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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Calls to save Wood Green gasholder as new urban quarter plans blasted

Residents have demanded a historic gasholder is saved from demolition as plans to replace it with a “monolithic” new development were unveiled.

Included in the designs are up to 1,080 flats and houses, a park, offices and shops, giving a bold vision for the future of the industrial land.

But scathing residents blasted the scheme for ignoring Wood Green’s “quirky” identity and heritage at a public meeting.

Marcus Ballard, chairman of Parkside Malvern Residents Association, said: “We have a unique gasholder that is worth preserving. A gasholder could be turned into some sort of entertainment area, a design space, a performance space, all sorts of things. The best ideas around the world are coming up with things like that - and the best thing you can do is think the way Shopping City did years ago.

“I’m incredibly disappointed with this application. It turns its back on the best bits of Wood Green.”

Colin Marr, 71, a retired engineer, of Methuen Park, Muswell Hill, described the design as a “bland series of monolithic blocks that look like cliffs” and said it was “indistinguishable from anything you might find from Walsall to Basingstoke”.

The London Development Agency and National Grid own the land which borders Wood Green cultural quarter, Shopping City, Hornsey Park Road and the East Coast Mainline rail track.

Other developments on a similar scale have retained gas rings - including a listed gasholder in Kings Cross and another in Dublin which has been converted into luxury flats apartments.

But agent for the Heartlands scheme Myra Barnes said dismantling and reassembling gasholders to remove gas tanks underneath made them difficult structures to incorporate.

She said: “Generally that happens when the structure is considered to be unique and listed - like in Kings Cross. In this case English Heritage have indicated on three occasions that they do not think this is worth saving.”

She described the Heartlands scheme as “design-led” and “a quality development”.

Residents also raised concerns about lost jobs from the demolition of Olympia Trading Estate and increased traffic congestion in Hornsey Park Road.

They complained the meeting on Wednesday, May 25 was “premature” saying questions about building density, light obstruction and children’s play-space were not answered.


(Story from Hornsey Journal)

Tags for Forum Posts: conservation, gasholder", haringey heartlands, hornsey

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I meant to add there is an "information drop in session" at Wood Green Library until 7 this evening...

I went  to the Library this afternoon, spoke to Peter Elms (www.localdialogue.com) and learned the following: the earliest demolition will commence is June 2014; there will be 24 lorries maximum (at peak) leaving the site daily; the working hours are between 08.00 and 18.00 Monday to Friday and 08.00 to 12.30 on Saturday; they predict this will take 30 weeks to complete; the lorries will exit the site south on Mary Neuner Road/Clarendon Road onto Turnpike Lane (nfd).

The death sentence for the gasholders was sealed with the approval of the Haringey Heartlands scheme in 2011. I am sorry to learn that the delayed execution is scheduled for next year.


It is a sad truth that English Heritage failed to list the smaller and most historic gas holder, and this paved the way for the land-owner National Grid getting planning permission for demolition and development on the site. Unfortunately, the first application for listing failed because English heritage misunderstood the geodesic design principle that was so far advanced for this Victorian structure, which dates from 1892. Although English Heritage conceded they were wrong, they found it too difficult to climb down and reverse their decision, and it was refused again on appeal.


The loss of this historic structure is one thing – the loss of an opportunity for imaginative reuse as a landmark building in Haringey Heartlands is additionally sad.


Neither of the gasholders has been in use in recent years. The last time I saw them raised was in December 2009 – see photograph taken from Alexandra Park. For the smaller one, this represents almost continuous use for 117 years – not bad for such an innovative light-weight structure! It deserved a better fate.




It's a real shame that the gasholders couldn't be saved. Is it accepted by all that they will be demolished or are there any continuing campaigns to save them?

I also think it is really sad. They are beautiful in their industrial way and I always admire them.  When you see them against a blue sky they are absolutely stunning landmarks. It is very sad that people think som ugly huge buildings will be better than to use this space with imagination especially with the creative Chocolate Factory next to them. I also worry that instead of walking through a reasonably green space with some stimulating sights our kids are going to have to walk to Heartlands High through a building site with 24 lorries a day..... Haringey at its best - NOT 



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