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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

St Ann's Meadow is a strip of land between Finsbury Park Avenue (by Sainsbury's) and Hermitage Road.  It is wooded and full of wildlife.  The owner is cutting down all the vegetation and tall trees (27 May).

The Council will not interfere as it is private land.

The Health and Safety Executive will not interfere, even though the people employed for doing the work are not using protective equipment.

About 40 houses abut this land.

Given all that is said about the benefit of greenery from many points of view, what could be done to stop it?

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I'm not quite sure who came up with the romanticised name of St Ann's Meadow. It used be known as Stadium Slopes because essentially it's built on the waste from the building, then demolition, of Harringay Stadium. Before that, it was the site of the old pottery works. Then it was used as an illicit waste tip by Stoke Newington Council, much to the chagrin of Tottenham Borough and the authorities of St Ann's Hospital. Going a few hundred years further back, it was owned by the order of St John's of Jerusalem (the Knights Templar) and was part of land known as the Hangers (and why St Anns Road used to be called Hanger Lane). So, if it must have an Elysian name, what about Hanger Green?

Apart from all that guff, a couple of useful bits of info. This topic came up on HoL four years ago. I don't know what came of that. But, as I said then, the land used to be a site of special scientific interest. I came across its registration as such when writing the Wikipedia articles on Harringay back in 2007. It used to be on a register kept by the Mayor of London on a website called London Wildweb. Last time round, I found an archived version of that page. As you'll see, it was graded as Borough Grade II. This suggests that the Council ought to have some interest. From what I can tell, the cabinet member responsible would be Kirtsen Hearn (also a councillor for Stroud Green). You might also contact one of the ward Councillors. I think Julie Davis may be worth a try.

It sounds like it might be a bit late this time round. But, given that this seems to be a regular issue, it might be worth getting it sorted for once and all. 

Here's the 2016 thread.

PS: Worth checking ownership with the Land Registry.

PPS: The Council's website still live-links to a copy of the 2009 Biodiversity Action Plan which includes mention of Harringay Stadium Slopes as a site of importance for nature conservation (SINC). Becuase it's still live-linked, I'm assuming it's the latest and therefore current plan. (A copy is attached lest it should suddenly disappear.) So, if it's part of a plan, the Council should be prepared to take action to defend it.


The area between Green Lanes and Chestnuts Park is known as the Harringay Levels? That’s news to me!

Just to understand, are they looking to redevelop this land?

I assume the notorious ex-Mayor Ali Gul Ozbek (owner of MedChem pharmacy) still has an ownership interest in this plot.


Ah, right. I'd quite forgotten that thread. It explains one thing and raises questions on others. Firstly, the name St Ann's Meadow sounds like it's definitely land-developerese. In that case, please, please DON'T use it...EVER!

I see from the publicly available info on the companies House website, that both directors, Ali Gul Ozbek and Dino Nicolaou live two doors apart on Finsbury Park Avenue, backing onto part of the Slopes land.

Do we know for sure that SAM Ltd own the land? I'm not sufficiently  au-fait with the land registry website to know how to search out anything other than a number property.

St Ann's Meadow (SAM) still owns the land; the directors are the people you mention; one owns and lets a house on Finsbury Park Avenue but Ali Ozbek no longer lives on the street.  There is a third director who lives in Harrogate.  They do intend to develop the land.

Cathy, I note that the attachment to your second reply this morning has a title suggesting that it was part of a planning proposal. Was this proposal ever formally submitted and determined? I've had a quick look at FP Avenue proposals and can't see anything.

I've just had a quick look at whether SINC status affords any protection in the dermination of planning applications. My understanding is that whilst it doesn't offer statutory protection, there is specific mention of SINCs and their relation to planning decisions in the London plan. This can be significant if the Council wishes it so to be.

Haringey planning decisions can be a bit of a law unto themselves and I've seen too many occasions when they bend the rules to suit the outcome they desire. But there are signs that there is a significant presence in the current cabinet that is willing to challenge the malpractice of the past. So, if there's a group of you determined to fight any development, it's worth your beginning to build relationships in the Council that might be brought into play in the future. No doubt Mr. Gul has had plenty of time to do that. 

Thanks Hugh, we'll do that.

They are planning to eradicate all greenery including large trees, and spray weedkiller (says the contractor).  This might be a strategy to stop residents  using 'preservation of biodiversity' as an argument against development.

I can't think of another interpretation of this drastic action.

If I were you, I'd get in touch with my councillor PDQ.

Great. Is she the one that gets things done on your side of the high road? Of course, I’d gotten ahead of myself. Until the new boundaries come into effect, the land is in Seven Sisters Ward. Perhaps Barbara will be willing to get involved on the basis that it’s soon to be in St Ann’s Ward. 

Yes, you're quite right, Peter, it will be part of Hermitage and Gardens ward following the next local elections in 2022.



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