The Government’s Planning Inspector has dismissed a raft of appeals from Paul Simon Developments against Haringey Council’s decision to refuse them planning permission to build luxury housing on a backlands site in Crouch End.

A long campaign has been fought by residents who opposed the controversial developments, and Lib Dem councillors fought hard to overturn procedural mistakes made at a crucial Planning Application Sub Committee meeting order to ensure a fair hearing.

The appeals were dismissed due to the Inspector’s ruling that the development of luxury houses in the area would be excessively intrusive, and would be detrimental to the character of the backlands site, designated a Conservation Area.

Lib Dem councillors fought hard in September to have ruled null and void a meeting in which the decision was taken to grant planning permission to the developers, after the Labour chair of the Planning Applications Sub-Committee was deemed to have made a serious procedural error.

Lib Dem Planning Spokesperson Jonathan Bloch comments:

“I am delighted to see that, at last, a fair and transparent decision has been taken on the backlands development site. Labour’s shenanigans in what should be a politically neutral planning committee threatened to undermine the planning process, and we hope that residents will in the future be able to make their representations in an open and receptive forum.”

Councillor Dave Winskill, Crouch End ward councillor, adds:

“Residents really deserve this result. With local Councillors they have fought tooth and nail against this series of totally inappropriate applications. I hope that the developers get the message in the Inspector’s ruling: that this is the wrong place for housing.”

Councillor Wayne Hoban, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader, adds:

“Such procedural mistakes are unacceptable.Local residents are entitled to expect that the Council’s planning process, particularly in relation to sensitive and controversial applications such as this, will be fair, transparent and accountable.”