Blundering builders flatten historic wall

PUBLISHED: 18:11 17 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:57 07 September 2010

BUILDERS involved in the construction of the new Coleridge School have bulldozed an historic wall that was protected by a preservation order

Charlotte Newton

BUILDERS involved in the construction of the new Coleridge School have bulldozed an historic wall that was protected by a preservation order.

Residents and conservationists had specifically appealed to Haringey Council to protect the red brick clinker wall as they feared it would be knocked down.

The wall surrounds the new site in Crouch End Hill.

At a planning meeting in January last year, councillors voted to move the wall back in order to widen the pavement and rebuild it.

But on Thursday, builders demolished it and removed the precious bricks.

Planning enforcement officers from the council visited the site on Friday morning and project manager Claire Barnes ordered work to be stopped immediately while they looked into it.

Now residents and councillors have called for the wall to be restored.

Architect Bob Maltz, 64, from Landrock Road, Crouch End, said: "The wall should be restored.

"It's typical of the conservation area in Crouch End, which we don't want to lose. That wall signified the gateway to Crouch End as you came up the hill.

"It's the responsibility of the planning officer to ensure that the law is upheld - otherwise it makes a mockery of the whole system."

Highgate councillor Bob Hare said: "The clear intention of myself and the planning committee was that the clinker block wall would be retained - although it would have to be moved back to give more pavement width for children's safety.

"I am insisting that the wall is reinstated in its original material."

Crouch End councillor Dave Winskill said: "The issue of this wall was specifically mentioned when planning permission was given for the new school extension. The whole site is in the Crouch End conservation area and my understanding is that, as such, it should not be touched. I have called the project manager to ask for an explanation and to urge that it is rebuilt."

A council spokesman reassured residents that the wall would be rebuilt in time.

He said: "The planning permission requires widening the pavement. This means moving the existing wall. Details of the boundary arrangements for this part of the site will now be finalised with the planning department."

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