“Sham” consultation ignores residents’ views on Pinkham Way land says Liberal Democrats

Local Liberal Democrats have branded the re-run of a consultation on a Council strategy a sham after a report published last week showed that the Council has disregarded the responses of many local residents. Despite voicing their strong opposition to the changes which pave the way for the waste plant at Pinkham Way sixty responses from local residents were rejected.

The Council was made to repeat the consultation on the re-designation of land in its Core Strategy, which included the site that is proposed to be a new waste facility at Pinkham Way, due to concerns raised by the Planning Inspector that the Council failed to consult widely enough first time.

Liberal Democrats say that the council’s rejection of 60 responses shows Labour’s contempt for public opinion and reveals that the consultation was a ‘tick-box’ exercise rather than a chance for the Council to listen to the community. Liberal Democrats have written to the Chief Executive of Haringey Council and the Planning Inspector to voice their concern of the way in which residents’ views have been disregarded.

Despite the large number of consultation responses from residents raising concerns the Council has decided to make almost no changes to its plans in advance of the Examination in Public in February.

Residents will have a further say on the proposals for Pinkham Way after the North London Waste Authority said recently that it will consider further representations in the summer when its North London Waste Plan is consulted upon.

Cllr Juliet Solomon (Alexandra Ward) comments:

“It is clear from how the Council has replied to local residents who have taken the time and effort to submit responses to the consultation that the Council had already made up their mind. This consultation was a mere tick box exercise for the ruling group who seem adamant to push through proposals and steamroller public opinion to ensure the Pinkham Way plans get through to the next stage.

“Let’s hope the delay in further consultation gives the Council an opportunity to start to really listen to local people. Residents do not want the waste plant and it is time the Council started to sit up and take note.”

Lynne Featherstone MP adds:

“It’s really worrying that local residents’ views have been utterly ignored by the Labour Council in this way. They had to re-run this consultation because it was so poorly handled last time, and now they are more or less doing the same thing again.

“This shows utter contempt for local residents’ views’ and local democracy. My Liberal Democrat colleagues and I will continue to fight the waste plant at Pinkham Way every step of the way, and do our best to make sure local people’s concerns are heard and heeded. The fight is not over.”

Pinkham Way – the (Liberal Democrat) response to the consultation

We (local residents, Pinkham Way Alliance, the three local MPs: Theresa Villiers, David Burrowes and myself, Liberal Democrats on Haringey Council (ably led by Cllr Juliet Solomon) and others are all fighting against plans to build a giant waste processing plant at Pinkham Way.

Haringey Council were found (as we all had been saying) not to have consulted properly on the Haringey Core Strategy and have been forced to go back and consult again – properly.

