Cohousing Woodside Steering Group member Lys de Beaumont attended the local planning forum for the whole St Luke’s site on 29 January 2013. Patrick Devlin from architects PTEa gave a very good presentation to local residents on the St Luke’s scheme and afterwards he and Mike Johnson from Savills (on behalf of owner and developer Hanover Housing Association) answered questions.
The forum was excellently directed by Vincent Maher, a senior planning officer, from Haringey Council. It was explained that the planning application had been submitted, and now currently under consideration, was for 70% of the site to be designated for over 55 year olds and 30% would not be age restricted. Patrick Devlin had lots of slides of how the various parts of the site were going to look. Initial concerns voiced by local residents at the Forum were largely: the impact the scheme would have on local school applications coming from the 30% of the site that was not age restricted housing and they also wanted assurances on how the age restriction on the 70% would be enforced so that this did not further impact on pressure for local school places. Mike Johnson replied that this would be achieved by placing a covenant on the land title for future sales.
Many local residents were also concerned that the 173 dwellings planned on the site would also impact on local infrastructures ranging from GP surgeries to transport. There was general concern over the lack of parking places on the site and how this might impact on surrounding streets. In addition to these main concerns, residents in Grand Avenue were particularly interested in the height of the buildings on the site and how this would affect the outlook from their homes. Although there was some opposition to the scheme, some local residents spoke eloquently in favour of the scheme. Mike Johnson believed that, subject to planning permission being granted, construction would start in late autumn and take approximately two and a half years. Vincent Maher said that the plans would be printed out and on display in the local library the weekend of 2 February.