Hornsey Town Hall development given the go-ahead
PLANS for a multi-million pound development of Crouch End landmark Hornsey Town Hall were given the green light by Haringey Council last night. The Grade II* listed building, which has lain almost empty for years, will now be converted into a hub of arts
PLANS for a multi-million pound development of Crouch End landmark Hornsey Town Hall were given the green light by Haringey Council last night.
The Grade II* listed building, which has lain almost empty for years, will now be converted into a "hub of arts and enterprise", including a new bar or restaurant, youth facilities, a theatre and performance space.
The development will be largely funded through the building of 123 residential properties in and around the Town Hall - a controversial sticking point for several of the residents who made submissions to the meeting at the Wood Green Civic Centre last night.
Work could now begin at the site next year.
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Residents opposing the development said they were disappointed with the decision by planning committee councillors to agree planning permission unanimously and felt their concerns had not been listened to.
Speakers for the development, including members of the Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust (HTHCT) said this could be the best - and last chance - to redevelop the historic site.
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Chair of the Trust, Ann Wilks, said: "We are delighted that the planning committee has given the green light to proceed with plans for the restoration of Hornsey Town Hall."
There was community uproar in 2003 when Haringey Council decided the building was surplus to requirement - but with the work of the Community Partnership Board and, later, the HTHCT, an agreement was reached to try and keep the building open to the community.
Highlights from the first planned phase of restoration include the assembly hall's upgrade into a performance space that could be used for dances, concerts or even a cinema and a "Black Box" site which could host intimate performances for around 100 people.
The first floor committee rooms, overlooking the square and running the full length of the building, will be refurbished and could be turned into a bar. The supper room will be refurbished into a multi-purpose space which would be suitable for youth activities.
There are also plans for a "reading and event garden" between the Town Hall and library, linked to a revitalised square at the front which could be used for various community events, such as markets.
The project is currently being funded by a �7.1million advance by Haringey Council, which will be repaid and the Town Hall handed over to the HTHCT.
The main income source to fund much of this will come from the plans to build 123 residential units - 35 one-bed flats, 61 two-bed flats, 20 three-bed flats, three four-bed flats and four four-bed houses - on the Town Hall car park, in the Broadway Annexe and Mews as well as the east wing and link block of the actual building.
The second phase - when funding is made available - will see the restoration of the council chamber wing, which can be used for formal gatherings.
The plans can be viewed at www.haringey.gov.uk, using reference HGY/2010/0500.
For reaction, see this week's Ham&High Broadway on Thursday.