Call to rescind Highgate Bowl application over impact on historic house

Listed building consent for the development site (right) is required for works affecting Shepherd's Cottage (left)

Listed building consent for the development site (right) is required for works affecting Shepherd's Cottage (left) - Credit: Jane Hill

Haringey Council has been asked to rescind a planning application over concerns for a historic house in Highgate.

The council approved plans in November 2020 for seven homes in Townsend Yard, off Highgate Street, on a stretch of land on the Highgate Bowl.

The developer, Sean Meadows, has since submitted an application for listed building consent – which he requires to begin construction – for works "abutting flank wall and garden wall of 36a Highgate High Street in association with demolition of garages”.

Jane Hill (right) outside Shepherd's Cottage with conservation consultant Conor Meehan

Jane Hill (right) outside Shepherd's Cottage with conservation consultant Conor Meehan - Credit: Jane Hill

Peter Cassidy, a member of the Highgate Conservation Area Advisory Committee, said: "If that development were allowed to proceed, views of the Grade II Shepherd’s Cottage will be irretrievably lost.

"The council is under a statutory duty to give considerable importance and weight to the desirability of preserving the setting of all listed buildings."

On November 4, Peter put in a freedom of information request to the council for “all reports in respect of the subject planning application provided by those in your conservation team to those in your planning team”.

The response contained a single email from the council’s conservation officer to the case officer – and it made no mention of Shepherd's Cottage.

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It did say that "the proposed development would respect and positively respond to its heritage settings and would enhance both quality and use of its site".

Shepherd’s Cottage dates from the early 17th century and is among the oldest buildings in Highgate. 

More than 120 objections have been lodged.

Peter said: "It is unfortunate that the decision was made in the first place, but the council has the power to put matters right now by rescinding the planning permission.  

"As with any individual or entity, there is no weakness in the council admitting its mistakes and making reparations.  

"To do so will restore faith in the council that, in fulfilling its statutory duties, it truly wants to protect our conservation areas, listed buildings and the setting of our listed buildings from harm."

A heritage appraisal, completed for Sean Meadows by HCUK Group, said: “The proposed development will not harm the setting or significance of the listed building." 

Haringey Council has not responded to request for comment.

To comment visit application number HGY/2021/3273