I am posting here the Liberal Democrat response to this consultation – the Core Strategy Fundamental Changes (Core Document CSSD-03) and the Sustainability Appraisal Sept-Nov 2011, written by Cllr Solomon. I am supporting this response. It is long – but for those with an interest in this battle – it may be helpful.
We, the Liberal Democrat Group on Haringey Council, are responding to the September 2011 re-consultation on the Local Development Framework. The policy with which we are concerned here is SP8, and, in particular, the designations for Pinkham Wood on the North Circular, (which is already subject to a submitted planning proposal for a waste processing centre).
We have not, rather surprisingly, been formally asked for our views, other than on a “round-robin” email, even those three of us who are ward councillors for the ward containing the site with the contested designation. As elected representatives of the ward, we are clearly major stakeholders; our omission from being formally requested to join in the consultation would be our first reason for suggesting that the consultation of affected stakeholders was, if not inadequate, not completely thought through, as we are treated as though our stake was equal to that of all other councillors, which is clearly not the case.
The new consultation is concerned with Publication of a Development Plan Document (Regulation 27) – additional Regulation 27 on Affordable Housing & Employment Land Designations November 2010 (consolidated with further evidence to support changes to the Employment Land Designations, September 2011)
Section 1. Overall problems.
Following on from the Inspector’s letter after the EIP, the Council has spelled out what it considers to be the key questions that consultees should answer. Some of these are the first points we shall deal with, and they are numbered here, by us, for convenience of reference.
1 Is the document justified?
No. The Council fails to set out clearly the reasons and justification for a change of land-use designation of the Pinkham Way site.. In the post-EIP papers in the planning portal, there seem to be some hints, but that is all.
In their letter of 27th July to PINS, the LDF team says (para 2.5) “The council considered the employment land designations in the Core Strategy of the Friern Barnet and Bounds Green sites are justified by evidence base and are in line with the London Plan and carry through the recommendations as set out in the Employment Land Study.” It is unfortunate therefore that the only justification to appear in the Core Strategy is the following:
“A change in designation will ensure this DEA is targeted towards more traditional industrial uses. Complies with pre-application discussions which have already taken place to use part of site for recycling centre and other part as waste station.”
This is not a justification for a change in designation. The justifications for the designation should be prior to, and independent of, any actual or intended applications. All this says is “somebody wants to develop here – let’s fix the LDF so that it can carry on”. This very approach should in itself render the document unsound as it suggests an order that is contrary to that suggested in PPS 12. (mostly Section 4.2 ff.)
One particularly concerned local resident queried the change in designation, as did a number of others, but the answer he was given by the Council in their letter of 28th June (see below) did not provide the evidence base he was seeking
“The Council felt that the wording was not clear enough, and some of the sites which came under this designation were not suitable for this level of flexibility. If the Core Strategy Proposed Submission draft designations were left unchanged, the concern was that this would lead to applications for uses which would not be suitable for their location. This also accords with the London Plan, and the DRLP.
Therefore, the Council decided that Friern Barnet site and the Bounds Green site needed stronger employment land designation. They were designated as Locally Significant Industrial Site (LSIS). This approach also accords well with the concept of sustainable communities. Both of these sites are in the west of the borough where there is comparatively less industrial land availability. The fundamental changes document (Nov 2010) was consulted on according to planning regulations, and there were no objections to designating this site as a LSIS.”
It should be pointed out, although it may be unnecessary to do so, is that the reason there were no objections was because of the rather secretive way in which this so called consultation was carried out, and the restricted number of people informed. This first consultation clearly did not begin to accord with the Council’s SCI.
Locally Significant Industrial Sites (LSIS)
“5.1.10 These are well established industrial areas and the aim is to retain them solely for uses that fall within B1(b), (c), B2, B8 uses or uses that share strong similarities to this use class.”
In terms of being a “well used industrial area” which is apparently one of the criteria for LSIS designation, an area which has been wild backland for fifty years does not seem to us to qualify for this description. Until a security fence was put up round the site, relatively recently, the area was used for walking, playing, observing wildlife etc., all the kinds of activities that might be associated with small areas of relatively natural open space in the middle of the urban fabric.as well as a certain amount of dumping, much of it (apparently)old Barnet lampposts.
If we now consider some of the Council’s other consultation questions (below) , the answers become relatively straightforward.

