MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
The local papers said that I would be meeting the campaigners against the London Newcastle development on the site of the old Freemasons pub on Lordship Lane. And indeed they came to see me that very day. Thus proving that what you read in the papers is true!
The application was for A1/A2/A3 designation on the site and Haringey had already refused planning permission. London Newcastle had appealed and that appeal was heard two weeks ago and the decision is expected next week.
Three representatives of the local traders came to see me to say how worried they were that the proposed development had at ground level a unit of 4,000 sq ft – which if let to a Tesco local or similar might put them out of business. They had collected a large petition signed by local people all wanting to support their local traders. It will be hard enough for them all to survive the recession – but to find a huge competitor landing in their midst they felt would be the end of them.
Given the situation – I suggested to them that I would get in touch with the developer and ask that they come and meet the local traders and people to discuss the potential usage of the development – regardless of whichever way the decision went. If they get their planning permission – given that they are on record quoted in the local media as wishing to work with and deliver something for the community– then best for the two sides to meet. If they were turned down and lost their appeal – no doubt they would want to put in a new application in due course – so better again to talk with local traders and people.
So when I got back to the office I phoned the guy in charge of this development for London Newcastle – who sounded a tad wary at first when I said I was the local MP etc. But, full credit to London Newcastle – he said they did mean it when they said they wanted to work with the community. He said they had agreed to add A4 usage (“drinking establishments”) into the potential letting use for the site in addition. And he also said that I had to look at London Newcastle website because they were good guys with a good track record. And yes – I checked their website and they look very good – as much as one can tell from a website.
And last and best – he said that London Newcastle would be happy to meet with local traders and people to discuss their concerns. I will arrange the meeting which will take place in a few weeks time. By then we will know what the appeal decision is – yes or no – but either way much better to work together. So I am hopeful that by bringing the two sides together in this local planning issue – they can together find a way forward that is good for both of them.