Anger as Go Ape course is approved for Alexandra Palace

Residents believe the deer were moved to make way for the Go Ape course. Photo: Polly Hancock

Residents believe the deer were moved to make way for the Go Ape course. Photo: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Alarmed residents are gearing up to appeal after Haringey Council granted permission for a high ropes adventure course at Alexandra Palace.

The Go Ape company will build its overhead course netted with ropes and zip wires around the north west area of the park, close to the boating lake, after it was approved last Monday.

Residents cited privacy concerns as well as fears of over-crowding and rowdiness.

They are concerned land once open to everyone is now being sold to garner profit.

The Avenue resident Charlotte Whelham said she is “shocked and horrified” by the development, and says the park does not have enough toilets for 25 new employees and an influx of visitors.

Her 12-year-old daughter’s bedroom overlooks the park and she sees people urinating in the bushes.

“Several men exposed themselves behind the trees,” she said.

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“There’s no way of shielding it - it’s right before our eyes.”

Mother-of-one Claudine de Montule, who lives in The Avenue, fears commercial decisions have swayed the Palace.

And she is concerned the course is behind the decision to move the beloved deer, even though vets reported the deer’s health had been deteriorating in an urban environment.

“For over 20 years they have been a loved feature of Alexandra Park. They have been moved to make room for this development,” she said at the planning meeting.

“The deer had kids every year and could be hand-fed the occasional apple or carrot without any hesitation.”

Ms de Montule believes the Palace failed to consult with residents, although the Palace said it consulted with groups including Friends of the Park and the Alexandra Palace Conservation Area Advisory Committee.

“We only found out by chance from a very small sign stuck to a lamppost in the field,” Ms de Montule said.

“There has been no public consultation of residents or council tax payers in Haringey.”

Louise Stewart, CEO of Alexandra Park and Palace said: “Alexandra Park & Palace has continued to evolve throughout its 150 year history.

“We have several commercial operations on site and attracting additional quality operators such as Go Ape is an important part of our strategy to keep our offer fresh and relevant for both local people and visitors from further afield, as well as provide critical resources to further our charitable purposes.

“It’s an exciting new development and we have no doubt it will bring considerable benefits to the local community and economy.”