Haringey Responds to HTHAS Request for Referral to Mayor

LBH essentially say that none of what we pointed out as possible flaws in the application would be considered valid by LBH Planning Dept.

…now we wait for the Mayor. Here’s the full text from LBH; below the pdf version linked:

Planning Service
Emma Williamson Assistant Director Planning Service
Hornsey Town Hall Appreciation Soc.

By e-mail only

Date: 22nd August 2017

Dear Sirs
Town & Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended)

Re: Planning Application and Applications for Listed Building Consent (Ref:HGY/2017/2220) at Hornsey Town Hall, The Broadway, N8 9JJ

Thank you for your letter of 20th August 2017 concerning the above applications.

In your letter you request that the above applications be referred to the Mayor of London for determination under section 7 of The Town and Country Planning (Mayor of London) Order 2008 (“the Order”), and you set out the reasons why you consider that referral is necessary.

The Local Planning Authority (“LPA”) has considered the application against the Order, as with all major planning applications we receive. As you are aware, the Order sets out detailed criteria as to which categories of application are referable to the Mayor; those being the types of applications which are most likely to be of strategic importance and therefore of interest to the Mayor.

I have considered each of the points you raise and respond below using the same numbering system as in your letter for ease of reference.

1. The planning application proposes 146 residential units (flats) which is below the threshold of 150 set out in Category 1A of the Schedule attached to the Order. As you note, the application also includes a hotel (use class C1) totalling 67 rooms, however this does not fall within the definition of “houses or flats” (use class C3) as prescribed in the Order. The LPA must consider the application as submitted. Should further changes to the disposition of uses be proposed the LPA will consider them at that point. The planning application is therefore not referable under category 1A.

2. I agree that Hornsey Town Hall is an important and historically significant building and is much loved locally. This is reflected in its listing (Grade ll*). This however does not require it to be referred to the Mayor. The proposed development has also been screened for Environmental Impact Assessment (26″˜” July 2017) and found not to be an EIA development. Details of the EIA Screening can be found on the Council”™s website under reference HGY/2017/2009.

3. In terms of Category 3E of the Schedule attached to the Order. you note that both the hotel and other non-residential uses exceed 2,500sqm (acknowledging the hotel-use supports my response to point 1 above). Development over this threshold that does not accord with one or more provisions of the development plan is referable. The Local Planning Authority considers that the development accords with the provisions of the development plan (subject to the application of development management standards and a full and proper assessment of the application) and as such the proposed development is not referable.

In terms of the other points you raise:

(1) affordable housing targets are borough-wide targets. and the application-specific viability assessment is being reviewed;

(2) in terms of affordable housing, the borough is performing well over the plan period. In any case, the development is not considered a Category 1A development;

(3) the OJEU process has no bearing on the determination of the planning application and is not a material planning consideration;

(4) the LPA remains impartial in its decision-making and must only take into account planning policy and any other relevant material planning considerations. It is acceptable in law for the Council, acting as the LPA, to determine a planning application in which it has a significant financial interest. The Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1992 govern the process. Of course, any councillors that have given strong views on the applications or have been involved in making formal Council decisions with regards to the sale of the site may be precluded from sitting on the Planning sub-committee when the application is to be determined. I note your reference to Crouch End ward councillors in this regard. Cllr Doron (a ward councillor and a member of the Planning sub-committee) has advised that he will not sit on the committee when the applications are to be determined.

(5) The Mayor”s latest SPG does not affect the categories governing referable development which is set out in the Order. Similarly, matters of contention that may arise with the content of the applicant”s viability report do not necessitate referral to the Mayor. The LPA will ensure a full and proper assessment of development viability is carried out and has commissioned BNP Paribas to provide specialist advice on the matter.

I have considered all the points that you raise but maintain the LPA”™s position that
the applications are not referable to the Mayor of London.

I would like to thank you for your interest in the matter and for prompting this
additional review of the applications against the Order.


I hope my response clarifies matters.
Yours faithfully


Dean Hermitage MGeog MA MRTPI
Head of Development Management
Cc: Greater London Authority (Assistant Director for Planning)
Director of Regeneration. Planning and Development Lyn Garner



3 Replies to “Haringey Responds to HTHAS Request for Referral to Mayor”

  1. As I’ve occasionally pointed out, Cllr Claire Kober’s Haringey is a 101 Council.

    By this I mean that there are usually 101 good reasons why the Dear Leader, her key political allies and her senior staff are seen as being right.

    While conversely there may be up to 101 reasons why residents’. their ideas, and their reservations, criticisms and concerns are seen as inevitably wrong.

    Though the number 101 has another significance. It’s used by Universities in the USA and elsewhere to indicate courses which, every year, are run for complete beginners.

    The current political leadership of Haringey appears to remain as such perpetual beginners. It appears that they learn or perhaps wish to learn nothing from every failed project, every wasted opportunity, from each financial misjudgement and disasters, each shaming vanity project, each and every public relations mess-up.

    I am disappointed that the reasons for a Mayoral Referral appear to have been have been brushed aside so readily. No process and no decision is incapable of being improved. It is almost always helpful in reaching the better decisions to listen and very carefully consider the range of critical and opposing views.

    Let us hope that the Mayor of London and his advisers will take a more nuanced and helpful view.

  2. It is distressing that you are unwilling to respond to widespread apprehension and doubts about the way that the sale and subsequent negotiations regarding the Town Hall have been handled. It seems that you feel secure in neglecting the opinions of the citizens of the Borough. It may be that you regard yourself as invulnerable, but things rarely work out that way. I think this mismanagement will come back to haunt you. I, for one, will be maintaining an interest in how you and your ‘team’ benefit from the dealings you have entered into.

  3. We appear to be living in a twenty-first century world of conviction politics where it is firmly believed by those in power that being elected to office through a democratic process confers on them all the rights for the unopposed decision making that was enjoyed by leaders before the birth of electoral democracy over two centuries ago. This approach by our council leaders, that they are invincibly right and we are all plain wrong, can also be seen at work in the extreme by the current president of the United States who now refuses to listen even to those on his own side. Yes, we want our politicians to have conviction but we also need them to listen.

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