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Occupiers camp out to ‘protect’ Hornsey Town Hall green for the public

PUBLISHED: 11:20 07 November 2016 | UPDATED: 17:43 07 November 2016

Camping out on the green in front of Hornsey Town Hall. Protesters from left Eleanor Greenaway, Maria Gil, and John Sinha. Photo: Polly Hancock

Camping out on the green in front of Hornsey Town Hall. Protesters from left Eleanor Greenaway, Maria Gil, and John Sinha. Photo: Polly Hancock

Archant

A steadfast group braved the freezing cold over the weekend in protest at the town hall green being sold off to developers

Protesters make their views known. Photo: Polly HancockProtesters make their views known. Photo: Polly Hancock

Campaigners slept out in tents for two nights as the weather dipped over the weekend in protest against the sale of the green space in front of Hornsey Town Hall.

The group of four were noisily supported and given far too much food by generous passersby in Crouch End, which was much appreciated.

An online and paper petition to “save” Hornsey Town Hall green has reached nearly 4,500 signatures.

Haringey Council recently voted to sell Hornsey Town Hall, the green square at the front, the town hall annex and the car park to an offshore company.

Hong Kong developer Far East Consortium International Limited will turn the Grade 2* listed building into a boutique hotel, with an arts centre and café.

A Haringey Council spokesman previously “guaranteed” Hornsey Town Hall green would remain publicly accessible, in spite of being sold.

He said: “As we have always made clear, Hornsey Town Hall Square is guaranteed to remain publicly accessible under any future plans, and that commitment will be written into legal agreements.”

Residents remain concerned that the square, the only major green space in Crouch End, could be closed for private functions and there could be security guards in place.

They believe access will be restricted – or at least controlled – under private ownership.

John Sinha, who held his vigil with a hot water bottle, said: “The space belongs to us, the people of Hornsey. We’re defending a principle that publicly accessible land should be publicly owned.”

He hopes the green square will be taken out of the sale.

The 51-year-old said that private developers would never be as “accountable” as the council.

“If we don’t do anything, the worst will happen,” he said.

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