Muswell Hill residents have called on the Council to refuse plans that could threaten the unique character of one of the rare Edwardian streets in Muswell Hill.
They will appear before a Planning Committee, along with their local Councillors, to make a plea to the Council to reject multiple planning applications that will see one-half of a semi-detached property in Woodland Gardens demolished. The Committee – scheduled for Monday 11th June – will hear that the proposed replacement would be completely out of character with the area. It will also depart from the process for new developments followed in neighbouring streets such as Woodland Rise, Grand Avenue and Queens Avenue.
The houses in Woodland Gardens were built during the Edwardian period and are now over a 100 years old. In order to protect this historic streetscape, homeowners have chosen to renovate these homes, rather than demolishing and replacing them. As a result, every home from the original Edwardian development still stands today. Residents fear that demolishing one of them and putting up a jarring modern construction in its place will cause serious harm to the character of the street and set a dangerous precedent for further houses to be demolished.
Residents will remind the Planning Committee that Haringey Council’s Design Officer has expressed a preference for retaining the existing house, something which the plans (submitted with the December 2017 planning application) clearly disregard.
Liberal Democrat Councillor for Muswell Hill, Cllr Julia Ogiehor, said:
“Residents are right to object to the application. Whilst I understand the argument that the property is in need of repair, I do not agree that it requires demolition; it can be refurbished, as have three houses on the same street in just the last five years. I will be supporting residents in their bid to protect Muswell Hill’s special architecture. I also have concerns that the proposed plans contradict guidance in the National Planning Policy Framework that developments should ‘respond to local character and history, and reflect the identity of local surroundings and materials’”.
Farrol Goldblatt, immediate neighbour to the property, who will also be objecting on the 11th June said:
“My home and No 76 are the only Edwardian semi-detached houses in Woodland Gardens, which is a unique street in Muswell Hill and is totally intact and as built over 100 years ago. As an architect, I appreciate the integrity of the street which is why we have lived here for over 27 years. This application seeks to demolish half of our semi-detached property and build a new house attached to mine. The special character of this area is what drew me and my neighbours here in the first place, but this is not just about preserving it for us. Once that sense of history is gone, we won’t be able to get it back, and future generations will be unable to experience it.”