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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Anyone interested in local history, Lotus Cars or F1 may wish to know about a recent planning application to demolish the site where Lotus racing Cars began in Tottenham Lane in 1953

Planning Application No. HGY/2015/0311http://www.haringey.gov.uk/sites/haringeygovuk/files/register_of_lo...

I have just submitted my own objection (below) and urge others to look at the application and make their own comments to the application


I wish to state that I object to the application to demolish existing buildings on site at 11 Tottenham Lane N8 next to what was The Railway Hotel and the original home to Colin Chapman’s Lotus Motor Car Racing Company Factory.

Although the address of the application is stated as 11 Tottenham Lane it does include what is listed at http://www.haringey.gov.uk/sites/haringeygovuk/files/register_of_lo... as No. 7 Tottenham Lane, the site of Lotus cars in the 1950s.

In 1984, with the agreement of Haringey Council, Club Lotus erected a memorial plaque on one of the original Lotus office buildings.

In 2004 Haringey Council added 7 Tottenham Lane to its Register of Local Listed Buildings.

Yet on the application, by a person in Yorkshire, with seemingly no local connection, interest or knowledge to demolish many buildings on this historic site (now Jewson’s Builders yard) seems to make no mention of Colin Chapman, Lotus cars, listed building status or the plaque.

No mention is made of plans to even relocate the plaque.

I am very concerned that yet again one of Hornsey’s remaining buildings of historic interest and importance will disappear with the collusion of Haringey Council’s Planning Department and Committee.

We are currently seeing our historic bathhouse frontage being demolished with no attempt by the council to protect it despite concerns by local residents.

I am particularly upset by the potential loss of this site as Hornsey Village - A Walk which I co-wrote was only published in August 2014 (by Hornsey Historical Society, of which I am a member) where the historic importance of the site was highlighted on page 21 as follows:-

This was originally The Railway Hotel, a country inn with a spacious tea garden, adjacent to Great Northern Railway, which opened in 1850, with Hornsey as the first station out of London. The Railway Hotel was later managed by the father of Colin Chapman who established the Lotus Engineering Company here in 1951 and developed Lotus sports cars. These motor racing, award-winning cars were built behind the pub until 1959 when the company moved to Cheshunt. A plaque commemorating Chapman and the Lotus Company is on the building to the right of the entrance to Jewson’s builders yard.

A photo of the plaque can be seen at http://colinchapmanmuseum.org.uk/

To find that one of the featured sites will be gone in less than a year after publication is shocking.

I wonder if this would be allowed to happen elsewhere in the borough other than Hornsey?

Is the council aware that this is a locally listed building?

Why has the owner not been made to refer to the listed status and the plaque in the application?

I hope the council do not permit such desecration of our historic past and lack of respect for Colin Chapman, a man of recognised national importance.

I strongly object to this planning application

Tags for Forum Posts: colin chapman, lotus, lotus cars

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Lesley

The best hope is to write ASAP to English Heritage to ask them to spot list the building because of its historic interest. Enclose as much historical evidence as possible. It would be better if this was supported by Hornsey Historical Society. Also the 20th Century Society, and the Lotus people.

Straw Cat, I'm very surprised that the Colin Chapman Museum people, who've been around for several years now, haven't tried to get the buildings listed already. Maybe they have applied, and been turned down?

The Chapman Museum people applied for and were granted planning permission to turn these buildings into a museum. But Jewson's wouldn't give them up ( understandably perhaps - why should they ? ). The best business plan we could come up with forecast a loss of £ tens of thousands a year so sadly we decided that the museum was a non-starter.

I personally agree with Tris - Jewson's buildings have lain derelict and unused for years: there is now no trace inside of the Lotus Works; all that we have is the façade. It would be better to bring the site into use. For the heritage, we have the photographs and the published reminiscences.

There are plenty of blue plaques in London that say " Near here was the site of ..... "

There are many buildings which are not listed for their aesthetic appeal but because they are associated with historic events. This is a separate category of listing. Ally Pally is partly an example. That said EH are biased towards architecture so if Le Corbusier or Lord Rogers didn't design the Lotus works ...

Lesley should definitely contact GLIAS and the 20th century society though.

Many thanks to all for their interest and info.

Club Lotus now have a posting http://www.clublotus.co.uk/news/club-news-events/jewsons-hornsey-to... but whether they will object or not???

The Colin Chapman (virtual) Museum http://colinchapmanmuseum.org.uk/ have yet to update their info although i did notify them of the planning application.

I do agree the remaining Lotus building is in poor condition and has no aesthetic/architectural importance I do feel that the local listed status should at least be mentioned - even though this seems to confer no protection (as evidenced by the major works carried out on Hornsey Parish Hall where the council were not aware that work was being undertaken and when advised completely ignored it despite being locally listed).

I just hope that the plaque is found a safe and prominent new home on one of the site buildings. I wonder if the owner is even aware of the history of the site - or cares?

Cetainly one of Jewson's employees who i met when researching Hornsey Village Walk was aware and even said that no one could touch the building due to the Lotus connection - of course unless EH list it this is not the case unfortunately. As EH refused to list Hornsey baths i can't see them doing so for this ramshackle structure.

Let's hope my objection, and any others, at least makes the council aware and makes them direct the owner to protect the plaque.

Just to update people about this. So far 18 people have responded to the application. All object. They come from far and near. From Haringey to California.

It was good to see the Club Lotus Chairman and members respond.

It would be nice a f a few more more Haringey residents also responded.

Thanks to those who have already.

Planning application refused by council after 63 objections received from all over the world.  Seehttp://www.planningservices.haringey.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=279416



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