Crouch End is a few short months away from the disposal of the Town Hall, the public square, the annexes and surrounding land to a private developer.
Are the incorrigibly civic minded Neighbourhood Forum interested in the development? Do we see the transformation of the once proud centre piece of Crouch End and the Borough of Hornsey as a big deal? And as a statutory body with a role in local planning, are we obliged to take a good hard look at the scheme?
– Well, yes.
Of course there’s also widespread concern (even suspicion) whether a private sector project can deliver the goods. Will it deliver, to quote Haringey themselves: “an interesting, lively focal point for Crouch End… a viable and vibrant mix of community, cultural, arts, leisure, business and residential uses”*? For that matter, will the proposed project still be there in 10 years?
It would be good to know.
So not before time, with the clock ticking, we wrote to the council and posed a few questions†. Read them below, or the full text of the letter at –
Let us know what you think.
(*quoted from the Haringey Local Plan † the preferred bidder will be chosen in September, with contracts signed in November)
Our overall question is –
1. Beyond the initial selection and evaluation process, what arrangements do the council propose to ensure long term delivery of their objectives to deliver a viable and vibrant mix of community, cultural, arts, leisure, business and residential uses? And what role does the council see for the Neighbourhood Forum and other stakeholders in the remaining stages of the process, the development works, and the longer term?
2. Will relevant details of the bidder’s proposals linking the development to improvements for the economy and infrastructure of the wider Crouch End area be made publicly available?
3. If the Community Infrastructure Levy is applied to the development, would it be possible to use the resulting funds to improve the public realm of both square and Broadway?
4. Will the Neighbourhood Forum be invited to participate in relevant planning meetings between the Haringey Planning, the approved bidder, or other stakeholders?
5. Can details of any forthcoming project consultation exercise and any other planned engagement with stakeholders across the community be made available?
6. Will a ‘community working group’ of some kind be formed for liaison purposes during the development period?
7. Does the council agree a collaborative approach to the design, development and future use of the public square and green would provide a useful opportunity for the developer to positively engage with the community?
8. Will details of the Development Agreement and Lease made between Haringey and developer be published or made available?
9. What body is likely to oversee and enforce covenants in the lease? Who will represent the community in future decisions on use and ownership? Will, for instance, the HTH Creative Trust continue in some form, or alternative Trust be formed?