AGM 2024


Thursday 23 May, 7.45 pm

United Reformed Church, Queens Ave, Muswell Hill, N10 3NU


  • Apologies for absence
  • Minutes of the Meeting held on 13th May 2023
  • Chairman’s Report (See Committee Reports below)
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Election of Officers
  • Election of Committee
  • Election of Independent Examiner
  • Any other business including questions from members

Snacks and light refreshments will be served.

Attendance is for current members. To renew your 2024-2025 membership, click HERE or contact


Conservation Officer, CAAC, Hon. Secretary
John Crompton

Work continues with colleagues to identify seek and appoint a new Chairman of the Association

  •  Conservation Area Advisory Committee
    John Crompton continues to be the Association representative on the CAAC and to chair it.   The CAAC is keen to recruit new (and hopefully younger) members so if anyone is interested please contact him. Most of the business of the Committee is conducted by email so there is very little commitment in terms of evening meetings. 
  • Shops and town centre generally
    Our town centre is clearly  a vibrant  place where people like to spend time to shop and socialise. We continue to attract some interesting new shops and restaurants to move into vacant units. Unfortunately there have two further bank closures (Halifax and Nat West.) and these premises are proving more difficult to find a new tenant for. The Woolworth/Poundland building has been redeveloped .
  • New residential developments .
    There is pressure to build on or near our open spaces or to find new uses for land.  For example the Council has granted permission for the demolition of the garages behind the block of flats called Lynton Grange in Fortis Green and their replacement with five 2 storey houses.   There is also an application build  nine  homes on  the  Grove Tennis Club site in Cascade Avenue on the Rookfield Estate which the Association has objected to.
  • Other mattersPlanning policy
    I was expecting to be spending a lot of time this year reviewing the new draft Haringey local plan . However, this has been delayed yet again.

Nick Barr

My remit is to scrutinise applications concerning properties that are not in Conservation Areas however I review all applications in the relevant Wards and comment on where an application is made for front garden parking.

During the period 24/04/23 to 14/04/24 on behalf of the Association, I have reviewed in the region of 337 applications in the Alexandra, Fortis Green and Muswell Hill Wards and submitted 7 objections.

This number of planning applications is been substantially the same as last year however, as previously reported, as Haringey now includes such matters as tree works and permitted development notices in the same lists as the full planning applications it is not possible to be accurate. The majority of applications are for uncontentious domestic schemes however there have been a small number of larger applications, some of which I refer to below.

The Haringey Planning website continues to present challenges with a number of applications each week having no supporting documents lodged or some missing. It is only possible to be aware of those documents that clearly have been overlooked, such as Application Forms, which does, of course, beg the question of documents that I cannot be aware of not being included. When I am aware I alert Haringey and generally the mistake is made good.

One aspect of the planning process that has come to my attention this year is that once an application has been published further changes can often be made and uploaded, often after the Applicant has consulted with Haringey. If an objection is made between these two events Haringey does not notify an objector and consequently, approval could be given to a scheme which the Association and other interested parties would have issues with. As there is no statutory requirement to publicise such amendments before an application is decided Haringey is compliant but there is scope for uncontested schemes that would have been contested to be approved as it is not practical to follow each application in detail to its conclusion.

The following are examples of matters where the Association has made representations in the last year:

  • 10 Ellington Road, N10 3DG
    An application to the demolish the existing old G.P.O. buildings and erection of 5 replacement residential units, arranged as two terraced houses and three flats has attracted in the region of 48 comments the majority objections. One of the objections was by the Association. Although the need for new housing is supported the proposal fails to meet the design requirements set by Haringey on what is a visually sensitive site. The original application was made in May 2023 with a target date for a decision date of July that year. The majority of the comments followed the initial application however in January this year the scheme was amended without notice being sent to interested parties. On 26th April the application was approved on the bases of the amended drawings.
  • 113 Coppetts Road, N10 1J
    An application to the erection of a two-story, three-bedroom dwelling with associated car parking space was refused following an objection by the Association.
  • Ground Floor Flat, 74 Palace Gates Road, N22 7BL
    Another application for a dropped curb and front garden parking. This was refused following representations by the Association.
  • Fortis Green Tennis Club, N2 9LH
    An application on behalf of the Landlord to demolish the existing clubhouse and erect five new houses and a new clubhouse with three flats above and to refurbish two of the existing four tennis courts and provide a new court reducing the total number of courts from four to three. The site is between the Southern boundary of Fortis Green Conservation Area and North of Cherry Tree Wood. A new access would be provided from Cherry Tree Road. Following a meeting at and with the club the Association is of the view that the proposed five houses are alive to the issues of the site however, the proposed clubhouse and flats are not and an objection to that element will be submitted before the consultation period ends in May.

