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HTH Construction Steering Group Minutes – 27 April 2022

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24 May 2022
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Attendees

Beth Park (SEC Newgate UK) Chair (BP)
Laura Griffiths (SEC Newgate UK) Secretary (LG)
Mark Afford (Crouch End Conservation Area Advisory Committee) (MA)
Alison Boulter (Far East Consortium) (AB)
Amanda Carrara (Crouch End Festival) (AC)
Cllr Luke Cawley-Harrison (Haringey Council) (LCH)
Susan Cooper (Resident Representative) (SC)
Chris Currer (Crouch End Festival) (CC)
Lewis Freeman (Crouch End Traders) (LF)
Katy Ghahremani (Make Architects) (KG)
Graeme Jennings (Hornsey Town Hall Trust) (GJ)
Scott Lau (Far East Consortium) (SL)
Robbie McNaugher (Haringey Council) (RM)
Miranda Pattinson (Resident Representative) (MP)
Joe Pitt (Ardmore Construction) (JP)
Paul Botten (Ardmore Construction) (PB)
Nick Poon (Far East Consortium) (NP)
Liz Sich (Hornsey Town Hall Trust) (LS)
Paul Toyne (Resident Representative) (PT)
Angela Walsh (Far East Consortium) (AW)

Apologies:

Cllr Dawn Barnes (Haringey Council) (DB)
Tobias Finlayson (Haringey Council) (TF)
Benjamin Lesser (Hornsey Town Hall Trust) (BL)
Paul Toyne (Resident Representative) (PT)
Andrew Major (Time & Space Co.) (AM)
Cllr Tammy Palmer (Haringey Council) (TP)
Charlie Sharp (CENF) (CS)
Kathy Smith (Weston and Haringey Park Residents’ Association) (KS)

 

Attendance and introductions

BP took a roll call of attendees.

Approval of previous meeting minutes

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

MA and MP queried receiving a recent circulation of the minutes. BP explained that the minutes had been recirculated the previous evening alongside a copy of the agenda and answers to attendees’ questions submitted in advance. LS confirmed she had received this.

BP agreed to reissue the email following the meeting. 

Programme update 

BP explained that this agenda item would focus on launch dates for the opening of the Town Hall Square, fit out of The Arts Centre spaces, and the sequence of the occupation of apartments in relation to the restoration of the Town Hall.

SL explained that the hoarding around the Town Hall Square had been removed by Ardmore and that works are progressing well. Installation of the benches has begun, and soil is being put down at present. The grass will be installed in the next three weeks. The materials have all been moved.

In terms of the fit out of The Arts Centre, SL explained that this will take place in the summer of 2022, subject to Town Hall works being completed in that space.

Regarding the occupation of apartments, SL said that the affordable housing units would be brought online in June, followed by Block A in late June and Block B in July. Following this, the Town Hall will be handed over for fit out purposes.

LCH asked if there was a rough date for reopening access to the Town Hall Square for the general public. SL explained that FEC is awaiting a detailed timeline for reopening from Ardmore but that they are aiming to complete their works on the Town Hall Square by the end of May. There would subsequently be a review and check of snagging areas, which would be completed by around mid-June. Following this, the fit out of the Town Hall will commence with anticipated opening being towards the end of 2022 or beginning 2023.

AW clarified that the upcoming reopening of the Town Hall Square would only be partial, with the area adjacent to where the previous Marketing Suite was located remaining closed off. This is in order to retain a construction area for the Town Hall. SL added that the new boundary for the site hoardings would be located behind the Town Hall Square trees but in front of the fountain area.

AC commented that there was little publicity on social media regarding the hoarding around the Town Hall Square being removed, except for a post on the Hornsey Town Hall Facebook page. AW responded that the latest photograph has been posted across the Hornsey Town Hall social media channels but that this was the extent of the content, as her team had only just been notified of the hoardings coming down. She has asked for Ardmore to send a programme timeline for the re-opening of the Town Hall Square, so that FEC can publicise this more widely.

Planning update

BP covered a question submitted in advance about timescales and responsibilities for the Community Use Plan. She explained that The TIME + SPACE Co. had met with the Hornsey Town Hall Trust at the end of February to discuss the Community Use Agreement. Both parties agreed that it needs to be revisited and shored up ahead of implementation. The revisit will look at the definition of community use at large and The TIME + SPACE Co. will then submit the revised Agreement to the Council for sign off.

MA queried whether the Community Use Plan was intended to be issued to the Council planning department as it is a pre-occupation condition.

AC asked if MA was talking about two separate things. MA confirmed that the Community Use Plan (CUP) is different from the Community Use Agreement (CUA) but acknowledged that the two are intrinsically linked. The CUA is a document attached to the lease, whereas the CUP is a planning condition that needs to be signed off.

LS reiterated the points by MA but explained that the Community Use Plan was written in 2017 with the definitions being deliberately wide ranging. However, LS reiterated that the intention was that the core objectives and obligations in the CUA would still stand. SL picked up on the planning submission point and said that there was a draft Community Use Plan in place that will be discussed with the Council planning department shortly and is close to being submitted.

