Campaigners welcome revised plans for Swain’s Lane development but say more needs to be done

Revised plans for the redevelopment of Swain’s Lane in Highgate were unveiled to the public for the first time at the weekend.

Dozens of people stopped by a pop-up stand outside the Old Fitzroy Unit displaying a mock-up of the new scheme for the parade of shops owned by Lord Listowel.

They include eight new shopping units, 12 flats and the widening of the pavement. Original plans to include a large supermarket have been scrapped following opposition from campaigners.

Since then, representatives from Lord Listowel’s development team, members of the Save Swain’s Lane Steering Committee and shopkeepers have been in talks over a new proposal.

Saturday’s public exhibition was an opportunity for members of the public to leave feedback on the proposals which are still subject to change.

Chair of the Save Swain’s Lane Steering Committee, Rob Schoenbeck, welcomed the new plans but said there was more work to be done on the scheme.

Though the developers have made some revisions, he said the amended plans still “miss an opportunity to become an outstanding development in its design, style and achievement”.

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The group has raised specific concerns over the corner extension at the end of the street, the height of the east building and the design of the buildings, which it feels are not consistent with each another.


Mr Schoenbeck said there were also concerns among residents in Church Walk, located behind the existing parade of shops, about the height of the proposed buildings blocking their view.

Shopkeepers agreed the new designs are better than initial plans drawn up last year.

Swain’s Lane greengrocer Mickey Shamlain said: “These are the best designs I have seen so far but the chances are they will change again.

“The shops will be bigger and to some people they are a bit bulky and not in keeping with the rest of Swain’s Lane, but it’s better to have this than leave it as it is. You’ve got to move with the times.”

The firm behind the development, Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners, said plans are still being worked on following the feedback and a planning application would be submitted in the autumn.

A spokeswoman said: “It was helpful to hear people reacting positively to design changes including the removal of the food store, lowering of the building at the Highgate West Hill end and widening of the pavement to enhance the public realm.

“We will be taking into consideration all the comments made on Saturday and will be finalising designs in the coming months ahead of a planning application being submitted in the autumn.”