Planning – Overshadowing

Hornsey Town Hall is a Grade II* listed building and there is very clear guidance that such buildings should sit in a context which shows them off to good advantage. Part of the planning proposal put forward by FEC is to create a 7 storey tower block behind the town hall. FEC argue that this neither detracts from the setting of the Town Hall, nor does it unreasonably overshadow neighbours.


Not everyone agrees. The Weston and Haringey Parks Residents’ Association , for instance has gone to the trouble of producing its own 3D modelling of the extent of shadows around the proposed monoliths, and has included them in its objection to the planning application. One of the images is included here but they have several more at different times of day
To accompany their computer modelled images they have text which includes:
The new buildings occupy too much of the site, are built too close to the boundaries, and the large footprint has left no room for the Heritage buildings to “breathe”. The “canyon” effect which was the concern of the planners has not been addressed between Blocks A and B. 
In addition, there is a detrimental effect on existing neighbours: The Mews block is built very close to the boundary, causing issues with overlooking and Block A towers above Primezone Mews. The proposed development has an impact on daylight and sunlight for adjoining neighbours, both within their properties and also on their amenity spaces. There is also an impact on available daylight and sunlight within the development itself.”
They go on to question whether the developer has followed best practice in drawing up his modelling of the daylight effects:
We believe this scheme flaunts good practice guidelines in relation to overshadowing of its neighbour’s amenity spaces and in relation to daylight and sunlight across the development. We have done our own 3D modelling to show this, attached at the end of this letter. We want the applicant to provide all year round accurate 3D daylight modelling for the site and surrounding streets, to show the effect of overshadowing throughout the year


Visual Impact
Also worth noting is the decision of Haringey’s own planning department from 2014, that is after the previous planning permission was granted for the Town Hall, that a fourth storey on the building which now houses Superdrug, and Waterstones, would be too tall because of its impact on the local views.

Haringey’s own planning officer produced this report for the Planning Committee  

The scheme was for a single extra floor on the block adjacent to Dunn’s (Superdrug, Waterstone’s). it was turned down – here is the comment from the then Conservation Officer

  • Overall, the proposal is judged to be harmful to the conservation area and the setting of the adjacent listed building and thus be contrary to the NPPF, London Plan Policies 7.4, 7.6 and 7.8, Local Plan Policies SP11 and SP12, saved UDP Policies UD3and CSV5 and SPG1a ‘Design guidance’ and SPG2 ‘Conservation and archaeology’.
  • Saved UDP Policy UD3 states that development proposals are required to demonstrate that there is no significant adverse impact on residential amenity or other surrounding uses in terms of loss of daylight or sunlight, privacy, overlooking. Similarly London Plan Policy 7.6 requires buildings and structures should not cause unacceptable harm to the amenity of surrounding land and buildings, particularly residential buildings, in relation to privacy.
If you feel strongly that these are valid objections to the proposed tower blocks you can comment directly here on the Haringey planning website. The comments section also gives you the opportunity to support the proposals, or just to have your say.
If you want to read the full proposals for yourself then the very many documents are here.
There is no limit to the number of comments you can make on the Haringey website, so go ahead now with a complaint about, a comment on or support for the mass of the buildings proposed. As we publish more in this series of notes you can submit further comments.

HTHAS Open Letter Asking For Mayoral Call-In

The following letter to Dean Hermitage, Planning Dept at LBH:

Dear Dean Hermitage,

There is currently a suite of planning applications under consultation for Hornsey Town Hall (see the list at the foot of the page).  We, the Hornsey Town Hall Appreciation Society, believe that this is a development of strategic importance and should have been referred by Haringey for Mayoral consideration.  We further believe that the nature of the application, and the context within which it sits, mean that Haringey, as Local planning Authority, should approach the Mayor for a direction under section 7 of the The Town and Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2008 to the effect that the Mayor should in this case replace the Local Planning Authority. 

Our reasons for requesting the referral are:

1) the scheme anyway qualifies for referral because of the number of habitable units proposed. There is no definition in the application how the ‘hotel’ will work. There is no reception and no dedicated catering. It does not look like a hotel. There is nothing in the application to prevent the future sale of these units to investors. Therefore the 67 self contained living units inside the Town Hall should be treated as potentially permanent homes, and when added to the 146 dwellings in the enabling scheme, bring the scheme beyond the 150 needed for a mayoral call in.

2) Hornsey Town Hall is a building of real significance, listed Grade II*. Every scheme ever put forward for the Hall has described it as an ‘Arts Centre for Crouch End, the borough and beyond’, and the designated buildings preservation trust is calling for a “world class renaissance’. Haringey’s assessment  of the scheme as purely local, thereby excusing an Environmental Impact Assessment, feels wrong, and suggests that it will be difficult for the planning department to remain objective in the current context.

3) Under category 3E of the Mayor of London order 2008, the application should be referred because:

·         it fails to meet affordable housing targets (policy 3.11)

·         it removes much office space currently in use, where there is a demonstrable demand for more – ANA has a waiting list for such space (policy 4.2)

·         it heavily weights what should be a mixed use development in favour of residential (policy 4.3)

·         both the hotel at 2,689 sq metres, and the D1/D2 use at 3,162 sq metres, exceed the specified threshold of 2,500 sq metre.

