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Whittington Park users upset by bid to bulldoze pub to build flats

18:40 16 August 2012

Concerned residents Zareer Masani, Tricia Clarke and Keith Macfarlane outside The Good Intent

Concerned residents Zareer Masani, Tricia Clarke and Keith Macfarlane outside The Good Intent

Dieter Perry

Concerns are growing over plans to bulldoze a pub to make way for housing on the edge of a treasured park.

The Good Intent, Wedmore Street, Upper Holloway, is the latest watering hole that could be replaced with homes after owners TGI Taverns decided it is not a viable business.

But the proposal to build six three-storey town houses in its place has sparked worries over the damage that could be done to Whittington Park.

The pub sits on land that cuts into the much-loved green space, which surrounds it on three sides.

Library assistant Keith Macfarlane, 63, of Yerbury Road, said: “The park means a great deal to so many people and has grown to be a very important part of the lives of local people. People messing around with it are viewed with a lot of contempt and hostility.”

Residents are angry that the land will no longer be open to the community – and they fear the development will create a sense of encroachment because of its size.

They are getting together to oppose the scheme, which goes before town hall planning chiefs in the autumn, and have started a petition.

Mr Macfarlane added: “At the moment, The Good Intent doesn’t impress or impact on park users. It’s not in your face, but the block they’re intending to build would be three storeys and it won’t improve the aesthetic at all.”

Tricia Clarke, 58, treasurer of the Friends of Whittington Park, said: “The development will be out of scale and it will change the character of that end of the park.

“It will also remove that large section of the park from public use, because at the moment, anyone can go into the pub. The whole area will be out of access.”

Jon Murch, of TGI Taverns’ planning agent Savills, said planning permission was previously granted for an extension that would have reached the same height as the new plan. He added: “We have a proposal we feel happy with and that is consistent with planning policies in regards to overlooking neighbouring properties. The pub is in a unique setting and we think the design responds very well to that.”

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