Homeowner hits back at campaigners after Parkland Walk is saved from heavy lorries
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
An investment advisor says he was unfairly portrayed as a “greedy banker” over plans for lorries to drive over a quiet nature reserve.
Sebastian Eiseler has withdrawn proposals which would have seen heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) weighing 26 tonnes drive onto the Parkland Walk as part of his plans to redevelop a former railway cottage in Highgate.
Nature lovers, including the Friends of Parkland Walk conservation group, celebrated saving the section of leafy trail from becoming a thoroughfare after waging an online opposition campaign which was backed by more than 1,300 people.
Mr Eiseler, who is a member of the Friends group, says he was demonised and pushed into withdrawing the plans.
The 36-year-old said: “They have made a statement that the Parkland Walk will be destroyed by development but that is not the case, which if they had studied the construction management plan properly, they would have realised.”
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He added: “The initial complaint was about protecting Parkland Walk but this has become a bit out of hand. I wouldn’t want to destroy anything. I want to build this home and extend it for my family.
“It was not fair of the Friends of Parkland Walk to accuse me of being a greedy banker.”
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Mr Eiseler, who is married with a baby and is currently renting in Pimlico, said he is not giving up on his dream to redevelop the Highgate cottage.
He had submitted a construction management plan earlier this year to Haringey Council after winning planning permission to convert the cottage in Francis Place.
The plan was for delivery trucks to drive across the nature trail over a four-month period while the house was being built.
But a historic covenant bans vehicles from accessing the house, which does not back onto a street and is surrounded by the nature reserve.
The proposal sparked uproar from conservationists, who raised safety concerns.
The number of those opposed significantly outweighed a minority in favour. One of those who expressed support for Mr Eiseler called the campaign against him “vindictive” and “vexatious”.
The construction management plan has now been withdrawn, but Mr Eiseler still has planning permission to build a seven-bedroom home at the site.
Friends of Parkland Walk chairman and campaign leader Simon Olley said of the construction management plan being withdrawn: “It is a huge relief.
“The implications would have been that more vehicles would cause more disturbance to the flora and fauna.”