The reasons for requesting that the Mayor replace the LPA are:

1) Under section 3(a) of the order this scheme does not achieve a sufficient level of affordable housing;

2) Whilst Haringey has plans for higher levels of affordable housing in future developments it is not currently achieving the necessary level;

3) The scheme is in breach of the terms of the OJEU procurement bid, in which it was stated that an earlier planning application would be implemented with only minor amendments. This 2010 permission had 4 units of affordable housing. This does not meet the overall Haringey target for affordable housing. The applicant has now stated in a completely new application, that there will be no affordable housing. There are further breaches of the OJEU agreement, including the dropping of the 4* hotel, and the creation of an Arts Centre, for which no business plan has yet been provided;

4) Under section 7(1)(c) of the 2008 Order there are sound planning reasons for a call-in. The LPA must not only remain impartial, but must be seen to be impartial. Crouch End’s councillors have now published an open letter which suggests a state of disorder in respect of the application, which needs to be rectified. Haringey’s cabinet has twice voted for the scheme in the face of call-ins. Disciplinary action against Labour councillors involved in a the call-in sets a context in which it will be very difficult to select a neutral and objective planning committee to consider the application;

5) There are a number of factors in the Mayor’s Supplementary Planning Guidance “Homes for Londoners” published this month, which point to the need for a call-in. The councillors open letter makes clear that the ward councillors have not examined the viability figures and were unaware of the assumptions the developer was making. The figures in the Economic Viability Assessment have , by chance, become public, which is fortuitously in line with the Mayor’s guidance. However these figures have been seriously called into question for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to:

·         inappropriate comparators for sale prices which refer to Muswell Hill and Hornsey, while prices in Crouch End are higher

·         inappropriate comparators for rental income – it is absurd to suggest that Hornsey Town Hall is in anyway comparable to the Ministry of Sound, yet a notional rent greater than that of the nightclub has been used to calculate the community use subsidy

·         vague references to the proposed investment in the restoration of the Town Hall – while the headline figure of £27m (sometimes quoted as £29m) appears impressive it may well be that around £13m of this is actually being invested in building the hotel.

We therefore believe that the scheme should now be referred for mayoral consideration and that the mayor should replace Haringey as the LPA. .

While this request is addressed to the Head of Development Management at the London Borough of Haringey we propose to publish it as an open letter on various websites, and to send a copy to local newspapers, the Mayor’s office and others of influence.


Hornsey Town Hall Appreciation Society

HTHAS Open Letter Re Mayoral Call-In

HTH – Planning Consultation Period Extended

Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum (home of all things planning) wrote to ask for an extension to the consultation period; they received the following from Haringey Planning:


Thank you for your email.

In your email you seek for the Council to extend the consultation period on the planning application and application for listed building consent at Hornsey Town Hall (HGY/2017/2220) which was validated on 1st August 2017.

Planning applications must be publicised for a minimum of 21 days (as per statute) and the Council’s own Statement of Community Involvement (SCI). Owing to the significance of this application, its timing during the school holidays, the Planning Department agreed to extend the formal consultation period from 21 days (3 weeks) to 35 days (5 weeks). This was considered to strike an appropriate balance between the need to determine planning applications expeditiously whilst also providing the local community time to consider the application.

It should be noted that comments received after this period up until a decision is taken are still taken into account when making the decision. Those that are received prior to the finalising of the committee report will be referred to in the report and those received after this time will be referred to at the planning committee.  This is also set out in our SCI (the SCI can be found here:

As set out in this document it is common on large applications for the applicant to make minor amendments to schemes after submission of schemes often following feedback and comments raised during consultation. We are expecting the applicant to submit some revisions including amendments to the Broadway Mews block to reduce overlooking, some revised flat layouts and supplementary views, viability information and heritage justification. You will all be reconsulted when this information is submitted.

As such I am going to extend the consultation period to 26 September or 14 days from when the additional information is submitted whichever is the later. For now the period will be extended to 26 September on the website.

If you or any other local residents would like to meet with my officers to go through the information then please contact James Hughes to arrange. We have a hard copy that can be viewed in our offices.


Emma Williamson Assistant Director-Planning

Have Crouch End Councillors Found Their Mojo?

Crouch End councillors have today published an open letter to John Connolly (FEC Head of UK Development) raising concerns around the planning application.

It’s pretty good – sounds basically like much of what we’ve been saying for ages. In large part, we could have written it ourselves.

Anyway, here it is in full, saving everyone from having to click through to their site. If you’d like to go there anyway, the link is HERE

Continue reading “Have Crouch End Councillors Found Their Mojo?”

Planning Update – No Social Housing…But Big Money On The Table

No social housing but a massive profit for HTH developers

As you may be aware the developers have now submitted a detailed planning application for the refurbishment of Hornsey Town Hall. If you want to read the full application you can access it here

What we suggest you look at is the HTH Viability Report Jul 2017. You will see that all of the key figures are redacted but we are indebted to opinion8 (and the many others) for instructions as to how to unredact the figures.

If you do you will see that FEC project a profit from the venture of £22.6 million; that there will be No affordable housing and that the benefit to Haringey (other than the restoration of the Town Hall and a small capital receipt) is minimal.

We want your views so that we can accurately represent the views of the people of Haringey. Please post your comments.

We will be scrutinising all the planning documents and will write to you again shortly with a more detailed briefing note

Thank you for your support

We look forward to hearing from you

Planning Docs Dropped

Yesterday, the planning application documents were posted on the Haringey website. We will be wading through them in the coming days and will have much more to report, but if anyone fancies trawling through them, here are the links.

There are four separate links: planning application for Hornsey Town Hall itself; Listed Building Consent for the Broadway Annexe; Listed Building Consent for Hornsey Library; and the Listed Building Consent for Hornsey Town Hall proper.

Hornsey Town Hall

Listed Building Consent – Broadway Annexe

Listed Building Consent – Hornsey Town Hall

Listed Building Consent – Hornsey Library

Haringey have asked that all comments on the planning be filed under the first link (we’ve called “Hornsey Town Hall”) so they don’t miss anything.