Haringey Council's decision on 3 Francis Place
Following the Local Planning Authority's approval of the Construction Management Plan for 3 Francis Place, the next step was for the owner to acquire licences to release the restrictions of the covenants on the property and to acquire permission from the Parks Department to use the Parkland Walk as a means of access for building materials. On the 13th of July, Haringey Council made its decision on three licence applications that would enable the development at 3 Francis Place. We are delighted to say that the Council was in agreement with our position. Cllr Peray Ahmet, Lead member for the Environment said in an email to the Friends:
"I'm writing to let you know that a decision was taken yesterday by officers to formally refuse the requests from the owners of 3 Francis Place both for consent under the covenant limiting extension to the property, and to use vehicles on Parkland Walk for the purpose of the building works for the extension.
We have carefully listened to the points made by the Friend’s Group and other residents and users, and share your desire to protect this space from damage by vehicles and equipment and ensure it remains somewhere residents can continue to use and enjoy without disruption."
Friends address a full council meeting
Simon Olley, Chair of the Friends, addressed the full council on Tuesday evening and a podcast of the address and ensuing debate can be seen on this link (31 minutes into the meeting). It was clear from responses from the councillors that they share our love of the Walk and are committed to ensuring that neither it or the experience of users is spoiled in any way.
The Council Legal Department submitted a substantial document setting out its reasons for refusing the licences, citing the covenants and commitments made by the council in the Local Plan, Open Space Strategy and the Supplementary Plan for The Parkland Walk. At this point in time, there has been no response from the owner, who may wish to challenge the decision. In the event that the owner decides to abandon the expansion, there will almost certainly be work to put the house in good order. The Friends would not anticipate objecting to such work as long as those works do not breach any of the covenants or endanger the public.
The Committee of the Friends would like to thank everyone for their overwhelming support. There is no doubt in our mind that the unanimous response and display of concern in such numbers helped us in our efforts to make sure the council took the issue seriously. It hasn't been possible to respond to every request for information so please accept our apologies if you have not heard back from us.
We have begun our search for wildlife using camera traps. Despite there being hedgehogs in The Grove, there do not appear to be any on Parkland Walk in Muswell Hill. We will shortly begin positioning cameras at the Highgate end of the Walk.
Hedgehogs need a lot of ground to gather food and secure safe refuge. If you own a garden that abuts the Walk, you can help increase their habitat by creating small holes (about 5 inches diameter) in your garden fences. We will be circulating advice on this soon. As we discover hedgehog movements on the Walk, we are also considering offering the use of our cameras to residents who have created access to their gardens for hedgehogs for short periods to monitor the success of the project. Residents will be able to keep copies of the camera files.
If you already have evidence of hedgehogs near you, please let us know so that we can begin to log sightings.
We would like to acknowledge the help of Chris Carbone who has kindly loaned us three cameras to carry out our survey work.