A response by David Winskill to the recent newspaper article from the Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust.
It was good to read the thoughts of the Creative Trust (Don’t let the chance to renovate this building pass us by) on the current state of play in the redevelopment of Hornsey Town Hall.
Worryingly, for a group that has been so intimately involved in the OJEU process they, like our Councillors and the rest of the Haringey community, have only the sketchiest idea of what the final configuration of uses might be. Quite rightly, Liz calls for more information from FEC.
This prompts the question of how a process that has taken well over two years and cost the Borough the thick end of £2m has produced a scheme that still has so many unknowns and imponderables.
Liz’s is an important voice among many who say that FEC must try harder to win the trust of the community by addressing the many “understandable concerns” and provide more and better information: perhaps she should have added better engagement as well.
Like the Creative Trust, The Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum welcomes the promised detailed cost plan and we have written to Haringey to ask for unredacted details of any new information about costs, income and profits to be made available on the planning website.
The Creative Trust is a buildings preservation trust and many people will be looking forward to reading their views about the inevitable impact of the new seven storey blocks of flats on the setting and visual amenity of HTH and the immediate Conservation Area.
For guidance the Trust might turn to a 2014 planning application for an extra floor on the Broadway block that now hosts Waterstones. If successful, the height of the building would have been increased to four storeys but Haringey Planning turned down as it was “judged to be harmful to the conservation area and the setting of the adjacent listed building “.
To inform their public response to the application, The Creative Trust should consider using their extensive email list to ask their stakeholders what their views are on the visual and spatial impacts of the development and also how the proposed hotel and other uses are coherent with the restoration of this iconic Grade II* building.
It is not too late to achieve the balance of restoration without exploitation.