Protests over Highgate housing plan but council moves to reassure locals

Angry neighbours fear construction in their back yard could cause safety risks. Haringey Council has moved to reassure them.

Angry neighbours fear construction in their back yard could cause safety risks. Haringey Council has moved to reassure them. - Credit: ST Fielder

Residents in a small Highgate estate have been protesting to raise concerns about disruption caused by a Haringey Council building project. 

The town hall has moved to reassure locals that work to build six social homes on a car park to the rear of Tudor Close is safe. 

The scheme was greenlit by council planners in autumn 2020, but with a construction management plan and a number of conditions attached to planning permission requiring further planning approval, residents in Tudor Close and Northwood Hall have registered further objections. 

They have raised fears that construction work is impeding doors and windows of existing homes, and that this may cause a fire safety risk - and said the existing fire assembly point in case of fire is now unavailable to them.

Commenting on the original application, a London Fire Brigade (LFB) safety advisor said it had no objections to the scheme, though it is understood the LFB is listening to resident's concerns.

ST Fielder, one of those to object to the works, said: "Residents are increasingly angry and anxious about all aspects of this application."

Previously complaints have centred around whether or not contaminants including asbestos could be present on the site. 

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A Haringey Council spokesperson said: "The hoardings at the Tudor Close site currently have no remote bearing whatsoever on the entrance/exit to the car park which is fully open, with cars and emergency vehicles still able to enter and exit as normal.

“The communal entrance to the residential blocks also remains fully open and unimpeded, as it will be throughout the entire construction process.

“An investigation to identify any prospective hazards at this site found no recorded issues from asbestos or gas."

Catherine West MP said she had been contacted by concerned residents.

She said: “We desperately need more council homes in Hornsey and Wood Green, however the design of council homes should be of the highest standard and I have made representations to Haringey regarding construction concerns neighbours have, which I will continue to raise to ensure Haringey gets it right."

The town hall added: “We hope this information serves to sufficiently reassure residents and the local Highgate community regarding the hoardings; any prospective fire safety implications from them and any Environmental Health considerations regarding asbestos or hazardous gas."

The spokesperson said discussions around parking during the work are ongoing and that the council and its contractor are committed to allaying local concerns.