Highgate housing plans delayed after London Fire Brigade fears

Townsend Yard, where the development will take place

Townsend Yard, where the development will take place - Credit: Jane Hill

The development of seven new homes off Highgate High Street has hit a snag, after Haringey Council said it was not happy with plans for management of the building site.

The local authority approved proposals last November for seven mews homes in Townsend Yard on land of the Highgate Bowl.

However, on Friday (November 19) the council refused a construction management plan detailing key technical information for the site, for which the owner needs approval to begin works.  

A report by a planning officer said: “The construction management plan contains insufficient detail of how the site can be serviced and accessed during the build and how access for other residents/businesses and the emergency services can be maintained/enabled.

“The plan does not adequately address how highway and pedestrian safety will be maintained during the construction phase.”

A total of 14 objections were submitted to the council over the construction management plan, including from the Highgate Conservation Area Advisory Committee.

London Fire Brigade said the plan, as submitted, would lead to delays for its crews leaving the site in the case of an emergency.

This followed a visit to the site which saw one of its vehicles having difficulty to turn around, requiring a slower reverse manoeuvre onto the high street. 

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Elspeth Clements, from the Highgate Society, said: “My belief is that they are possibly going to look at a redesign of the scheme, whether it is minor or as much as losing a unit, to get round these difficulties. I can’t see how it can be built otherwise.” 

Jane Hill, who lives next to the development, said: “The ball is rolling and I am full of hope, expectation and trust that Haringey Council will honour its slogan and continue to ‘do the right thing’ for the benefit of all and not just a few.” 

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

The Highgate Bowl, on which the homes will be built, is a stretch of backland which campaigners have long fought to protect. 

On behalf of the applicant Sean Meadows, a spokesperson for Stephen Davy Peter Smith Architects previously said the development would respect Highgate’s history.  

The firm said that, being from Highgate himself, lead architect Mr Davy is “very conscious of the sensitivity of the site” based on personal experiences going back to the 1970s. 

A revised construction management plan is now expected, following the council’s refusal. The owner is also waiting on the outcome of an application for listed building consent.