Calls for compromise over housing at historic Highgate site

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

Highgate groups have renewed their plea for a housing development to be scaled back amid fears over its impact on the area’s heritage. 

Haringey Council approved plans last November for seven homes in Townsend Yard, off Highgate Street, in 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 affecting Shepherd’s Cottage. Public comments for the application close on Friday (December 17).  

Mr Meadows had a construction management plan – which is also needed to carry out works – refused by the local authority in November.  

Alicia Pivaro, chair of the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum, said: “The problem here is simply overdevelopment of the site.  

“Unfortunately planning permission was approved before listed building consent was sought and this belated application is far too narrow in its remit.   

“This development needs to be significantly reduced to avoid damaging the precious historic cottage and its setting and it would be a great gesture from the developer to consider this option in response to the huge concerns of the community.” 

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Elspeth Clements, of the Highgate Society, said the listed building application is “limited in scope”. 

“If they build the scheme and are given listed building consent, you won't be able to see Shepherd’s Cottage anymore, and Shepherd’s Cottage is one of the most important historic buildings in Highgate. That is the reason we are fighting it,” she said. 

Elspeth added that the developer should meet with the Highgate Society and other local groups to work on modifying the designs. 

Jane Hill, who lives in Shepherd's Cottage, which is thought to have been built in the late 17th or early 18th century, urged people to comment on the listed building application.

Shepherd's Cottage resident Jane Hill

Shepherd's Cottage resident Jane Hill - Credit: Jane Hill

She said she is hoping to see a “return of the choices, autonomy and integrity that is essential to a meaningful life”. 

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

It added: “There will be very little change within the setting of the listed building, and no harm to its significance.” 

Mr Meadows was contacted for comment, via his planning agent Stephen Davy Peter Smith Architects. 

To comment on the application enter HGY/2021/3273 on Haringey’s online planning portal by December 17.