Sample Letters

If you object to the idea of building a tower block complex on 500 White Hart Lane, here are some sample letters. They are of the type you can send to Haringey’s planning department.

Please don’t copy and paste the actual letters, though! The planners need to see that each letter comes from an individual person or family, and accurately represents what they think! Please use these sample letters as guides.

If you’re having difficulty coming up with good things to say, please drop us an email at info@devonshirehill.org.uk and we’d be more than happy to come and give you a hand!

If you’re too busy to write, even a note saying “I object to the plans for 500 White Hart Lane,” with your name and address would help! Click on this link and click the “Comment on Application” button.







Sample Letter #1: multiple reasons


Haringey Council
Planning and Building Control
6th Floor
River Park House
225 High Road
Wood Green
London
N22 8HQ

MY NAME
MY ADDRESS
LONDON N17

Ref: HGY/2016/0828, 500 White Hart Lane


TODAY'S DATE

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to oppose the development of the above site on several counts.

1. The sheer density is unacceptable in this location. This is a suburban area over a mile from any urban centre or train/tube connections.

2. Seven storeys is far too high for this area, which consists almost exclusively of 2 storey houses with some loft extensions. The industrial buildings next door are equivalent to 3 storeys at most.

3. The facilities are not adequate for 145 dwellings (which I’ve noticed has increased since the last proposal).

4. On match days and carboot sale days it is virtually impossible to cross the road now. What it would be like after this is built I shudder to think.

5. It is absurd to suggest that the layout will stop anti-social behaviour. The pure density and the distance from urban centres will only encourage it, as it has been proved in the past.

6. Car parking is insufficient and it will mean more problems for the surrounding area, which will have to cope with the overflow.

Finally the proposal sent out in December was delivered in our neighbourhood at 7.00am the day after the Development Management Forum held on the 10th of December.

This meant that residents directly affected by the proposal were not told anything about the scale of the development until AFTER the so-called consultation meeting!

Yours sincerely,

MY NAME







Sample Letter #2: short letter; density


Haringey Council 
Planning and Building Control 
6th Floor 
River Park House 
225 High Road 
Wood Green 
London 
N22 8HQ 

MY NAME
MY ADDRESS
LONDON N17

Ref: HGY/2016/0828 


TODAY'S DATE

Dear Sir/Madam,

I object to Spurs' plans to develop 500 White Hart Lane. The area is suburban, not appropriate for the proposed 7-storey high-density housing.

Yours sincerely,

MY NAME







Sample Letter #3: change of land usage


Haringey Council 
Planning and Building Control 
6th Floor 
River Park House 
225 High Road 
Wood Green
London 
N22 8HQ 

MY NAME
MY ADDRESS
LONDON N17

Ref: HGY/2016/0828 


TODAY'S DATE

Dear Sir/Madam,

I write to you today in opposition to the plans to develop 500 White Hart Lane into a residential housing complex. The proposed project directly conflicts with Haringey Council’s published Local Plan. Specifically:

“The Council will safeguard the following sites as Locally Significant Industrial Sites (LSIS) for a range of industrial uses (B1 (b), (c), B2 and B8) where they continue to meet demand and the needs of modern industry and business: … White Hart Lane, N17.” page 91, Local Plan 5.1

500 White Hart Lane is designated as a safeguarded area. Transforming it into a residential complex, with a small office in one corner to allow it to be billed as “mixed use,” would undermine these directives. Since high-density housing is very profitable at the moment, it would set a dangerous precedent. In a few years the entire White Hart Lane industrial/commercial strip would be transformed into high-density flats, rendering the “safeguarding” meaningless.

“The Council has adopted the definition of Tall and Large Buildings as those which are substantially taller than their neighbours, have a significant impact on the skyline…” 6.1.16, page 112. 

“The Council considers that currently only two areas, Haringey Heartlands/Wood Green and Tottenham Hale, have sites that may be suitable for some tall or large buildings. This is because they are close to major transport interchanges, have been designated in the London Plan as an Opportunity Area (Tottenham Hale) and an Area for Intensification (Haringey Heartlands/ Wood Green) and have existing adopted Masterplan Frameworks.”

“Elsewhere tall buildings are considered inappropriate to Haringey’s predominantly 2-3 storey residential suburban character...” 6.1.1.8, page 112.

The plan to build multiple 5-7 storey towers, substantially taller than the 2 storey houses nearby, clearly conflicts with these goals. 500 White Hart Lane does not fall into either of the two areas in Haringey designated as appropriate for tall buildings, and is located at a considerable distance (1.5 km) from any transport interchange. Bus transport is overcrowded and poor.