2 Is it based on robust and credible evidence? It would seem not.
3 Is it the most appropriate strategy when considered against the alternatives? No alternative is presented.
4 Is the document effective? See 5 below, so in all probability not.
5 At the moment the status of the site as a Grade 1 Site of Borough importance for Nature Conservation is to be kept; we note, however, that this is not mentioned in the consultation document. In the old saved UDP, any employment uses to which it would have been put would have had to make sure that the ecological designation was respected. And indeed we find it hard to see how, if several acres of trees are pulled down (i.e. all the woodland), and the scrub is converted to an industrial site, the Council envisages that this will be possible.
8 Is it consistent with national policy?
Certainly not with the key Government principles on Biodiversity (PPS 9, page3). Almost certainly not with air quality standards, which would fall below acceptable on even more occasions than is currently the case with any increase of traffic on the local roads and A406. Nor does it concur with PPS 12 in that its consultation has been at odds with its own Statement of Community Involvement.
Section 2 Deficiencies in Consultation
Probably our most significant point with regard to the reconsultation, as representatives of the local and affected community, is that, like previous so-called consultations on the same policy, it is simply inadequate. It does not comply either with the letter or the spirit of the SCI. Italicised sections below are just a few of the parts of the SCI which appear to have been entirely overlooked in the consultations.
2.4 (Haringey Statement of Community Involvement, 2011)” As set out in Haringey’s Consultation Strategy, the Council recognises the fundamental importance of undertaking effective community involvement and consultation to ensure that decisions are based on ‘sound’ reasoning, and these are transparent and accountable to the community. The Council defines consultation as ‘a process of dialogue which leads to a decision’, so it is the commitment of the Council to ensure that consultation:
• reaches more people;
• demonstrates to the community that their views are heard;”
Curiously, although for local traffic calming consultations, a leaflet is sent to all those in the area, whether car owners or not, consultation on the use of the Pinkham Way site, which could affect a very large number of people, has not involved all those people living locally, who might reasonably have been expected to be consulted. The Council has, it says, targeted this reconsultation, as with the previous November version, to “those who had made previous representations in relation to Regulation 27 on the original Core Strategy” as well as their Consultees database. This is despite the fact that the Inspector thought the decision to target last November’s abbreviated consultation to those who had made previous representations in relation to Regulation 27 on the original Core Strategy. . .” could appear to be prejudicial to interest of fairness and natural justice.” And also despite the fact that as soon as people knew this was happening, they made it clear that they wanted their views heard.
But the council is targeting this reconsultation to precisely the same people, with the addition of a few who, having heard of plans for the site, have made sufficient fuss. This reconsultation does not just “appear” to be prejudicial; more importantly, it is prejudicial. For this and other reasons, we have asked if there was to be a leaflet drop. The reply was “There will not be a comprehensive leaflet drop in the area. In line with our SCI, community involvement activities will be planned in a consistent way to ensure the methods used are the right ones in each case, recognising that there are limits to our resources. In this case, we are carrying out the consultation in line with how to consult on a planning policy document and not a planning application. We have placed public notices in all of Haringey’s papers and to ensure beyond borough boundary coverage notices have also been placed in both the Enfield and Barnet Independent. “ (Ciara Whelehan to Juliet Solomon, 12/10/2011).
It should, however, be noted that
1) the SCI does not distinguish between policy documents and planning proposals, and suggests that similar consultation methods are appropriate to both, so this comment is spurious, and
2) notwithstanding the importance the Borough claims to give to maximising community response, it should be noted that, for this very controversial policy change and associated proposal, the only paper that is circulated to ALL residents in the Borough, the” Haringey People”, is not included in the consultation; it makes no mention of the issue or, indeed, of the requirement that Haringey should to reconsult in its August/September and October/November editions, which are the only relevant ones.
However, Haringey claim that they have put a notice in the “Haringey People”. “ In addition, press releases have been placed in all of the Haringey local papers, a notice in Haringey People and to ensure beyond borough boundary coverage a press notice has been placed in both the Barnet and Enfield Independent.” Email from Whelehan to Solomon, 23/9/2011.
I reproduce here the only vaguely relevant article that has ever appeared in the Haringey People, in the August/September edition. As can be seen, not only does it fail to mention the LDF and the inspector’s report, but it also fails to use the opportunity to publicise the reconsultation.
“Pinkham Way Plans on hold. The submission of a plan to build a waste processing plant in Pinkham Way has been put on hold following intervention by Haringey Council. The council has lobbied the North London Waste Authority about the lack of detail in its proposals. It has also argued for consultation on the plan to happen after an independent planning inspector has tested the detail of the wide-ranging waste plan for north London. The NLWA will submit a detailed planning application for consultation with residents and consideration by the council’s planning committee after the inspector reports in April 2012. Cllr. Alan Strickland, Cabinet member for Economic Development and Social Inclusion, has promised to hold a thorough consultation once the planning application is lodged.”
This gives no indication of the results of the LDF EIP, or any indication that the Council was going to reconsult on sections of that. By their omission, they are effectively telling the public, in this journal, what amounts to a misleading half-truth.
But The SCI says (Page 4) “2.3 In delivering the vision for Haringey the involvement and participation of the local community and other stakeholders in the preparation of the LDF and processing of planning applications is essential. “
My understanding of the word “essential” is that anything essential is a sine qua non, an activity without which something (in this case the LDF work) cannot continue. And the council knows well that contacting the local community either through the most ubiquitous journal, the People, or through a leaflet drop is probably the only (and therefore essential) way of making sure that this happens. But they excuse themselves from this requirement by saying
“Our Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) clearly states that if anyone wishes to be involved in planning policy/planning applications to contact the Planning Policy Team so their details can be added to the consultation database.”
Two points arise from this. Firstly, the public will not know what is being considered unless they are told; for example, nobody reading the article reproduced above would have any idea about the reconsultation; and secondly, being “added to the database” is surely not enough. People who write in should be sent the material for responding; and we are aware of cases of people who have written to express their interest and not received any response. Where they have, one of the things they have been told is;
“Please note that this a re-consultation exercise on the Core Strategy which is being undertaken following discussions at the Core Strategy Examination in Public for a proposed amendment to a strategic policy, which in respect of Pinkham Way strengthens existing employment policies that already apply to that site. “ Again, this is disingenuous, because while the redesignation may strengthen existing employment policies, it also effectively renders the present ecologically protective designations totally ineffective – and of course, these do not get a mention anywhere in the consultation document. One could ask why.
There are, it turns out, many parts of its own SCI which the council appears not to have consulted, which is a pity as in our view, if heeded, it would be an extremely valuable document. I will not go through the problems of all of these in detail as I believe the overall picture is already clear and I have no doubt that a number of other respondents will reinforce this point. I will merely quote some passages from the (excellent) SCI which I think show how little this has been heeded.
From the SCI page 4
“The council will
• actively engage the whole community by using a variety of formats and
media and be mindful of local avenues for accessing people, particularly
within the voluntary sector;
• give enough time for people to be consulted;
• choose the right method for the type of stakeholders being consulted;
From Page 5
“2.10 It is a legal requirement that all Council set out how they will involve local
communities in planning decisions and plan making process. Additionally, consultation approaches must be tailored to the make up of the local population, the needs and interests of the various community groups in the area in an effort to encourage people to participate in the planning process.
from page 8 The Council are committed to getting less actively engaged groups and individuals involved, and to supporting those who are already involved to support those who are not yet engaged or fully engaged.
p.13 3.5 Local representative bodies will be regularly consulted, when and where appropriate. The approach to consultation will be flexible, accessible and proactive, and the scale of consultation will be equal to the likely impact of the proposed plan.”
As is clear without further comment, all these laudable aims are being overlooked in this case.
Although we have outlined a number of reasons why there are problems with the changes to policy SP8, the one we have emphasised (as has Haringey’s SCI)is the need to involve residents in the policy-making of the borough plans. This rhetoric needs to be put into practice and proper consultation undertaken if the plan is to be passed as a sound document.
To conclude, as shown above, the Haringey Liberal Democrat group not only considers this second consultation flawed but fundamentally the Council has failed to substantiate an adequate justification for the redesignation of the Pinkham Wood site and therefore the Council should abandon its proposals.

