Front Boundary Treatments
The Highgate Society is keen to foster and promote an appreciation of the importance of original boundary walls and fences, in conjunction with the mature trees and shrubs of front gardens. These features are central to the quality and character of the street scene, and represent a strong link to the area’s historic development. They are not permitted to be altered or removed without planning permission. While the Society understands that homeowners may be anxious to upgrade security measures around their properties, it is important to stress that within a statutorily designated Conservation Area, individual demands are secondary to the overall integrity and preservation of the Area’s appearance and meaning, and Borough planning decisions will be made according to these parameters. Therefore, the loss of original front walls and fences and their replacement with inappropriately high entrance gates, impermeable designs and excessive security measures will generally not be approved, as they are considered undesirable and damaging to Highgate’s heritage setting. If replacement walls and fences are deemed necessary, then their materials and design should follow the established format of those extant historic examples within the vicinity of the streetscape.
In addition to the above, the Highgate Society also has concerns about the increasing numbers of applications to enlarge or introduce areas of hardstanding in front of houses for use as private parking. These can be highly detrimental to the appearance of the Conservation Area, particularly when unsuitable materials are used, such as tarmac or concrete brick block paving. Any new hardstanding should be constructed using SuDS – Sustainable Drainage Systems – which tend to rely on impermeable surfaces designed to reduce run-off flooding and improve environmental amenity by simulating natural drainage activity, thus avoiding the direct channelling of surface water via pipes and sewers into nearby watercourses. It is also important to point out that the associated formation of new crossovers, dropped kerbs and driveways compound the parking pressures in the locality through the loss of on-street parking bays, and are particularly problematic in the areas adjacent to the commercial centres of Archway Road and Highgate Village.
Please see Highgate Neighbourhood Plan Policies DH6, TR3 and TR5 for a clear explanation of relevant policy and guidelines.