June 20 2013 Latest news:
by Tim Lamden
Thursday, June 28, 2012
A last-minute decision to scrap the consideration of 10 controversial applications for basement developments in Highgate - right after the same council committee ploughs through a 108-page report on how to judge them - has been hailed by objectors as a “victory for common sense”.
Haringey Council’s planning committee was due to decide on the applications and discuss the report at a meeting taking place tonight, but the decision was taken to delay those particular discussions until a future meeting.
The committee had sat for six hours on Monday night wrangling over Tottenham’s Wards Corner plans, and objectors had only been given two days’ notice that the often controversial basement plans were up for a decision, it was claimed.
Highgate councillor Rachel Allison led calls from residents and amenity groups to postpone the discussion due to the sheer number of applications on the agenda.
She said: “Why make such a ludicrous agenda? Very fortunately it is not going ahead but we did a massive amount of lobbying.
“It is a victory for common sense – it’s crazy that I had to go to the lengths I did, to get it postponed.”
Basement conversions will be an increasingly likely prospect for homeowners in the west of Haringey looking to extend in the face of conservation area constraints and a lack of land.
As part of tonight’s meeting, members of the planning committee were expected to read a 108-page document outlining new policy for members to consider when dealing with basement developments.
Susan Rose, chairman of Highgate Conservation Area Advisory Committee, said: “We have to understand this planning guidance and then see if these applications have followed this guidance.”
The 10 Highgate applications relate to proposed developments at properties in Courtenay Avenue, Sheldon Avenue, Denewood Road and Grange Road.
Cllr Allison said that the basement applications, many of which include underground excavations, have got residents “very, very worked up”.
She explained: “If it’s next door to you, it’s two years of misery – people have told me about neighbours that have houses subsiding into the garden.”
The applications will be heard at a further special planning meeting expected to take place some time next month.