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Residents in uproar over Crouch End development plans

PUBLISHED: 10:50 23 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:58 07 September 2010

Crouch End Garage Planning Demo.
Residents in Crouch End are up in arms about plans to convert a row of garages into a kitchen show room fearing that it will change the area.

Crouch End Garage Planning Demo. Residents in Crouch End are up in arms about plans to convert a row of garages into a kitchen show room fearing that it will change the area.

© Nigel Sutton 17 Redington Rd,London,NW37QX. Phone 020 7794 3008. email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Charlotte Newton TWO very different planning applications – to build a kitchen showroom and a lap dancing club in Crouch End – have provoked uproar in the community. Residents are up in arms over developers plans to build a kitchen showroom in a resident

Charlotte Newton

TWO very different planning applications - to build a kitchen showroom and a lap dancing club in Crouch End - have provoked uproar in the community.

Residents are up in arms over developers' plans to build a kitchen showroom in a residential street, fearing it will create traffic problems and irrevocably change the area.

Business Partners Graeme Widdows and Matthew Julian plan to knock down two garages in Park Road and rebuild a kitchen showroom.

They believe that their bespoke kitchens are ideal for the family market in Crouch End.

Mr Widdows said: "We've already been granted planning permission to change the premises and now want to build a more energy efficient building.

"I think what people don't realise is that we're not some massive chain store, we're just a two-man company trying to earn an honest living by selling bespoke kitchens."

But Nick Kochan, a freelance journalist for the FT, said that he and his neighbours were "unanimously opposed to the development".

Mr Kochan, 55, said: "My view, and the view of residents in Harefield Road, is that this is a quiet residential street without any commercial enterprise. A kitchen showroom would be an imposition that would create extra traffic."

He said the road was already blighted by traffic from the leisure centre and would be affected by patients travelling to and from the new Hornsey Central Health Centre when it opens in Park Road in June.

And the dispute comes just days after it emerged that the Music Palace in Tottenham Lane has submitted an application for a change in use, to turn its venue into a lap-dancing club.

If Haringey Council approves the licence change the club will offer an adult entertainment business.

It has applied for permission to open from 11am to 2am from Monday to Saturday and 11am to 11pm on Sunday.

But the plans have touched a raw nerve in the community because of the venue's proximity to Rokesly Infants and Junior Schools and quiet family streets.

Steve Lomas, 41, of Lomas Contemporary Jewellery Gallery, in Broadway Parade said: "Everyone is up in arms about this. My kids went through Rokesly Junior and Infant School and it would be entirely inappropriate to put a lap dancing club near primary schools.

"I don't know what is a good area for a lap dancing club, but Crouch End is family community and it's not right for this area."

Beth Weatherby owns Power ladies' fashion boutique in Tottenham Lane and lives three minutes' walk from the venue. Ms Weatherby, 28, said: "I'm really not happy about it at all. Under the plans, it could be open until 2am which will bring noise and disturbance to the area."

Crouch End councillor Ron Aitken said : "At this stage residents and myself need to know more about the application and if they have specific concerns about opening hours and so on then this would need to be addressed as part of the licensing process.


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