Popular cafe area must be removed’

Miguel Cullen Spiazzo, the landmark cafe in Crouch End has been served with an enforcement notice to remove its popular outdoor seating. The decking, which allows patrons to bask in the sunshine while observing the Broadway thoroughfare, is under threat

Miguel Cullen

Spiazzo, the landmark cafe in Crouch End has been served with an enforcement notice to remove its popular outdoor seating.

The decking, which allows patrons to bask in the sunshine while observing the Broadway thoroughfare, is under threat from Haringey Council as it and the tables, seating and awning were all put up without permission.

But customers - including some well-known names - are unhappy and a petition has collected 1,700 signatures, among them EastEnders' Minty (Cliff Parisi), Les Dennis, leading Times columnist Caitlin Moran and Life on Mars and Doctor Who star John Simm.


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Ms Moran said: "It's nuts that what the council wants is a wholly unused area of paving instead of a convivial meeting place of benefit to anyone who loves chips, coffee and rum babas.

"I moved from Wolverhampton to London almost wholly in order to sit outside drinking prosecco in N8, and I'm sure I can't be alone in my bewilderment at this move. I'm sure Minty from EastEnders will be furious when he hears."

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John Simm added: "My family and I love Spiazzo and I would personally protest about this with a placard - except I'm in South Africa pretending to be a highwayman for a TV series."

Spiazzo owner John Irtelli, who has until Monday to respond to the enforcement, is applying for planning permission in a last-ditch bid to save the terrace. He claims he had altered his awning so it did not touch the Grade II* listed building, which is part of Hornsey Town Hall.

He said "I already pay £8,000 each year just to have the tables and chairs out there. I'm paying through the nose - it's disgusting. It used to be a dirty old corner. Now people talk about us - we've put Crouch End on the map."

Former Crouch End councillor Peter Floyd added his support. "Mr Irtelli has done a marvellous job - he's pre-empted what the council want to do in improving the area," he said.

"If he had decided to wait [for permission] he would be bankrupt. Mr Irtelli has created something that is marvellous - his cafe is full all week. We used to get lots of drunks sitting in that spot - he has lifted the whole area."

Councillor Nilgun Canver, cabinet member for enforcement and safer communities said: "This is a listed building and there is no planning permission for the awning and decking.

"We have therefore begun enforcement action.

"Everybody needs to follow the rules. We are now in discussion with Spiazzo on the way forward.

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