Sheppard Robson has won planning permission for a £75 million housing-led scheme on the site of a former department store in north London currently protected for use by Crossrail 2
The practice received planning consent from the London Borough of Haringey for the 197-home redevelopment of a one-time BHS store on Wood Green High Road.
Haringey Council approved the scheme, despite warnings from the mayor of London’s office that the scheme was in conflict with the London Plan over issues including use of land safeguarded for the cross-London rail route.
A section 106 agreement being drawn up by the council will ensure the Sheppard Robson project does not go ahead unless the mayor revokes measures protecting the site for use as part of a station to serve Crossrail 2.
The site, located near Turnpike Lane Tube station, is one of two options put forward as potential stations for Crossrail 2 with the other being Wood Green, further north.
Council planning officers said the housing development – which also includes a 134-room hotel as well as retail, office and restaurant facilities – would have a ‘positive impact’ on the on the appearance of the area.
Sheppard Robsons’s proposals would protect key local views and local heritage assets, added planners in a report to the committee.
A spokesperson for the council said: ’All matters raised by the Greater London Authority have been addressed. The developer, council and Transport for London will be signatories to a legal agreement to ensure adequate Crossrail 2 safeguarding is maintained.’
Residential units would be a mix of one to four-bedroom homes, with 40 per cent affordable, split between social rent and London Living Rent.
The practice said its plans – backed by developer Lazari Investments – would ‘breathe new life into the high street while acting as a catalyst for the area’s wider regeneration’.
‘Generous public space helps knit together the rich mix of uses, while providing respite from the bustle of the high street,’ said Sheppard Robson. ‘The courtyard – animated by retail and restaurant facilities as well as affordable workspace at ground floor level – adds permeability through the site, connecting the development to its surroundings.’
Residents will also benefit from two podium gardens and shared roof terraces. Landscape design has been carried out by Exterior Architecture.
The proposed buildings would stagger from eight to three storeys, responding to the liveliness and scale of the high road as well as the quieter, more residential character of Bury Road on the other side of the development.
‘Elevation proportions and materials have also been used to mediate between the different urban characters around the site, with the Bury Road and Wymark Avenue elevations made from brick, referencing the character of the Noel Park conservation area nearby,’ said the practice.
’Creating a grander scale along the high street, the double-height proportions of the north elevation follow the composition of the interlocking duplex apartments, ensuring all dual-aspect homes in this block have east-west orientation and views.
‘At the heart of the project, the design around the central courtyard adopts a lighter material quality to emphasise ground-floor uses and residential entrances, helping define a lively and inviting shared space.’
The scheme will return to the mayor’s office for Stage 2 determination shortly.
There’s much discussion about the changing nature of the high street and how our town centres will be impacted by big-box retail disappearing.
This project shows how a gap site left by a deep-plan, outmoded department store building can be repurposed to be agile to the needs of the evolving community.
The scheme provides compact retail units which will re-energise the high street and complement the residential and hotel use. Public realm is designed to form the focus of activity throughout the day and into the evening.
Dan Burr, partner, Sheppard Robson