Liberal Democrats urge local people to fight plans that paved the way for Pinkham Way

Lynne Featherstone MP is today contacting thousands of constituents, in order to ensure that local people get the best chance to respond to a consultation that could have major effects on the plans to build a waste processing plant at Pinkham Way.

The Hornsey and Wood Green MP is keen to ensure that local residents are aware of and get some advice on how to best respond to a consultation on the designation of land at the Pinkham Way site.

Labour-run Haringey Council has been forced to re-run the consultation that paved the way for the plans for a waste processing plant at Pinkham Way, after being reprimanded by the planning inspectorate. The initial consultation, which changed the land designation from employment to industrial land, was so poorly run that Haringey has been shamed into re-running it.

Liberal Democrats, who are fighting the plans at Pinkham Way, are keen to make sure no one misses out on the chance to respond this time. As well as leafleting thousands of homes close to Pinkham Way, Liberal Democrat MP Lynne is today also contacting thousands of residents, to urge them to respond before the 3rd November deadline.

Any residents who want more information about how to respond should contact Lynne’s office on 020 8340 5459 or email onlynne@lynnefeatherstone.org.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“The way Labour ran the consultation last year was disgraceful, and I’m glad that the Planning Inspector agrees with us and has forced Labour to do a re-run.

“The change in the designation of land from employment to industrial paved the way for the North London Waste Authority to submit plans for Pinkham Way. Anyone who is worried about Pinkham Way should take them time to respond to this consultation and object to the change of land designation – we have everything to gain from a strong response from local residents!”

Alexandra Councillor Juliet Solomon adds:

“The change in land designation and the way the consultation was carried out last year was one of my main points of concern when I stood up to the Labour Council on this in July.

“The last consultation was carried out in a shoddy way, with not enough local people being consulted. It’s good that this sneaky behaviour has not gone unpunished, and now it’s down to all of us to respond – please get in touch with Lynne’s office for details on how to do so.”

Labour fails to say no to Pinkham Way

 (from left to right) Cllr Jim Jenks, Dawn Barnes (Enfield Liberal Democrats) and Cllr Juliet Solomon with the Pinkham Way protestors on the steps of Wood Green Civic Centre on 18th July 2011Labour councillors were accused last night of hiding behind the complexities of planning law to deflect attention from their failure to back local residents in the overwhelming opposition against the development on Pinkham Way.

