Falling stonework narrowly misses outdoor diners at Crouch End cafe
- Credit: David Winskill
Outdoor diners at a Crouch End cafe were shocked when masonry fell from an upstairs flat onto the road - narrowly missing those sitting outside.
The stonework - thought to be pointing - fell from the building above Beam in Topsfield Parade late this morning.
Fortunately, no one was hurt.
The police and London Fire Brigade were called, and it's understood that the fire brigade and Haringey Council have made the area safe.
Sidar Akyuz, manager at Beam, told this paper: "Everyone's fine. Luckily it fell on the pavement. It was a piece of rock from the roof, some of the pointing or something.
"As I say, luckily it didn't fall on anyone, and then London Fire Brigade went up there to pull away any loose bits and make it safe."
Sidar said he had to close for about an hour but was now back open.
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The road was closed for around half an hour.
A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: "Firefighters were called to masonry falling from the roof of a building on Tottenham Lane in Hornsey.
Firefighters removed the loose masonry from the roof and worked to make the scene safe. There were no reports of any injuries.
They said the brigade was first called at 11:51am and the incident was over for firefighters by shortly after 12.30pm.
Former Crouch End councillor David Winskill witnessed the scene shortly afterwards. He said: "“We have been so lucky. Post COVID, lots of restaurants are offering outside service – if this had been a sunny day Beam’s open-air tables could have been busy and the consequences unthinkable."
He said it was not the first time Crouch End's Victorian masonry had crumbled in this way, and on a previous occasion he had asked the town hall's building control team to speak to local freeholders. He said he would like the council to do so again.
One diner, Cathy Hutson, told this newspaper it had been "pure luck that no-one was hurt".
She added: "The falling masonry only just missed me and three friends seated there, and it shattered on the pavement around our feet.
"We and our table were showered in dust and small debris. The lovely team at Beam were as shocked as we were."
Cllr Luke Cawley-Harrison - who leads the Lib Dem opposition group at the town hall, told this newspaper: "If buildings in Crouch End continue to fall into disrepair then it is only a matter of time until someone is seriously injured, or even killed, and the council must take action immediately.
"I have requested that urgent letters are sent to all property owners asking them to review the condition of their properties, and that the council carries out their own street-level inspection to identify high-risk buildings.
"We cannot put a price on residents’ safety, and I hope these actions are carried out urgently by the council’s building control team.”
A Haringey Council spokesperson said: “Following this incident, where thankfully nobody was hurt or injured, we have written to the freeholder to instruct them that all and any repairs must be undertaken to the front of the property, as well as a full survey of the façade.
"We will also be writing to other business owners and SMEs in the Crouch End area to remind them of their responsibilities in this regard. It is absolutely imperative that commercial buildings are – and remain – fit for purpose here in Haringey, and we welcome the continual compliance of our businesses and SMEs in that respect.”
Did you see what happened? Contact Sam on the newsdesk at Sam.Volpe@Archant.co.uk or 07785616237