The proposed project, which would essentially double the local population overnight without improving transportation or other amenities, does not justify violating these or any related goals in Haringey’s Local Plan.

Yours faithfully,

MY NAME







Sample Letter #4: population increase


Haringey Council 
Planning and Building Control 
6th Floor 
River Park House 
225 High Road 
Wood Green 
London 
N22 8HQ 

MY NAME
MY ADDRESS
LONDON N17

Ref: HGY/2016/0828 


TODAY'S DATE

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am a resident at XXX Devonshire Hill Lane, N17 XXX. I strongly object to the proposed development at 500 White Hart Lane. There are many reasons why it would be a disaster for our neighbourhood.

The Devonshire Hill area is a neighbourhood of quiet, leafy streets. The houses are nearly all two storey terraces and semi-detached houses. Jamming an enormous residential complex with seven-storey towers into this area is not appropriate development. I have not met a single person in my neighbourhood who is favour of the project.

The tower blocks would loom over the surrounding houses, and would result in at least 400-500 people being parachuted into the neighbourhood. That would be fine for an urban area next to a railway or tube station, but this is not that kind of area. We are a mile from the nearest station, there are hardly any shops or parks, doctors’ surgeries are far away and are turning away NHS patients, and the local schools are full. This is clearly a recipe for a massive increase in antisocial behaviour.

Also, I note with disappointment that the invitation to attend the forum on 10 December 2015 was delivered the morning after the meeting occurred. I don’t think any further elaboration is required on that point.

Yours sincerely,

MY NAME







Sample Letter #5: pressure on transport


Haringey Council 
Planning and Building Control 
6th Floor 
River Park House 
225 High Road 
Wood Green 
London 
N22 8HQ 

TODAY'S DATE

MY NAME
MY ADDRESS
LONDON N17

Ref: HGY/2016/0828 


I am writing regarding the proposal to build housing at 500 White Hart Lane. I do not understand how this plan claims to benefit the community. It is clear that the notion of large residential blocks, no matter how “beautiful” the landscaping that would be wedged in between them, would not benefit the existing residents of the community and would not benefit anyone who moved in.

Adding hundreds of new residents, miles from the nearest tube station, would mean more pressure on local buses. The only nearby local bus is the W3. Today it’s impossible to board the W3 towards Wood Green in the morning - the buses are so full they refuse to stop for passengers. Adding more residents would not help matters.

The entire neighbourhood is two-storey in nature. Why would tower blocks benefit this area?

In short, I object to this poorly thought-out proposal and urge Haringey planning not to permit it to go ahead.

MY NAME







Sample Letter #6: poor state of the existing site; multiple objections


Haringey Council 
Planning and Building Control 
6th Floor 
River Park House 
225 High Road 
Wood Green 
London 
N22 8HQ 

TODAY'S DATE

MY NAME
MY ADDRESS
LONDON N17

Ref: HGY/2016/0828 


I object to the planning proposal for 500 White Hart Lane. Spurs have allowed the land to became a spot of shame in the neighbourhood. Compared to the clean, busy shops and warehouses next door, 500 is a run-down shambles filled with rubbish.

Now Spurs claim to want to "regenerate" the spot, by turning it into a large block of flats. They claim it will improve the neighbourhood to have 7 storey towers with hundreds of people living in a small plot of land. How will these people get to work when there are no stations nearby? Where will the children play when there are no playgrounds except in Enfield?

If Spurs are unwilling to develop the land properly as Selco and other companies has done, they should sell it.

MY NAME







Sample Letter #7: size and density

Haringey Council
Planning and Building Control
6th Floor
River Park House
225 High Road
Wood Green
London
N22 8HQ

MY ADDRESS

DATE

Ref: HGY/2016/0828

1st April 2016

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to object to the proposed development at 500 White Hart Lane. 

I believe this proposal is far too big for the site. It is far too high at 7-5 storeys, and the buildings will tower over local 2 storey semis. It breaches Haringey’s own Design requirements for tall buildings. This is not an area designated for tall buildings. If this were approved the owners of the industrial sites will inevitably sell up and redevelop.

It is also far too dense for the location. It is 1.5 miles from Wood Green tube station. White Hart Lane is a one-lane suburban link road, with a school, nursery, leisure centre, as well as suburban semis, which Haringey has now limited to 20mph. Provision of 70 parking spaces – less than 1 for every 2 flats – is completely unrealistic and will lead to people parking in the surrounding streets.

I believe this proposal is opposed by the vast majority of my neighbours because it is completely out of scale compared to the surrounding buildings. 

I understand the developers have permission to build 4 storeys. I believe that this would be broadly acceptable but 7 storeys cannot be reasonable – for us or the poor people expected to live there.