Supported by hundreds of protesters in the public gallery and outside Wood Green Civic Centre, local Liberal Democrats tabled a motion highlighting the unsuitability of the residential site for a waste processing plant and lorry depot.

Speeches by councillors Solomon and Jenks reiterated the failures in the Council’s and the North London Waste Authority’s (NLWA) public consultation and the way in which the Labour Council changed land use designation, which made the Pinkham Way proposals possible, without proper public consultation.

However, Labour members refused to back local people and claimed that the Council could not express a view on the application.

Campaigners finally get major concessions from authorities

Campaigners did receive welcome news that the Council, following talks with the NLWA, announced the planning application would not be heard until further details come forward and the waste plan is finalised.

Local Liberal Democrats, whilst welcoming the extra time for residents to have their say, branded this a diversion and have said that the last minute u-turn showed that Labour had not been listening and has only recently under pressure started to take the issue seriously. The concessions provided by the Council, Liberal Democrats said, were down to the determination of local campaigners; they vowed that their fight against the Pinkham Way proposals would continue.

Bounds Green councillors fail their residents

In a further twist, local Bounds Green councillors also failed to back the Liberal Democrat motion. Liberal Democrats have accused these Labour councillors of failing their residents by not standing up to the development despite saying they were against the plans.

Cllr Juliet Solomon (Alexandra Ward) comments:

“Labour have let residents down and, every step of the way, failed to put local people at the heart of this important issue. I’m glad that the Council has finally started to see sense but it is too little, too late. Labour would rather hide behind procedure than back their constituents against Pinkham Way – this was made very clear last night.

“The concessions from the Council are thanks to local campaigners backed by Liberal Democrats who have made Labour sit up and finally take notice.

“Whilst this is a step in the right direction, it does not go far enough so I will continue the Liberal Democrat fight against Pinkham Way.”

Lynne Featherstone MP, adds:

“The huge crowds yesterday at the Civic Centre show the strength of public feeling on Pinkham Way. There are still so many questions hanging over Labour’s involvement in this issue, a few concessions on the timing of this development are not enough.

“This site is not suitable for this major development, and together with local residents, I will fight the plans tooth and nail. Rest assured, we are on your side.”

MPs unite to fight plans to build waste plant in residential area

Colin Parish of the Pinkham Way Alliance, David Burrowes MP, Theresa Villiers MP, Lynne Featherstone MP and Alistair Sheriff from the Pinkham Way AllianceThree North London MPs have combined forces to help residents defeat plans to build a waste treatment plant at Pinkham Way.

Lynne Featherstone (Hornsey and Wood Green), Theresa Villiers (Chipping Barnet) and David Burrowes (Enfield Southgate) met last week to discuss the plans, which they say would fundamentally change the nature of the area.

The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) has submitted plans to Haringey Council to build a massive waste treatment factory on woodland adjacent to the North Circular Road’s junction with Colney Hatch Lane. Included in the plan is the relocation of Barnet Council’s vehicle depot onto the site, which is in the borough of Haringey.

The plant would treat 300,000 tonnes of black bin waste from at least four London boroughs and the site would generate more than 1,100 vehicle journeys a day through one of the busiest junctions in London.

Residents are concerned about the overall effects of introducing an enormous factory into their community, and especially about the effects of the traffic fumes, the noise and the smells from the factory, which will be working 24 hours a day.

Local parents are particularly worried about the health of their children, especially those with respiratory problems such as asthma.

Ms Featherstone MP, whose Hornsey and Wood Green constituency includes Pinkham Way where the plant is planned, said:

‘I know how worried local residents are about the plans. I think it’s fantastic that we have come together, MPs and residents, from different parties and from different walks of life, to fight the waste plant the NLWA is planning to shoehorn into our local community. Together we will be stronger.’

Ms Villiers MP, whose Chipping Barnet constituency includes the access roads to the proposed site, said:

‘I remain convinced that Pinkham Wood is simply the wrong location for a waste disposal plant. A major worry is the potential impact of hundreds of extra lorry journeys into and out of the site each day at an already congested section of the North Circular. I am also concerned about worsening air quality as a result.

‘I am campaigning alongside my constituents against the plans and would encourage them to make their views known to Haringey Planning Department, when the plans are made available for comment.”

