Haringey Community Press

Haringey Community Press

Campaign to stop housing plans for Crouch End green space

Haringey Council is planning to build a block of six flats on the small green space

Hero for Campaign to stop housing plans for Crouch End green space
Young resident campaigning to save the green space at Ramsey Court in Crouch End (contributed by Joe Banks)

Campaigners have slammed Haringey Council over plans to build on a “vital” Crouch End green space used for recreation by residents and their children.

Opponents of a proposed block of flats next to Ramsey Court, in Park Road, have accused the local authority of “riding roughshod” over their objections to the scheme.

Under the plans, six flats would be built on green space to the south-east of the existing Ramsey Court block, with three terraced houses planned for parking bays and adjoining green space in Barrington Road to the north. 

The council argues the planned development would help provide “a new generation of council homes”, with seven units available for council rent. But campaigners have warned the space earmarked for development provides a “vital environment” for wildlife and a “valued community area”. 

Despite opposition to the scheme – including a petition against it which has gained more than 1,200 signatures – residents have been told the council intends to press ahead with the plans.

Lea Govender, a resident of Ramsey Court, said it was “completely ridiculous” that the council wanted to “destroy this valuable part of Crouch End’s environment” and cause “18 months of disruption”.

Lea added: “The council is under intense pressure to build more social housing and is rather desperately trying to do this on any land that it already owns, regardless of whether it’s a sensible place for such a development.”

There are more than 11,000 residents on the local authority’s waiting list for council housing and more than 2,800 in temporary accommodation. The civic centre has set a target of starting work on 1,000 new council-rent homes by March next year.

Campaigners have also raised environmental concerns over the Ramsey Court scheme, which they claim goes against the council’s commitment to protect green spaces and increase Haringey’s tree canopy. 

Geoff Coast, a member of the Ramsey Court Greenspace Protection Group, said: “It’s very difficult to see how the proposals for the Ramsey Court site will lead to ‘significant green enhancements to the area’, as the council claims, given that the total green space area will be greatly reduced by the construction of a six-flat apartment block at the front, plus three houses with private gardens at the rear of Ramsey Court.”

The council has pledged to plant 20 more trees as part of the scheme, but Geoff said young saplings would be “unable to fulfil the role that the current trees and green space play in terms of both carbon capture from Park Road and the prevention of local flooding”.

Sarah Larkin, another resident of Ramsey Court, added: “Local residents are bitterly disappointed with the council’s response to the consultation process. A lot of legitimate objections were raised, nearly all of which the council completely ignored. The whole process just feels like a box-ticking exercise where the council doesn’t have any intention of actually listening to the views of its constituents.”

In response Ruth Gordon, the council’s cabinet member for housebuilding, placemaking and development, said: “The proposed development at Ramsey Court is part of our ambitious programme to address the acute shortage of affordable homes in our borough through building the first new council homes in a generation. If approved, this proposal will deliver seven new council homes at council rents for families currently on our housing waiting list.

“Protecting the local environment and addressing the climate emergency are both central to our home building programme. The proposed development at Ramsey Court will result in improvements in local biodiversity through a package of measures that has been enhanced thanks to feedback from residents. This includes planting new trees and protecting existing mature trees, installing bat and bird habitat boxes, and creating a new communal green space for the benefit of the whole community.”