Coolhurst Road: Second application for flats on old Crouch End care home site opposed by MP, councillors and Highgate Society

Rob Mackenzie, yards from the proposed Morriss House development which will overlook his garden. Pic

Rob Mackenzie, yards from the proposed Morriss House development which will overlook his garden. Picture: Sam Volpe - Credit: Archant

A tennis club, a local MP and the Highgate Society are among those to lend their support to a campaign against converting a former Crouch End care home into housing.

Plans to convert Morriss House in Coolhurst Road were first floated in November 2019, but the developer Coolhurst 1 withdrew them before resubmitting an altered scheme for nine flats to Haringey Council at the beginning of April.

But Rob Mackenzie, who lives next door to the proposed site, set up a petition against the new application on the basis it is over-development, would spoil the conservation area and would negatively impact the amenity of the area.

London Fire Brigade is also concerned by the lack of access to the annexe, which is slated to house two of the nine flats.

To deal with previous concerns raised by neighbours during the planning process, in the new plans the conversion of the care home’s annexe has been altered to “ensure it is no greater in scale than existing”, there is less “encroachment to the garden area”, and a communal garden has been “allocated to serve future residents” according to the developer’s agent Montagu Evans LLP.

The developer has also produced a letter from the operators of the previous care home on the site as evidence that it was no longer viable as a care home.

Catherine West MP, told this newspaper she opposed the plans. She said: “We still need high-quality social care provision in Hornsey and Wood Green so I don’t want to see Morriss House care home converted into private flats.

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“I’ve also been very clear since I was first elected that our community desperately needs more genuinely affordable housing, yet not a single one of the nine proposed properties in this scheme would be for social rent or shared ownership. I can’t support that.”

Crouch End’s Cllr Luke Cawley-Harrison said he hoped the application would be “called-in” and subject to a decision by the town hall’s planning committee, but this will only be decided once the period for objections has closed.

As the submission took place during the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown, Haringey Council extended the period of time allowed for comments on the planning application until the end of May.

This newspaper has not been able to reach the developer – Coolhurst 1 Ltd – or its agent for comment.