Urgent bid to raise £20,000 by Tuesday as barrister gives Hornsey Town Hall Judicial Review the thumbs up
PUBLISHED: 17:30 20 April 2018 | UPDATED: 22:27 23 April 2018
A judicial review against Haringey Council's sell off of historic Hornsey Town Hall to overseas developers is poised to go full steam ahead after getting the thumbs up from a top planning barrister.
Campaigners against the £3.5million flats and hotel scheme on the Hornsey Town Hall site in Crouch End now have a race against time to raise enough money to lodge the legal action by Tuesday.
As reported in the Ham&High a crowdfunding drive raised £2,000 to pay for legal advice about their chances of success.
The protesters consulted a top planning lawyer who has confirmed they do have a case.
THe QC believes a judicial review of Haringey Council’s approval in December of the scheme from the Far Eastern Consortium (FEC) to redevelop the Grade II*-listed building has a chance of success on planning grounds regarding the loss of community space and change of use.
They are now launching a second phase of fundraising to urgently raise £20,000 for the challenge by Tuesday - the day the council is due to hand the keys over to FEC.
David Winskill, who is one of the community interest group behind the judicial review, said: “FEC is due to get the keys to the building on Tuesday. There must be a letter on Haringey Council’s desk by Tuesday.
“A big thank you to everyone who contributed to pay for a legal opinion. The advice we have received is that there is a chance that the Courts might be persuaded to interfere with Haringey’s decision to grant planning permission.
“So we need to riase the £20,000 very quickly in order to be able to cover all costs of a full judicial review.
He added: “We have only been running this appeal for funds for a few hours and have already topped the £3 000 mark! We are so grateful for all the pledges but just as importantly for all the messages of support. There is a real feeling of anger and of indignation that what Haringey has done with Hornsey Town Hall is simply not right and must be stopped.”
The scheme will see the town hall site developed to house 146 flats which would help pay for the restoration of the town hall building.
However, protesters have criticised the lack of affordable and social housing.
As part of the plan, the east wing of the town hall will be converted into a hotel. Campaigners say this will lead to the loss of more than 77 small businesses on the site.
The £25m profit forecast by financial analysts has also come under fire.
There is also concern about the future of the square at the front of the town hall.
To view the fundraising site and to contribute to the appeal click here
A Haringey Council spokeswoman said they were unable to respond directly to the JR as they are in purdah and dont know the legal grounds.
To see the council’s previous statements and background visit www.haringey.gov.uk/hth.
A spokeswoman from FEC said the scheme; “will safeguard the future of the town hall and see it removed form Historic England’s ‘At Risk’ register.
“Community access to the town hall is guaranteed as part of the development agreed between FEC and the council. Employment space will increase from circa 100 to 279 full time employees in the town hall.”