Anger as temporary licence given to allow lorries into Parkland Walk

Friends of Parkland Walk are handing out leaflets voicing their concern for the proposal to allow co

Friends of Parkland Walk are handing out leaflets voicing their concern for the proposal to allow construction vehicles access to a site near to the Holmesdale Rd entrance via the walk. Pictured front Cathy Meeus - Credit: Archant

A community desperately trying to protect a Highgate nature reserve from traffic has slammed the council for offering developers a temporary licence to drive lorries over Parkland Walk.

Haringey Council is allowing investment banker Sebastian Eiseler a temporary licence for two 20-minute lorry movements a week for 26 weeks to remove rubble from the old railway cottage he is converting in Francis Place which is surrounded by woodland reserve.

This is despite its decision last July to honour historic covenants forbidding traffic and soil disruption on the trail.

Mr Eiseler, who works for Oaktree Capital, has already secured planning permission to convert the property into a seven-bedroom house with a basement.

Cathy Meeus, treasurer of Friends of Parkland Walk (FoPW), said: “We believe 26 weeks is excessive for the amount of work that needs to be done. We want independent assessments as to whether this is an appropriate amount of time for what he wants to do. We also want independent legal opinion for granting this temporary licence and whether it will undermine the ability to enforce the covenant in the future. The council stood by the covenant last summer and we’d like to know what’s changed.”

Alexia Kokorelia, of Kokorelia Architects, who is overseeing the work, told the Ham&High: “The intention is to make the house inhabitable and to get the works done as quickly and efficiently as possible. The house has now been vacant for more than two and a half years and is deteriorating quickly. Vehicles are and have been used regularly and without objections on the walk by the council itself. Therefore, the use of vehicle access will therefore not be setting a precedent.”

A spokesman for Haringey Council said they had been discussing a new method statement with the owners. He added: “This is a temporary licence giving permission for two 20-minute lorry movements per week for a period of 26 weeks, and imposing restrictions to minimise the effect of the work upon the nearby Parkland Walk.

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“We must strike a balance between the home owners’ need to work on their home and the entitlement of people to continue to enjoy the Parkland Walk – we believe this approach would cause the least disruption to the walk. The method statement would not affect the covenant on pedestrian access, which remains in place.”