Anger as historic Crouch End pub loses its marbles
Marijke Peters MISSING marbles from a former Crouch End pub have met with a stony response from local residents. The black panels which adorned the exterior of the Hogshead on Crouch End Hill, were hacked off by builders and stored inside last week. The b
MISSING marbles from a former Crouch End pub have met with a stony response from local residents.
The black panels which adorned the exterior of the Hogshead on Crouch End Hill, were hacked off by builders and stored inside last week.
The building is currently being converted into two new restaurants but its owner has been accused of taking a slapdash approach to construction work.
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Graham Powell, who owns an art shop opposite, said: "I watched them take off the marble with a hammer.
"The builders were loosening it from behind and trying to get it off in complete panels but some of them broke.
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"When they did the panel above the door there was a guy on the roof with a rope around one end and a man on the street trying to manoeuvre it. But the weight of it was so great that it slipped out and fell to the ground and smashed into pieces."
The 1930s building is built in the style of Hornsey Town Hall with red brickwork and wrought iron fixtures.
It was originally an undertaker's and the funereal black marble on the outside was complemented by two black basalt Wedgwood vases in the window.
Although it is not protected by an English Heritage listing, it is inside the Crouch End conservation area.
The building is owned by developer David Coffer who plans to offer the site to restaurants.
Planning permission granted in 2004 for the conversion of the pub states: "The extensions are considered of a design which is sympathetic to the original building and would therefore preserve and or enhance the character and/or appearance of the Crouch End conservation area.
"The external materials to be used for the proposed development shall match in colour, shape, size and texture those of the existing building."
Ward councillor Dave Winskill said: "The building has been a local landmark for more than 70 years and is in a conservation area.
"My understanding is that permission is required for any changes to the exterior of the building and I'll be following this up with enquiries to Haringey's conservation officer."
Mr Coffer said: "We are at the beginning of the project and work is ongoing. I think some of the marbles were unsafe and will be replaced if it's a statutory requirement and it's what we agreed to in the planning terms."
A spokesman for the council's planning department said he would visit the site in the next week to assess whether there had been a breach.