BP then referred to the Public Access Plan, which MA had queried the status of. She confirmed that this is an obligation of the S106, rather than a planning condition, and that it is currently being assessed. SL said that the plan has been submitted to the Council planning department, who are reviewing and assessing it for approval.

BP then spoke about the Street Furniture Management Plan and confirmed that, as before, it cannot be progressed further at this stage due to F&B tenants not yet being in place.

SL then spoke about the Heritage Management Plan and confirmed that Ardmore will be reviewing this and liaising with Historic England. It will then be submitted to the Council.

BP raised a question from PT and LCH about the exterior staircase facing Weston Park, which they had assumed leads to the rooftop bar. BP confirmed that it has planning permission and that the approved planning drawing had been circulated to the group. KG expanded on this point, explaining that the stairs are in fact only for escape and access to the plant, before reconfirming that it was fully permitted and not for daily use.

LS asked when the Heritage Management Plan would be submitted but SL explained that there are still discussions to be had with Historic England – he would need to come back to LS on this.

LCH asked if there were any colour or material conditions which were required from Haringey Council in relation to the approved exterior staircase. KG explained that there weren’t, and that the staircase is metal. LCH then asked if it would remain the galvanised steel colour, which KG confirmed it would.

Public realm update

BP referred to MA’s query about “street clutter on The Broadway” and asked RM whether Haringey Council have confirmed the removal of seats and bins. RM explained that steps are being undertaken to finalise the design – he has attempted to get an answer regarding this but has not yet received a response. RM added that it wasn’t 100% clear if there would be funding for replacement bins and that items would be put back if they are functional, but it will all be wrapped up in the final design.

LCH asked who would be engaged on this, to which RM said he was unsure what the consultation provisions were due to it being related to S278 of the Highways Act, which sits with the Highways department. LCH said that if there aren’t already provisions in respect of this, it would be good to include the CSG in the discussions. RM agreed to check time frames.

AC explained that there was nervousness about what The Broadway would look like and asked how the CSG would be able to input into it. RM explained that the streetscape would be designed with the standard pallet of materials, but benches and bins would be put to the Highways team. He assumed that the existing benches would remain.

AC wanted to know where and when it would be known what the proposals are. LCH asked if the designs could be brought to the table, so that things like spacing could be discussed at an early point. RM said that this is the responsibility of the Council’s Highways department but that he hoped that they would engage with the CSG about it.

MA asked who would oversee making decisions and commented that retaining benches would be absurd in the section where the flood lighting and kiosks are still located. He asserted that there needs to be someone leading and making decisions regarding this and how it relates to the Town Hall Square. LS and AC agreed with MA, expressing concern that no one was taking a lead on this matter and stating that it would be a shame if everything was put back as it was.

Moving on to questions about the proposed BT Hubs along The Broadway, RM said that an appeal decision has not yet been reached. Haringey Council have sought to understand whether there is anything under the Planning Act that could be done. He suggested that a case could be put forward from a planning enforcement angle to demonstrate that the phone boxes are redundant.

RM said that the rest of the street clutter would be looked at by the Council Highways department and would be designed to modern standards. He is currently trying to get more details on this. LS responded that the Town Hall Square is supposed to be a showcase for Crouch End and that a holistic approach to consultation is needed. RM agreed with LS.

AC asked what could be done about this matter and RM said he would follow up with Highways. SL confirmed he had not seen anything on this and asked RM for a call the next day to move thing along. LCH asked if they could find out who the named lead at the Council would be, so that the group is informed of who has ownership of the issue.

BP returned to questions received about the possibility of a replacement bus shelter and whether the flood lights would be staying. RM said that money had been received in relation to this via the S106 agreement and currently sits with the Highways team.

SC expressed concern about the lack of information from Haringey Council and asked how the CSG would be informed of their decisions and plans for the area, including the Section 278 works and how decision making would be impacted. RM said he would take this question away and reassured that there would be an informal engagement process if there wasn’t a statutory one. SL asked if a written update on the matter could be provided to send on to the group in the next two weeks. RM agreed to this. AC reiterated that it would be important to report back before the next meeting as this is not taking place for another two months.

BP noted that AC had additional questions regarding benches on the Town Hall Square site itself. AC expressed concern about number of benches with backs and asked if this could be kept under review because it felt inadequate.

MP reiterated this and queried if it was practical to add backs on to the benches post-construction. KG explained that the design of the Square was based on Uren’s historic vision and is intended to keep everything as low level as possible, to allow a clear line of sight towards the Town Hall. Any changes to the seats would require a change to the planning consent and would be contrary to the historic design.

BP raised a question from AC about the status of the benches that had been removed from the Square and asked LCH if there was an update on moving them to Stationers Park. LCH said he would speak to the Parks Officer at the Council following the elections in May, if re-elected.

BP said that there had been a question from MA about signage along The Broadway. Speaking in AM’s absence, she explained that from an advertising perspective, The TIME + SPACE Co. currently have no plans for an advertising panel on The Broadway or the bus stop. However, this is likely to change in the future when key members of staff are appointed e.g. Head of Marketing & Communications. This is the same for Arts Centre signage on the Square.

