July | August 2012

Alexandra Palace Consults Local People on Regeneration

An unprecedented opportunity has been given to us to comment on the redevelopment of Alexandra Palace by its new Chief Executive, Duncan Wilson. The consultation ended on 6th July but heralds a new episode in the saga of development at the People’s Palace.

Our Ally Pally representatives have been busy monitoring the progress of the plans and most recently met with Duncan specifically to discuss the impact of the proposed redevelopment on our members. They report that they have been impressed with his desire to gain the support of local people. At this time the Trust will remain in control of the redevelopment and our responses will have impact on decisions made.

Duncan stated: ‘Alexandra Palace could become a major international hub for cultural and community events, learning and recreation in the future, if there is support for current plans to regenerate the People’s Palace.’ Duncan was previously responsible for the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich and Somerset House. Under his stewardship, the Trust has appointed Donald Insall Associates, the historical buildings architectural specialists, to develop a conservation management plan for the Palace. This has now been delivered and urgent repairs are being carried out – both funded by grants from English Heritage.

The Trust also brought in world-renowned architects Terry Farrell & Partners earlier this year to create design concepts based on their vision for the future. An exhibition presenting a set of plans and design concepts took place in the foyer of the ice skating rink with an opportunity to comment using forms supplied.

Pinkham Way Plant – Hearing Suspended

Plans for a giant industrial waste plant in a wooded area off Pinkham Way hit a brick wall during the public examination of the North London Waste Plan (NLWP). This plan was drawn up by seven north London boroughs; Haringey, Barnet, Enfield, Camden, Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest who call themselves the North London Waste Authority. (NLWA). The site was formerly the Friern Barnet Sewage Works in the 1930s but was left unused and has since developed into a wild area of woodland and wild flowers.

On 12th June a public hearing was held during which the Pinkham Way Alliance was to expand their objections to these plans. The Alliance concluded that instead of being a 15-year planning strategy for north London’s waste, the NLWP was primarily developed to encompass North London Waste Authority strategy, which is to try and procure waste services for its seven member councils for a 30 year period. What should have been a plan-led process was being driven by longer-term financial needs – directly contrary to key principles of the UK planning system.

After five and a half years and the spending of millions of our pounds on the preparation of the NLWP, the hearing was suspended by the inspector after only 90 minutes. In his view, the plan appears legally unsound. He is concerned that the 7 NLWA councils failed in their duty to co-operate with neighbouring authorities outside London, which have historically accepted North London waste onto landfill sites.

The inspector gave the NLWA a short period of time to persuade him that it met its obligations to co-operate. If this can be proven to have happened, then the hearing will commence in the autumn. If not proven, then the North London Waste Plan is irretrievably damaged and the whole process will have to begin from the beginning again.

In the meantime, the Freehold Community Association (FCA), whose hall is right next to Pinkham Way Wood in Hollickwood Park, has applied for the Proposed Pinkham Way site to be made a Village Green. The FCA is asserting that since local residents have, as of right, used the wooded site as an amenity for over 20 years, that its use should remain. Their case will initially be assessed by an independent adjudicator. Haringey Council is sending letters to all who live within 1km of the site to ask for their opinion.

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