Yours sincerely,

MY NAME







Sample Letter #8: traffic congestion

Haringey Council
Planning and Building Control
6th Floor
River Park House
225 High Road
Wood Green
London
N22 8HQ

MY ADDRESS

DATE

Ref: HGY/2016/0828

Dear Sir/Madam,

I would like to object to the 500 White Hart Lane development. This proposal is far too large and it will affect the surrounding area in a negative way. Our area is very definitely suburban, not “urban” as the developers pretend. The only justification for the “urban” label are the industrial units themselves, but these are situated surrounded by suburban housing, allotments and playing fields.  

White Hart Lane is a 20mph single-lane suburban road with road humps by the New River Leisure Centre. I believe that the traffic on White Hart Lane, which is already very busy and congested, will become considerably worse with the introduction of such a large community whose only means of entry and exit will be directly onto the road. 

I believe that the developer’s agents who write reports pretending to ‘model’ traffic movement are making unrealistic assumptions which are not credible. If the Planning Department wishes to take this forward can I propose that you engage in traffic monitoring on White Hart Lane to test the current usage, and question the assumption that 145 flats will be able to rely on a mere 70 car parking spaces! 

In fact at one time White Hart Lane may have been considered a major road. But at the junction there is now a nursery alongside it and a school further along. Despite the low intensity industrial units, it is located entirely within a residential area. The capacity of White Hart Lane for absorbing more local traffic is extremely limited.

At present even on ordinary days White Hart Lane gets congested, leading to cars diverting onto our road, Devonshire Hill Lane, which is not supposed to be a through road. 

Parking in the surrounding area is near-impossible during market days and when Spurs is playing at home.
The ASDA petrol station attracts a large number of cars and there is frequent traffic congestion around that area. 
During the morning school run it is impossible to board a W3 bus, which is the only means of getting to Wood Green. 

I would like you to consider seriously the added impact of the proposed 140+ residencies would have in the area and in particular in relation to traffic, transport and parking. 

Yours faithfully

MY NAME







Sample Letter #9: social housing

Haringey Council
Planning and Building Control
6th Floor
River Park House
225 High Road
Wood Green
London
N22 8HQ

MY ADDRESS

DATE

Ref: HGY/2016/0828

Dear Sir/Madam,

I would like to raise my concern regarding the accounting of the number of social housing units made available in the 500 White Hart Lane development. 

500 White Hart Lane is a major development and as such, the developers are obligated to offer at least 40% of units as so-called “affordable” housing, i.e. offer them for rental at between 45 and 80% of the market rent (figures from Haringey Council’s Housing Strategy 2015-2020, draft for consultation). 

In the QUOD report it is stated that the 500 White Hart Lane development will help Haringey Council re-house some of the Love Lane residents. 

This development is clearly tied to the Spurs redevelopment in Tottenham. I understand that Haringey Council has agreed to sell the land occupied by Love Lane to Spurs Football Club, and therefore has the responsibility to find alternative accommodation for the Love Lane residents. 

My point is that it follows that this rehousing must not enable double-counting of the developers’ social obligations. However, many Love Lane residents are rehoused, this number must be understood to be entirely irrelevant to the requirement to offer additional affordable housing units!

The developers must not be permitted to avoid their obligations to provide new spaces for affordable rent simply because they have been party to making other council residents homeless. 

Yours sincerely

MY NAME







Sample Letter #10: poor consultation

Haringey Council
Planning and Building Control
6th Floor
River Park House
225 High Road
Wood Green
London
N22 8HQ

MY ADDRESS

DATE

Ref: HGY/2016/0828

Dear Sir/Madam,

I would like to raise my profound objection to this development and raise my concern in relation to the lack of consultation and public engagement with the local residents. 

It appears from material posted on the planning website that there have been various consultations with a number of groups including Love Lane residents but consultation with the residents of the neighbourhood most affected by this development has been negligible.

The only attempt to engage with the local community was a presentation by the Applicant to the LBH Development Management Forum on the 10th of December 2015 which I attended. This was a very poorly-advertised meeting, and as a result, was attended by six in total local residents. Ironically (and a suspicious person would say, deliberately) the presentation material was posted through the neighbourhood’s doors at 7am the day after the event. 

The Council has a statutory duty to consult the residents of the neighbourhood affected. Consultation with prospective residents is frankly irrelevant. 

It is extremely insulting to local residents to discover that prospective tenants are being encouraged to choose colour schemes, décor and landscaping for a series of buildings that have simply not been consulted on locally. Personally, I am strongly in favour of social housing, but the Council’s failure to consult with residents who live close to the site is extremely socially divisive. 

