Far East Consortium (FEC) have had their credibility questioned after last week’s fairly pedestrian development forum meeting in the Earl Haig. It didn’t help that the developers themselves were absent and therefore unable to answer some questions, leaving the architectural firm MAKE to place holding statements in response to many queries.

Concerns around credibility revolved primarily around the last-minute change of mind as regards the hotel use. As one attendee commented, “Wait….on Saturday it was an apart-hotel and by Monday it’s just a hotel-hotel….are they taking this seriously or not?”

With the revelation that planning applications are expected by the 21st July, it seems local residents are not confident that FEC are anywhere near a complete and convincing plan even two years since the OJEU process was launched.

How FEC go about assuaging local concerns will be made clear in the planning application….one hopes.

In addition to which, with the publication of the pre-application planning statement, HTHAS were unable to find a single mention of “arts centre” in their documentation. It seems that HTH has been reclassified as a “community centre” instead, with little in the way of regional interest; indeed FEC have said publicly:

“The use is not considered to be of more than local importance and is considered to be of significance to Crouch End area only. The scheme is principally intended to respond to a local identified need for community and cultural activities.”

Surely the community aspires to more than this?