Environmental Issues and Green Spaces
Brian Livingston

  • Flowerboxes around the Broadway and Cattle Trough opposite the Library
    As usual the Association has funded the new plants for the flowerboxes and the cattle trough to brighten up the Broadway. During the last year we had some glorious geraniums which flowered into the late Autumn. The geraniums did not survive the winter and so at the end of April I planted new geraniums in in the flowerboxes which should flower through the summer. Unfortunately a few of the geraniums were stolen and have had to be replaced – this happens every year.
  • Colney Hatch Lane Beds
    The beds are well established and we continue to receive positive comments from members of the public passing by. We have organised a number of maintenance visits during the year and thanks to the members who have helped with this. Some of the larger shrubs required additional attention and so in in February a major pruning exercise was undertaken
  • MHFGA 75th Anniversary – Flowerbeds replanted and new Benches
    The beds outside COOK and at the Fortis Green Road traffic lights were replanted by the council parks department last year as part of the Association’s 75th Anniversary. Drought resistant plants were chosen which really helped the plants survive the summer months. I also persuaded the highways department to replace the two benches by the flowerbed near COOK and this was done in June last year which has also helped to improve the area.
  • MHFGA 75th Anniversary – Pocket Park (opposite Village Green)
    As with the flowerbeds I asked the Parks department to make some improvements to the Pocket Park to help celebrate the Association’s 75th Anniversary. These improvements included repainting the metal fence and varnishing the benches; repairing the paving; checking the health of the central tree and placing woodchip around it; lifting the canopy of the tree in the corner and reducing the Mahonia; some new planting in the beds. Some of these items have been completed and I am still talking to the Council about the remainder.
  • MHFGA 75th Anniversary – New Tree on the Bus Station Roundabout
    I also asked the Council if we could plant a new signature tree on the roundabout to celebrate the Association’s 75th Anniversary. This was agreed and after checking that there were no underground services etc in the area the Council is liaising with TFL to arrange access for their truck – it is taking some time to arrange because the bus stands are normally occupied.
  • Changes in Haringey Parks Staff and Staff Shortages
    During the last year the Parks Manager (our key contact) took early retirement as did two other senior staff. The new manager is not yet in place and so this has made it more difficult for us to raise issues with the Council. The Parks department has a number of vacancies which they are finding difficult to fill.
  • Veolia and Street Rubbish
    I have kept in regular contact with the Veolia “Village Manager” for Muswell Hill to resolve any issues with the street bins and street sweeping. A recent example is that one of our members was in touch regarding littering in Barnard Hill which is off a busy section of Colney Hatch Lane. The Veolia manager reacted quickly to arrange extra monitoring and street sweeping as required.
  • Potholes, graffiti removal, blocked road gullies, damaged street furniture, open Virgin Media cabinets, damaged paving, faulty street lights, fly posting and the like
    I continue to report any issues to Haringey using the “Love Clean Streets” App. The reporting system works very well and confirmation emails are sent out by the Council. Graffiti is cleared up very quickly but other work can take longer if undertaken by the Council’s contractors. I am concerned about the number of potholes which are not being repaired and I have approached our local councillors to take this up together with the Council.
  • New Trees in the Broadway
    Two members of the Association have come with the idea of planting trees in the Broadway to green up the area and help to reduce pollution. The idea is use the Council’s “Trees for Streets” partner and crowd fund to raise the money – the cost of a planted tree is £295 per tree including the stake, fence protection and water bag with the Council watering the tree for the first year. We have held a few meetings with the Alex Fraser (Haringey Tree & Nature Conservation Manager) and a survey was undertaken to establish suitable positions avoiding underground services etc. Around 20 sites were identified and the next step will be for the Council to undertake a consultation with the affected shops and residents above each location and with the wider community. Once the Council has drafted the letter we will also consult our members to hear their views. Although most people are in agreement with the planting of new trees some people may have a different opinion on changing the street scape, or may have concerns about individual tree locations, accessibility etc. We will be in touch once the Council has drafted the consultation letter.

Transport & Highways
Christopher White

  • We have raised awareness among members about how they can easily make official complaints about illegal/antisocial driving in the area.
  • We have continued to make representations to Haringey Council across several transport- and highways-related issues including parking provision in Muswell Hill and the perpetual presence of delivery mopeds on the Broadway.

Consultative Committee Alexandra Palace & Newsletter Editor
Duncan Neill

It has been a momentous year for Alexandra Palace and Park, which celebrated its 150 year anniversary over the course of the last 12 months. Celebrations included a free-to-attend outdoor event last May, a project to create a large mural made up of photographs submitted by local residents and visitors, and a parliamentary reception this month, hosted by our local MP, Catherine West.

Events such as the darts tournament, the Fireworks Festival (which returned to run over two nights), exhibitions and shows, theatre runs such as A Christmas Carol, and the weekly ParkRun bring huge crowds to the Palace and Park. On a smaller scale, but very important for individuals, there has been an increasing number of creative learning projects for school children and young people from across the Borough.