Mr Burrowes, whose Enfield Southgate constituency is adjacent to the site, said:

‘This is the first time MPs have come together across the three constituencies to campaign on an issue. This cross-party unity of purpose, to stop the Pinkham Way plans, is an exceptional demonstration of the widespread opposition to the proposal. The primary issue of the impact on the local environment – air quality and traffic – is rightly a matter of huge importance for all of our constituents.’

Local people have formed the Pinkham Way Alliance to focus their opposition to the plans and ensure that their voices are heard.

Speaking on behalf of the Alliance, local resident Colin Parish said:

‘The fact that our MPs have got together to fight these plans is further evidence of just how inappropriate they are. We are now calling on councillors in the three boroughs to unite to throw out these plans and come up with something more acceptable.

‘You can’t put a massive waste factory in the middle of a community – the nearest flat is just 85 metres from the site, the nearest primary school is only 308 metres away. It would be madness to go ahead with this scheme and we hope our MPs will be able to influence the outcome and help the NLWA to find a more suitable venue.’

Muswell Hill Area Forum Councillors give thumbs down to Pinkham Way

Muswell Hill residents packed the British Legion Hall last Thursday to hear about the controversial Pinkham Way Waste Plant from Haringey Council officers at the first meeting of the new Muswell Hill Area Forum.  The Pinkham Way proposal was on the agenda at the insistence of Liberal Democrat councillors who demanded residents be given the opportunity to discuss the plans, and question planning officers.

Haringey will be handling the planning application, so the meeting was welcomed by many who were disappointed by the North London Waste Authority’s refusal to speak at a public meeting Lynne Featherstone MP was hoping to organise earlier in the spring.  At the Forum Committee meeting, local councillors also voted overwhelmingly for a motion that criticised the Pinkham Way waste facility proposals.  

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Alexandra, Juliet Solomon commented: 

“This is an issue that local people care passionately about, and I have frankly been astounded that the waste authority is so unwilling to meet with local people and hear their concerns. I was therefore delighted that the issue was discussed at the Area Forum, and residents didn’t hold back in showing their outrage at the plans.

“I am also really pleased to see local councillors taking an unequivocal stand on this troubling proposal.  Local residents in three boroughs are shocked and dismayed by the proposals and will be reassured to know that their fears are shared by their elected representatives who will be arguing against the plant strongly in every possible arena.” 

Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone added:

“The waste authority is planning to squeeze in this giant waste plant in the middle of a residential area, and residents are rightly outraged. I am this week meeting with the MPs from Enfield and Barnet, to see how we can jointly stop this monstrosity.  Once the planning application is available for comment, we will also be writing to local people to tell them how best to respond. Please also sign our petition and show your opposition to the plans. Together we will fight these plans.”

The text of the motion passed reads:

“This Area Committee opposes the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) plans for a waste facility at Pinkham Way, and calls on the NLWA to drop the plans.

“Whilst we recognise the need to plan responsibly for waste disposal, this must not be through the location of a huge plant in a residential area with the excessive movement of large lorries that will result.”

“We further oppose plans for the use of the site by Barnet LB as a lorry park. The London Borough of Barnet should make arrangement for the parking of such vehicles in its own borough.”

Pinkham Way

Was out on Saturday morning petitioning against the proposals for a new,
giant, waste processing plant at Pinkham Way. So many people worried and
anxious: traffic, pollution, noise, disturbance to wildlife habitat for starters.

In April, I asked David Beadle, the managing director of the NLWA to speak at a public meeting to raise awareness about proposals to build the waste plant and to listen to local concerns before the NLWA submitted the planning application to Haringey Council.

He refused.

That says it all really. Being at a public meeting and being prepared to listen to local residents, before submitting the plans, would have gone some way towards giving residents assurances that their concerns will be heard.

The NLWA is a public body funded by local tax payers – they should feel duty bound to attend a meeting and engage with residents over these major plans. Mr Beadle said he found public meetings unproductive and preferred presentations to small groups!

There is an online petition about the plans which you can sign, or if you’d like to find out more about the issue see my recent blog pieces on Pinkham Way here. There is also good information on the Pinkham Way Alliance website here.

The issue will be discussed at the 16 June meeting of the Muswell Hill, Alexandra, Highgate and Fortis Green Area Forum: 6:30pm at the British Legion on Muswell Hill Road, N10 3NG.