Plans for extra flats as part of Muswell Hill roof extension go to appeal

Whitehall Lodge, in Pages Lane

Whitehall Lodge, in Pages Lane - Credit: Michael Wright

The decisions of Haringey Council to twice reject housing plans as part of a roof extension in Muswell Hill have been appealed.

Swanlane Estates Limited had both of its proposals knocked back last year to build atop the six-storey block, Whitehall Lodge, in Pages Lane. The first application was for six one-bed flats, with the second submission revised down to four units.  

Both decisions are now with the Ministry of Housing’s planning inspectorate, after the developer contested the council’s verdicts.  

Neighbours and local associations, who lodged more than 250 objections across both applications, can comment on the appeal until June 9, ahead of the ruling. 

Objectors included the Muswell Hill Conservation Area Advisory Committee, the Muswell Hill and Fortis Green Association, and the Isokon Gallery Trust.  

Concerns were raised over the lack of alleged consultation with residents, fears over the quality of the homes, and damage to the architectural and historical value of the site.  

Michael Wright, a local resident who has spearheaded the campaign against the plans, said: “There is a very poor quality to the proposed flats although they will be marketed as luxury penthouses; the proposed ceiling height is below allowed building regulations and the rooms very small.  

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“The rooftop extensions suggests creating new balconies with reflective glass balustrades. These will introduce visual clutter such as patio furniture, plants and parasols, all of which will contribute to spoiling the conservation area and the design of the building.” 

A statement submitted by the applicant’s agent, Savills, as part of the plans rejected in December, said: “This application seeks to make effective use of brownfield land to optimise the delivery of housing. 

“Careful consideration has been paid to the two previous reasons for refusal and the development is considered to have overcome these by taking a more subtle approach that fits in with the building’s material palette and form.  

“The setback of the extension ensures it is read as subordinate to all the features of the buildings existing composition and does not rise above its existing maximum height.”  

A snowy Whitehall Lodge, in Muswell Hill

A snowy Whitehall Lodge, in Muswell Hill - Credit: Michael Wright

The council attributed a loss of amenity to residents, harm to a locally listed building, and a detrimental effect to the conservation area as its reasons for rejecting the plans. 

Whitehall Lodge was built in 1936-37 by the English and Scottish Co-Operative as a rare case of modernist design marketed to suburban residents. Its original architect was Henry W. Binns. 

To comment on the planning appeals enter reference numbers APP/Y5420/W/21/3266860 and   
APP/Y5420/W/21/3266863 on the planning inspectorate’s website.  

Swanlane Estates Limited has been approached for comment, via its agent Savills.