Call for urgent action to restore Grade II-listed wall in Highgate Hill at risk of collapse

Simon Briscoe has called for maintenance work to be started in order to preserve The Bank along High

Simon Briscoe has called for maintenance work to be started in order to preserve The Bank along Highgate Hill. Picture: S Briscoe - Credit: Archant

A statistician has warned an historic wall could cause an injury if repairs recommended five years ago are not carried out soon.

Simon Briscoe issued the warning following a year of calling on Haringey Council to strengthen The Bank, an early nineteenth century Grade II-listed retaining wall running along Highgate Hill.

In a 2013 report into the route’s condition inspectors from Frankham Consultancy Group identified concerns over the brick wall’s stability as well as the deterioration of railings.

“It could collapse. It’s possible someone could be injured. It has been deteriorating for 20 years,” Mr Briscoe said before describing recent cladding work at the site as “ugly”.

“It used to be a grand walkway and entry point into Highgate. I don’t understand the persistent neglect over many years,” Mr Briscoe said.

The consultant, who filed a series of freedom of information requests with Haringey Council to find out why work had not begun, has written to Historic England raising concerns over the quality of repair work and failure to carry out work to shore up the 120m long wall.

“It would be terribly simple to resolve this but Haringey Council are choosing not to,” Mr Briscoe said before calling for a weight limit to be imposed along the route which runs alongside Channing School.

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In response, an Historic England spokeswoman said: “We are concerned about the condition of the listed wall and are working with Haringey Council to find a solution.”

A Haringey spokesman added: “The Bank retaining wall has been identified as dangerous with a potential risk of collapse.

“There were delays in introducing temporary safety measures due to concerns of a resident over parking, but they are now in place to protect the public in advance of work to permanently repair the structure.

“There will be discussion with Historic England and consultation with the community before this repair work starts.”

He went on to say Transport for London had closed a bus stop near the wall while the temporary measures were introduced and there is currently an alternative temporary bus stop nearby.

The spokesman concluded by saying TfL will review whether to reopen the original stop or retain the temporary one.