Danger from Muswell Hill develoment opposite school

Mothers have spoken out against a “chaotic and unsafe” new development, with lorries reversing in and out of a building site opposite their children’s school.

Developers in Woodside Avenue are building on the former site of St Luke’s hospital, opposite St James’ Church of England Primary School and adjacent to TreeHouse school, a facility for autistic children.

The development is a joint venture between Hanover Housing Association, which is creating 161 new homes for older people, in association with housebuilder Hill.

Since September, lorries have been entering early in the morning when mothers are trying to drop off their children and returning in time for the afternoon rush.

“Does it have to be news that a child’s been injured, or, God forbid, killed, before anyone does anything?” said Jasmine Pearson, whose four and six year olds attend St James’ school.

Mrs Pearson, who lives in Wood Vale, worries that her children do not have a sophisticated road sense and are small enough not to be seen by the HGV trucks.

Multiple parents have written to the Ham & High Broadway to describe traffic violations by the lorries, including driving on the pavement.

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“Everyday this week I have seen trucks in both directions on Woodside Avenue,” said Fiona Jones, whose children William, nine, and Alice, six, study at St James’ school.

“A site attendant regularly halts traffic in either direction at nine am so lorries can turn into or out of the site,” she continued.

“On one astonishing occasion the same attendant directed oncoming traffic to drive up the pavement in order to get past a waiting lorry whilst a group of parents and children had to wait and watch until the traffic eased.”

Mother of three Jessica McAlister says that she has contacted the council twice, the site manager on the development, the Hill’s resident liaison officer and the police.

“If something isn’t done, a child will be knocked over,” she said.

St James’ school has told the Ham&High Broadway that “we are in daily communication with Hill, a company who in the past have been cooperative and helpful although they are yet to support us in our request to stop vehicles entering and leaving the site during school peak time.”

A spokesperson for Hill has said: “The health and safety of local residents is an absolute priority for us, and we take all complaints on this issue very seriously. Hill have a strict protocol in place for deliveries to site, and are currently working with contractors to ensure that drivers stick to the agreed delivery times. We always try to minimise the impact of works wherever possible, and will continue to work with local residents to do so.”

A Haringey Council spokesperson said: “An officer from our highways team will look into these complaints.”