Highgate Hill housing plans spark fears over new pub's future

John Rynne believes the proposals could spell the end for his pub

John Rynne believes the proposals could spell the end for his pub - Credit: Artform/Polly Hancock

A new pub in Highgate Hill says it could be forced to close if plans for six new homes are approved.  

Brendan the Navigator would see its rear terrace removed under proposals for housing next to the pub in a stretch currently used as a car park. 

The developer Artform owns the land on which the terrace lies, and the pub was aware when it agreed the lease that housing was planned, meaning that it could lose the outdoor space.  

The Irish-English music pub, which welcomed customers for the first time in April, said the consequences of building on the terrace – estimated to hold around 100 people – would be “catastrophic”.

The team from left: Eleanor McLoughlin; Michael Spurgeon; John Rynne; James Gavin

The team from left: Eleanor McLoughlin; Michael Spurgeon; John Rynne; James Gavin - Credit: Polly Hancock

Landlord John Rynne said the loss of trade would “almost certainly” result in the pub shutting down. An economic viability report conducted by Fleurets for the developer said the pub would remain viable. 

“Naturally we’re disappointed,” John said. “It’s a dreaded day we hoped wouldn’t come, but we still hope that the planners won’t allow the removal of a longstanding chunk of the pub.” 

Peter Cassidy, a member of the Highgate Conservation Area Advisory committee, said the development would “erode” the character of the conservation area.

Brendan the Navigator in Highgate Hill

Brendan the Navigator in Highgate Hill - Credit: Polly Hancock

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“Individuals’ lives and an important community business would be severely, if not irreparably, impacted by this development were it to be granted planning permission,” he said. 

Tanya Holmes, a resident of Netherleigh Close which lies directly behind the site, said neighbours opposed designs over concerns for light, height and proximity to the new homes. 

However David Richmond, chair of the Highgate Society planning committee, said he welcomed the housing plans for an “eyesore” car park.  

“It has been a positive example of developer-community engagement unlike our recent experience on several major sites on the Haringey side of the village,” he said.

Designs for the development

Designs for the Highgate Hill development - Credit: Artform

Artform managing director Jonathan Ellis said his firm had altered its earlier designs, including changing architects and introducing bay windows. 

“We felt the design could be better and needed to be better for its location and the local community,” he said. 

“From our perspective that shows that we really do care and we want this to be a fantastic looking scheme.” 

Five of the proposed houses are three-bedroom, and one is a two-bedroom. They will be powered by air source heat pumps.  

To comment on the application until December 5 enter reference P2021/3101/FUL on Islington Council’s online planning portal.

The car park next to Brendan the Navigator

The car park next to Brendan the Navigator - Credit: Polly Hancock

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