Fears grow over plans for three new council towers on Highgate’s Hillcrest estate
A spacious Highgate estate could turn into an overcrowded crime hotspot if plans to build three new towers of coveted council flats go ahead, its residents have warned.
Haringey Council is to press ahead with proposals to provide more affordable housing on the Hillcrest estate to solve a housing crisis in the west of the borough, despite furious opposition to its development.
The estate’s residents urged the council “Don’t overcrowd us!” at a heated public meeting last Thursday at All Saints Church in Talbot Road, where it was revealed that three new blocks of up to seven storeys high could be built on the site.
Hannah Liptrot, treasurer of Hillcrest Residents’ Association, said: “More people in small spaces definitely cause more social problems.
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“We feel Hillcrest is a successful estate with relatively low levels of crime and anti-social behaviour because we have enough space to not feel overcrowded.
“We don’t think lots of undesirables will be brought in, but we fear existing social problems will get worse.”
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Between 40 and 90 housing units on three patches of land are proposed for the post-war estate and half of all properties would be affordable.
Hillcrest is currently home to seven housing blocks, many of which are now privately owned.
Designs for the potential new towers have not yet been drawn up and the council has promised to consult with residents as plans develop.
It hopes to submit a planning application for new homes in March.
The estate is one of the largest in the west of Haringey and as it is council-owned, there will be no land cost to build there.
Residents say they are opposed to any development of the site, which could see the loss of a football green and goalposts funded by the filming of a scene from 2004 hit zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead.
Among the main concerns are a loss of trees and increased crime if a proposed basement car park is built.
A Haringey Council spokesman said: “We’re committed to building a range of high-quality council, shared ownership, and private homes to meet demand and help more families find an affordable way to get on the housing ladder.
“The Hillcrest estate is one of more than 20 sites across the borough where we’re exploring options for new housing, and surveys have shown there is the potential to build vital new homes.
“We’ll continue to work closely with residents as we develop more detailed proposals, which would include new and better community facilities to replace any affected provision.”