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Fury at school plan for Crouch End

PUBLISHED: 17:07 04 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:40 07 September 2010

RESIDENTS are angered at a decision to build two new blocks at a Crouch End school. But Carol Jones, headteacher at Hornsey School for Girls, is thrilled at the plans, which she said will improve security and services at the secondary school in Inderwick

RESIDENTS are angered at a decision to build two new blocks at a Crouch End school.

But Carol Jones, headteacher at Hornsey School for Girls, is thrilled at the plans, which she said will improve security and services at the secondary school in Inderwick Road.

On Tuesday, the council approved the application which will see the erection of two single-storey buildings at the school's frontage to provide a new administration block and learning resource centre, and create a new main school entrance.

But residents in Inderwick Road objected to the plans, stating that the buildings do not fit in with the character of the street and that the new administration building, set right on the pavement, will result in an oppressive view.

More than 40 posters have been displayed in windows in houses across the street, objecting to the plans and asking for the wall to be pushed back.

Keith Roberts, a resident on the road, said: "I'm furious that the application has been approved. The building will be slap bang on the pavement. It will be a graffiti magnet.

"We also don't understand why the school want so few windows. It's more like a prison."

Another resident said: "I'm really disappointed. The community will be furious. They haven't thought about the local impact."

But architect, Polly Barker, argued that four different options had been considered for the building, all with further problems.

"It's a single-storey, modest building which makes it have less of an impact on the street," she said. "I'm very pleased it was approved. It's going to be a very nice building."

Ms Jones said: "I'm really pleased that we'll be able to have a new entrance. It will ensure safety and security for the pupils and staff.

"I think it's the right decision for the school because it will ensure we have educational learning facilities for our students which will raise achievement."

Councillor Robert Gorrie, leader of the Lib Dems, said: "I think it's a great pity that what is a very positive project for the school has not be able to find the last metre of compromise. It could have ended up as a real winner."

Meanwhile, also at Tuesday's meeting, plans to refurbish a derelict storage building in Park Road, Muswell Hill, into a day nursery were unanimously refused permission. While an application to erect a two-storey building to provide Alexandra Park School in Bidwell Gardens a new sixth form study and common room and training space was approved.


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