Unfortunately the Kaleidoscope Festival last summer was cancelled on the day before it was due to take place because of forecasted high winds and safety concerns. It turned out to be the right thing to do, despite the disruption to everyone concerned. This year’s Festival, taking place on 13th July, includes the Ministry of Sound Classical with the 30-piece London Concert Orchestra reimagining some of the greatest dance music of all time.

One initiative to generate additional income, car park charging, did go live during the year after some delays due to planning.

The Association is represented by Duncan Neill on the Board of Trustees of Alexandra Palace and Park Charitable Trust and also the Consultative Committee, and by John Crompton on the Statutory Advisory Committee. All Association members are welcome to contact either Duncan or John to raise ideas or questions about the Palace and Park.


We are grateful to Nigel Clark, outgoing Events Organiser, who over the past year has organised two walking tours and two evening meetings with speakers. We welcome the new Events & Meetings committee member, Della Deme, who is scheduling several events and will share dates and details soon. Della has prepared a new survey to find out members’ preferences for meeting topics and times. Thanks to all who have filled and replied to the paper surtvey. If you have not yet shared your suggestions and preferences, please click HERE give us your feedback on thge form online.

  • Walking Tour of Queen’s Wood
    In mid-June twenty Association members were taken on a guided tour of Queen’s Wood led by Lucy Roots. The tour focused on the ecology, flora and fauna of the woods and the impact of changes in climate. Other area covered were the long-term benefits of coppicing and the number and variety of trees and birds in the woods.
  • Alexandra Palace and Park Walking Tour
    In mid-September Association members were led on an insightful walking tour of Alexandra Palace and Park led by Julian Woodfield, an experienced guide. The tour took us around the park grounds and covered the early history of the Palace including the parachuting from hot air balloons, the circus, the early television broadcasts, war-time internment, PoW camps, the nuclear bunker and the more recent lost ski slope.
  • Challenges and Opportunities for a Sustainable Climate-ready Muswell Hill
    In late September Muswell Hill Sustainability Group (MHSG) committee member Dermot Barnes provided an insightful and thought-provoking presentation on the drivers and impact of climate change on our environment, and mitigating actions that can be taken at a local level.
  • Cherry Tree Wood – Past, present and Future
    In late October, Roger Chapman, Chair of the Friends of Cherry Tree Wood, provided a talk covering the history, current activities and plans for Cherry Tree Wood. Roger’s talk also covered the important work undertaken by the Friends to protect and enhance the park and woodland.

Membership & Administration
Laura Bugden

As at 20th May 2024 the membership of the Association is:

Membership Count of Membership
Corporate 67
Gift Membership* 1
Honorary Council* 5
Honorary Life* 9
Honorary Press* 2
Household 475
One off* 1

The membership growth has traditionally been linked to major planning projects or word of mouth recommendations.

The rate of growth does appear to have slowed so if you are able to spread the word amongst your neighbours and friends that would be appreciated.

Social Media
Zoe Norfolk

Facebook and Instagram

  • Facebook has 2741 followers. I continue to post content that I think is engaging to the people who live and love Muswell Hill. This includes updates and changes as well as photographs. As a result the engagement and followers continue to grow.
  • On Instagram I now post more updates as well as pretty pictures and videos, so the account has grown a lot in the last year and now has 1767 followers. A big increase was seen when the Ham and High shared a video of falling masonery on the Broadway.
  • I also share things across to my Instagram account that has nearly 8000 followers to give the association as much exposure as possible
  • Notice Board
    I regularly put posters up from our members, keeping it up to date as much as possible

Alex Vincenti

The Muswell Hill & Fortis Green Association website is 22 years old. Over this period, it has grown from seven to 65 pages of static content, and 130 pages of topical news and information. Over the past year, there have been some major changes and additions:

  • New page
    Muswell Hill & Fortis Green Then & Now, with a unique collection of old postcard images superimposed on contemporary pictures by photographer and committee member Zoe Norfolk.
  • New Catch-up page
    now showing the videos in a gallery, rather than the previous list of clickable titles.
  • Redesigned News page
    now showing the news stories as a table instead of a list and making it easier to preview at a glance.
  • Four new videos of MHFGA activities and talks:
    Chairman & Treasurer Reports; John Hajdu – 22 Years in The Chair; Zaira Iacopelli’s architectural guide to restoring heritage buildings; and Alison Watson’s Hidden Rivers of London.
  • Book update:
    former Chair John Hajdu’s book, Muswell Hill and Fortis Green Association: a history of its campaigns and landmark achievements, in pdf format and freely available to visitors, has been updated with the Association’s events of the last ten years. See
    In the last 12 months, the number of visitors has increased from 3000 to 3,200. The pages most viewed are the News and Newsletters, both current and archived, and the photographic and video material. As expected, the great majority of visitors are British, though on average 10 percent are from other countries, often the US but also China.