Developers go back on plans in Fortis Green

OBJECTIONS by almost 200 people about a development on a piece of open land in Fortis Green has seemingly forced developers back to the drawing board.

Plans were put forward for a row of three three-storey houses with excavated basements on the land behind Lauradale Road and north of Fortis Green Allotments.

But local residents were up in arms about the plans on what was designated as Significant Local Open Land just months after campaigners had won their battle to save the adjacent allotments from being built on.

Campaigners say developers have now told them they will redraw the plans and resubmit them.

Though objectors welcomed the news, they also urged caution that developers could simply be tactically playing the planning system.

As well as being concerned about the visual intrusion the houses would cause – blocking views to Highgate Woods for instance – most people lodged objections on the grounds there would be increased danger for pedestrians and school children.

A path near to the development is used by many families as a cut through to several schools, including Tetherdown, and parents were convinced that building the homes could endanger children using this route.

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Mother Livy Clover said: “In some ways it is good news, but we are concerned that a new set of plans could come out in December that are very slightly tweaked and it’s unlikely to get such a large community response at that time of year.

“We were very pleased with the response – people feel very strongly about this piece of land and it reflects that.

“For all those who have bothered to object there could be many more who have not objected but would agree with the sentiments of what we have said.

“The big hope is that the developer will really take very seriously the extent of community opposition and look at revising their plans to take into account all the local concerns.”

The Fortis Green Allotments Trust is one of several groups supporting the objectors. Member Rupert Lancaster said: “The main thing is that the whole area is designated as a Significant Local Open Land and any development would affect that badly.

“We feel like the land is under attack again – it feels like, hang on a minute, we didn’t save the allotments in order for there to be a development absolutely adjacent to it.”

The developers refused to comment on the situation saying: “We do not normally speak to the press.” At the time of going to press the application was still active on the council’s planning website and had not been altered.