So who is really behind the Icewall and why does development intended to kick start the regeneration of Wood Green have to look like this?
Well, the answer may surprise you. Haringey Council is the landowner. Haringey planning and regeneration officers appear to have encouraged the developer to build higher and more densely than planning policy permits. Haringey cronies, in the form of a 'design panel' of so called 'experts' have opined that this development is 'good' yet they never bothered to consider its impact on the homes and gardens it would overlook or the importance of protecting and opening up the 'Blue Ribbon' in an area of open space deficiency. Some effort has been made by Haringey to say development at this price is a priority because it will now contain a health centre, when there is already planning permission for a new health centre in the Heartlands. In this, they are acting both on behalf of the CCG, with whom they share offices, but also themselves, but it seems that the CCG, who have gone strangely quiet on the need for facilities now in this location and at this cost, may not actually have the support of their NHS bosses. It could all be a fiction - time will tell.
Meanwhile, the loss of the Iceland store will be a loss in local employment. The new shops will create unnecessary competition with those in the High Road and shopping centre, putting further stress, if any were needed on Wood Green's retail heart.
The planning application for the redevelopment of Iceland has been lodged and the public have, ungenerously been given the minimum period of 21 days, ending 10th November, 2017 to make their voice heard.
STOP THE ICEWALL - PMRA will be using this website to detail our community's objections and publish a template letter which residents can use to submit individual objections. In our view, it is a premature, contentious development where Haringey holds conflicting interests: Haringey is the landowner, strategic planning authority endeavoring to push ahead with its AAP plans in advance of due process and authority in charge of Development Control. It hosts the CCG and been the applicant to NHS England for funding on the basis that it already had a home for a health centre (when clearly it did not). It would almost certainly like the CCG out of its building in Station Road so it can redevelop that site as part of its plans for the HDV. It will see the development value of the Iceland site jump in consideration of the lease paid for by NHS money as well as added value form the pharmacy that will almost certainly follow, were planning permission to be granted. It seems be to asking the public rather a lot to trust the councillors involved in planning matters to represent the interests of the whole community and maintain an open mind when considering this planning application when Haringey is so deeply involved in the development and so committed to seeing it go forwards.
The loss of trees is becoming an issue locally. The wonderful false acacia at the junction of Mayes Road and Coburg Road was removed because it ‘had a fungus’ - just in time for the planning application to build on the petrol station site beside it.
Photo: The gardening team – John. Ben, Polly and John – out on a Saturday morning
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