MA asked whether there would be any other directional signage along The Broadway, such as legible London liths. SL responded that there would be signage on the Town Hall Square relating to The Arts Centre but that he would need to discuss directional signage with RM and the Highways department.

MA asked what the road surface at the turning point for Hatherley Gardens would be. SL explained that it was being looked at with Haringey Council presently, as part of the 278 works. The planning consent stipulates that it will be paved, however there are drainage issues there. SL is looking to provide confirmation on this in the next two weeks.

MA raised a point of information about how Haringey Council is looking to repair and repave the area to the back entrance of the development and asked when it would be opened up again. SL said that FEC don’t know when it will be completed because it is outside of the site boundary but noted it has been fenced off for some time.

MA then asked about when the gate at the back of the Town Hall gardens will be completed and opened. JP estimated that it will be October 2022.

Communications and Engagement

AW updated the group about Plus 1 Communications leading on and increasing communications. She reiterated that FEC is awaiting a timeline from Ardmore about the reopening of the Town Hall Square, in order to keep people informed. However, an end of summer event on the green is being considered, pending planning and licensing approval, as it is tied in with specific conditions.

AW said that other smaller events would be taking place for purchasers at the end of the Pera Kitchen unit and communications will increase around this once dates are confirmed. She also spoke about historic information being captured.

LS expressed her support for there being a single communications plan and asked if the outline would be shared. AW confirmed that there would be a PR campaign around the reopening but this will not be a plan which is shared as it will need to be fluid as the project moves forward and that Plus 1 Communications have also just been appointed to do the PR for the Arts Centre. AW reiterated the importance of FEC having a timeline towards the opening.

JP spoke about the hoarding around the Town Hall Square coming down and the grass being three weeks away from installation.

Preparations for the CUASG

BP explained that AM was not able to attend to present on this item due to an emergency. She reminded members that a note had been circulated providing information on preparations for the Community Use and Access Steering Group (CUASG).

Explaining further, BP stated that the agreed Terms of Reference state that the CUASG will begin six months before the building formally opens, as this is the point at which those conversations will begin to be meaningful and useful to members.

Membership of the CUASG shall as a minimum include representative(s) (or their nominees) from each of the following:

  • Crouch End ward councillor(s).
  • the Company.
  • the guarantor from time to time under the Lease.
  • any third-party operator appointed from time to time by the Company to manage the Community Use Spaces (“Community Use Operator”).
  • a maximum of one representative from the Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust or any successor body.
  • a maximum of two additional community groups, with a maximum of one representative from each group.

BP raised a question from MP about resident involvement, in particular around ensuring the Town Hall Square remains a public space. BP stated that, although local residents’ associations are not stipulated in the membership of the group, The TIME + SPACE Co. would look at the overall shortlist of groups and decide which would be most relevant to the aims of the group. The input of residents on the use of the Town Hall Square is welcomed and it is and always has been the intention to retain it as a public open space.

AW added that the Community Hub is now open on site for local residents to ask questions on the properties for sale, workspace bookings and the arts centre.

GJ said that Hornsey Town Hall Trust had been working with The TIME + SPACE Co. to make the Community Use Agreement watertight and that the definition of ‘use’ is being agreed. This includes considering things like technical assistance, cost and management, which need to be clarified.

AW said The TIME + SPACE Co. would be bringing specialists on board for this purpose but cannot do so until they have an operational date. AW asked if the minutes from the meeting between The TIME + SPACE Co. and Hornsey Town Hall Trust could be shared. GJ said he would speak to LS about this but didn’t foresee an issue.

MP spoke about the use of the Square as a public space, referencing the Policing Bill and whether a climate protest, for example, could take place. BP said that she would raise this question with AM.

MA said that some of these concerns might be touched upon in the Public Access Plan. GJ explained the Community Use Agreement is between FEC and the Council, and that is likely to include a clause where people can change things if agreed. MP expressed concern about local residents not having an input. GJ reiterated that the Town Hall Square is a public space, but that it has to be managed.

BP acknowledged those points and said that they would be shared with The TIME + SPACE Co.

MA asked who from Haringey Council would be in charge of the leasing. LCH said that there were a couple of people managing the process and that he had suggested to them that they join the CSG meetings. LCH asked if SL could raise this in his further discussions with RM.

Date of next meeting

BP stated that the date of the next meeting will be in two months, towards the end of June. Further details will be circulated in due course.

A.O.B

LCH stated that his future attendance depended on the results of the local elections. He thanked everyone for their work with the CSG so far.

BP brought the meeting to a close.

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Address HORNSEY TOWN HALL, THE BROADWAY, CROUCH END, LONDON N8 9JJ
Hornsey Town Hall is a development by CROUCH END (FEC) LIMITED, Ground Floor, 12 Stanhope Gate, London, W1K 1AW, England (a company incorporated in England and Wales with company number 10448866).
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