Mighty Boosh star Noel Fielding joins fight to save Swains Lane shopping parade in Highgate
Comedian Noel Fielding has joined the fight to save a parade of independent shops in Highgate threatened with demolition - and has declared replacing it with a four-storey block of flats would be a “cardinal sin”.
The Mighty Boosh star, who lives opposite the proposed development in Swains Lane, was speaking at a packed public meeting attended by more than 300 people at St Anne’s Church, in Highgate West Hill, last night (Wednesday, August 15).
The owner of the site, the Earl of Listowel, wants to knock down the one-storey parade and replace it with housing and a supermarket - rumoured to be a Waitrose.
Fielding told the Ham&High: “At the moment we have a Tesco and people can make a decision on whether they want to shop there or go to the independent shops.
“But this will give nobody a choice.
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“Why do they want another supermarket 100 yards down the road?
“All this is going to go for flats. It doesn’t feel like it is enough to get rid of so much.”
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Fielding moved to the Swains Lane neighbourhood two years ago after he fell in love with the area’s village feel.
“I feel very lucky to be able to live here,” he said. “It’s close to Hampstead Heath, Parliament Hill, and Camden if you want somewhere livelier.
“But this place feels very peaceful.
“It’s the only place I have never been hassled. Nobody is bothered that you are on TV.”
When asked if he would consider moving if the development got the go-ahead, he said: “Well I might not have moved here if I knew there was going to be a Waitrose over the road.
“I don’t know.
“It feels like you are on holiday. It’s a beautiful part of London.
“When I go into see Mickey [Shamlain] the greengrocer, we have a chat.
“When you go into Tesco you dont have a conversation.
“There is a feeling of hopelessness. That you can’t stop them. It feels like you don’t have the power.
“If someone else owns it, what do you do?
“No one is in favour. No one wants it.
“We have to know how to fight them.”