurants etc.

“We will need to study the elements of the cost breakdown document carefully to ensure they are not being used simply to justify the extra build at the rear and lack of affordable/social housing,” he added.

Subject to planning consent, FEC expects the development to start in 2018 and anticipates completion two years later.