My recollection of the meeting was that all residents who attended were opposed to the height and scale of the development. Serious concerns were raised about the impact of the development on public transport and the inevitable increase of traffic, and the inadequate parking provision. 

In addition, residents raised concerns about an absence of local amenities such as shops, GPs surgeries and community spaces. Introducing a large number of new residents without addressing these issues would impact negatively on new and existing residents. 

Yours sincerely

MY NAME







Sample Letter #11: size and lack of amenities

Haringey Council
Planning and Building Control
6th Floor
River Park House
225 High Road
Wood Green
London
N22 8HQ

Ref: HGY/2016/0828

Dear Sir/Madam,

My main concern is that this is a very large development in a relatively small area: an area with poor transport links and limited public services.  The proposal aims to introduce 145 2, 3, and 4 bedroom flats, amounting to around 500 people, in our neighbourhood. 

By comparison, Devonshire Hill Lane, from the Great Cambridge Road end to Norfolk Avenue end, consists of at most 200 small two-storey houses, housing around 500 residents. This will mean that your decision to allow this one development could double the population of our neighbourhood in one stroke. 

This will affect the neighbourhood adversely in many ways. I will list only two: pressure on local amenities and transport.

1. Local amenities – this is an area with very few amenities for the existing population. There are few shops, pubs, cafes, restaurants, community places, or areas for young people and families. 

The nearest GP surgery is in Lordship Lane. GP surgeries on this side of the Borough are so scarce that it is well-known that local people end up in North Middlesex A&E to be treated, with the result that the A&E frequently has a waiting time of six hours. How are these prospective new residents and families with children going to be looked after or entertain themselves? Where are they going to shop, and in which school, nursery and GP surgery are they to be enrolled?

The one asset of the area (including the Enfield side) that is attractive for young people is the multiple green spaces. But these parks are underdeveloped ‘recreation grounds’. They are exposed spaces containing no cafes and limited shelter. 

2. Traffic, public transport and parking – The ratio of flats to parking spaces is completely unrealistic. The absence of good transport links will mean that people will use cars, and the lack of parking space will mean that new residents will inevitably park their cars on surrounding streets. 

In addition, the proposed industrial/retail units will need parking for themselves. By comparison, on existing industrial units (e.g. Screwfix and Selco), according to Google’s satellite view, parking spaces occupy between 25% and 50% of each site.

From what we can see, in the past the acceptance of high density housing proposals by Haringey Council has been dependent on developments being positioned next to major transport hubs (i.e. tube stations and railway stations). The impact on traffic congestion is thereby minimised.

500 White Hart Lane is not such a location. The site is 1.2 miles from Wood Green tube station and a similar distance from White Hart Lane Station. There is only a W3 bus linking us to Wood Green and White Hart Lane and Northumberland Park stations. This bus is heavily crowded, and during the morning rush hour impossible to board because it is full of schoolchildren.

The scale and density of the development is well outside the parameters of any scheme in the neighbourhood. The entire neighbourhood consists of two-storey 30s houses with parking. My understanding is that the limit in this area for development is three storeys including loft extensions. 

I cannot how you can justify seven-storey buildings on this site, and surely this will establish a precedent for the other sites on White Hart Lane, encouraging the current owners of the land to develop likewise. I understand that the developers have had the planning permission for four storeys: I think this would be on the borderline of acceptability given the hillside location.

In summary:

By contrast to the suburban neighbourhood, this development is a high-rise, high-density estate with limited parking, on a site which will inevitably require far greater car use than is projected by the developers. It is a fantasy to imagine that large numbers of residents will use bicycles (local cycle routes all run along major roads), or that young families will push their pushchairs all the way to Wood Green. 

This development will change the character of the neighbourhood for the worse. It will mean additional pressure on already sparse amenities and overcrowding. With few free activities in the local area, we can expect anti-social problems to develop over time. Lack of transport will trap young people and families on the estate.

I believe that it is the duty of the Council and the planners to properly consider these issues and insist on solutions, instead of allowing developers to dominate local neighbourhoods they do not live in, in order to make a maximum profit. So when you are considering a multi-million pound development you must consider what the impact will be on local resources, amenities, and so on. 

Many of these amenities will be in the London Borough of Enfield. I would like to know what consideration has been given to consult with councillors and residents of that borough, given the inevitable pressure on Enfield GPs and schools, the Boundary Playing Fields/Tottenhall Recreation Ground, Norfolk Avenue residents, etc.

I therefore must ask you to reject this development and ask the developers to go back to the drawing board, and draw a smaller, lower-rise development with more parking spaces and include more amenities. 

Yours sincerely

MY NAME
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