Haringey Council back controversial plans to build flats on site of old Highgate nursing home

The long-closed Newstead nursing home in Denewood Road, Highgate. Picture: Google

The long-closed Newstead nursing home in Denewood Road, Highgate. Picture: Google - Credit: Archant

Fiercely-opposed plans to build apartments on the site of an old nursing home in Highgate were unanimously approved by Haringey’s planning committee on September 8.

Newstead Nursing Home in Denewood Road, Highgate

Newstead Nursing Home in Denewood Road, Highgate - Credit: Archant

Developers GCH (Newstead) and Fusion Highgate proposed building ten apartments on the site of the old Newstead nursing home in Denewood Road – it has been derelict for the past five years.

Despite opposition from the Highgate Society, the Highgate Conservation Area Advisory Committee, neighbours, and local ward councillor Liz Morris, the eight planning committee members waved through the scheme.

Speaking at the meeting, David Richmond, who chairs the Highgate Society’s planning committee, said: “We are strongly opposed to this gross over-development of the site with a density and character grossly at odds with the surrounding area.”

He said he was concerned about the impact on drainage in the area of building “Highgate’s largest basement”. READ MORE: Highgate residents complain to council over no right-run sign in Swain’s LaneStewart Goldberg also aired objections relating to the basement, “the construction of which is likely to damage the structure and foundation of most adjacent properties.”

Cllr Morris said the basement size’s was “excessive”. She added she was concerned by the plan to use the basement to house space for 17 cars, and said “the cost of this development environmentally is too high”.

The developers said the basement had been assessed as having “very slight” impact on the environment.

Ben Kelway, a from the Lichfields planning consultancy and acting for the developers, told councillors the scheme would in fact bring “a wide range of benefits” to the Highgate community. Mr Kelway also said concerns about the new apartments overlooking existing buildings were misplaced, and said the scheme would actually “add to the character of the conservation area”.

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He told the meeting: “This is a vacant derelict site that has clearly offered nothing to Highgate over the past five years.”

He said it was a “high-quality, contextually-responsive piece of contemporary architecture” that is “rooted in the character and identity of this part of Highgate.”

The proposal had also been objected to by local MP Catherine West on the grounds that the plans would not see affordable housing provided on-site. Instead the developers said they are providing payment in lieu of around £1.64m to cover community infrastructure, affordable housing, and section 106 obligations.