Hornsey Town Hall decision: ‘A sad day - but not only for Crouch End’

Hornsey Town Hall in Crouch End. Picture: ARCHANT

Hornsey Town Hall in Crouch End. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Weston and Haringey Parks Residents’ Association writes in response to Haringey Council chiefs’ decision to agree a developer’s plans to restore Hornsey Town Hall and redevelop the site in the heart of Crouch End.

The architectural and cultural history of unique local London neighbourhoods is one of the treasures of London, making it a fascinating and important city that reflects a heritage of which we are proud.

On Monday night at the Haringey Council planning meeting, a decision was taken that has repercussions not just for the Crouch End ward in Haringey but for the whole of London.

The Weston and Haringey Parks Residents’ Association (WHPRA) was formed as a result of a planning application for the Hornsey Town Hall site, that included not just the welcome restoration of the Grade II*-listed building but also for a plan to build two huge seven storey blocks of flats with little architectural links to the surrounding conservation area.

The developers, Far East Consortium (a Cayman Island registered company), originally won the bid with plans for a five-storey development which, in height, more closely resembled the surrounding conservation area; they then applied for planning permission with new plans that would yield greater profit.

Despite over 600 objections, the council did not hesitate to grant FEC the permission it sought.

This now not only exacerbates the increasing destruction of conservation areas across the borough but opens the gates for developers to build inappropriately throughout the country.

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The council said the balance of harm to the neighbourhood was outweighed by the value of the restoration of the town hall.

We in WHPRA, believe that this decision was based on flawed information with many serious questions either left unanswered or totally ignored by our elected representatives.

Legislation has destroyed the foundations of conservation areas, in the name of ‘development’.

The entire concept of such areas is now totally undermined.

A sad day – but not only for Crouch End.