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Fortis Green Road shops: Planners approve scheme to redevelop row of Muswell Hill independent traders

PUBLISHED: 17:00 04 June 2019 | UPDATED: 08:50 06 June 2019

Claire Jury, who runs La Dinette on Fortis Green Road. Picture: Sam Volpe

Claire Jury, who runs La Dinette on Fortis Green Road. Picture: Sam Volpe

Archant

On Monday night Haringey Council planners approved plans to build six flats above four shops at 1-9 Fortis Green Road.

Currently home to popular independent shops including florists the Flower Seller and bakery and coffee shop La Dinette, Acemark Properties now have the go-ahead to redevelop the historic Edwardian high street.

The future of the shops themselves is now uncertain,

Making representations to the committee on behalf of The Flower Seller, Marcia Silliton said: "It will be for sure the loss of ours and our neighbours' businesses."

In May, La Dinette's Claire Jury echoed these worries and told this newspaper the plans would likely to see her business go bust.

This was reiterated by speakers at the meeting including Cllrs Scott Emery (Lib Dem, Muswell Hill) and Justin Hinchcliffe (Lib Dem, Fortis Green).

Cllr Emery told the committee: "The design does not match the rest of the street.

"We are worried about losing the flower seller and the other independent shops - we are mindful of the effect on their business, especially if they won't be able to come back to an affordable site.

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"We all know the rents will not be the same as they are now."

Cllr Emery also cited a "bland facade" as a reason to reject the application, and said: "This does not conserve or enhance the neighbourhood."

But Claudia Mastrandea of Brooks Murray architects, acting for Acemark, said: "It's clear that there are a number of misunderstandings regarding the current occupiers.

"My client is committed to treating existing tenants fairly and would be pleased to see them

"The tenants pay market rates today, and they'll pay market rates after the construction."

Ms Mastrandea said the applicant had addressed concerns over the design of the building by adding detailing to the facade, and adding basements to the commercial units.

The scheme resurfaced earlier this year after a previous planning application was withdrawn when faced with a petition with hundreds of signatories and more than 250 local objections.

Acemark had held a consultation event in October 2018 in a bid to deal with local opposition.

The scheme resurfaced earlier this year after a previous planning application was withdrawn when faced with a petition with hundreds of signatories and more than 250 local objections.

Campaigner Diana O'Sullivan, who organised that petition and also opposed the amended scheme passed by Haringey this week, told this newspaper the decision "means many months of disruption in the centre of Muswell Hill".

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