Residents criticise plan for 80-bed care home in Highgate
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A planning application to build a care home in Highgate with an underground carpark is being considered by Haringey Council.
The development requires the demolition of two existing arts and crafts properties in Hampstead Lane, which planning documents show are owned by property developer Harrison Varma Projects.
The new home for people with dementia, which will hold around 80 bedrooms, will be spread over four storeys with parking facilities located in a basement.
Among more than 60 objections lodged against the plans, one local resident said that the care home would be too big, too bulky and too tall.
Another local resident objected to the impact the care home would have on the “rus in urbe”, literally “countryside in the city”, character of the surrounding area.
They said that planning permission should be refused as the loss of the existing buildings could not be justified.
Echoing these comments, the Highgate Society described the designs as “a gross overdevelopment of the site”.
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The group added: “This is far too imposing on Hampstead Lane and will do irreparable harm to the conservation area. The scale is completely different to anything else along Hampstead Lane.”
The proposed development is located within the Highgate conservation area, which is protected by law as a result of its special architectural and historic interest.
The Highgate Conservation Area Advisory Committee criticised the proposals, saying “there is no precedent of the scale proposed anywhere and so the building simply cannot and does not relate to its surroundings”.
Councillors for Highgate ward in Haringey – Bob Hare, Liz Morris and Paul Dennison – also raised concerns about the impact the basement would have on ground water flows.
“Any backing up could cause local ground water logging,” they said. “This could affect neighbouring gardens and properties.”
Planning documents describe the care home as being designed in “a contemporary arts and crafts style which will be in-keeping with the area”.
They claim there is “a substantial need for care homes locally to fulfil the current under provision with the borough”.
The plans have been now sent to the neighbouring borough Camden for the local authority’s observations, before a decision is made by Haringey Council.
SM Planning, the agent for the application, declined to comment on behalf of the applicant.