Development & Heritage


“To preserve and enhance Highgate’s unique character.”

Why it matters

Highgate has a rich history of innovative design and many landmark buildings. It is renowned for its fine mix of Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, Arts and Crafts and modern architecture, and has a wealth of statutorily listed buildings. There are also three registered landscapes of special architectural or historic interest: Waterlow Park, Kenwood and Highgate Cemetery.

This richness of character and heritage is reflected in the fact that much of the Plan area is covered by designated conservation areas: Haringey Highgate Conservation Area; Camden Highgate Conservation Area; and the Holly Lodge Estate. The special interest of these areas, and strategies for managing change, are set out in the respective Conservation Area Appraisals and Management Plans (CAMP).

Despite its conservation area status, Highgate has recently suffered from insensitive development that has undermined the integrity and coherence of the conservation areas, their buildings and their settings.

What we’re doing


Monitoring planning applications at a strategic level to ensure Plan policies are being followed. We do this in collaboration with the Highgate Society, and our local Conservation Area Action Committees (CAACs).


Input on key development schemes in the area including Highgate School estate redevelopment and Channing Schools proposals for the Fairseat House site.


Highgate Tourism Strategy promoting appreciation of our rich built heritage and history. In collaboration with the HLSI Archives group we are launching the History of Highgate Shops project as part of the Highgate Festival.

What the Plan says

Demolition in Highgate's conservation areas (Policy DH1)
Proposals to demolish buildings and structures that are non-designated heritage assets will be subject to a balance judgement with regard to the scale of the loss and the significance of the asset. Any proposed replacement should make a positive contribution to the conservation area.
Development proposals in Highgate's conservation areas (Policy DH2)
Development proposals, including alterations or extensions to existing buildings, should preserve or enhance the character or appearance of Highgate’s conservation areas, and respect the setting of its listed buildings and other heritage assets.

Development should preserve or enhance the open, semi-rural or village character where this is a feature of the area.

Rear extensions (Policy DH3)
Rear extensions on residential properties should be subordinate in scale to the original dwelling, complement its character in terms of design, proportion, materials and detail, should not harm the amenity of adjacent properties, and should retain a significant area of garden or amenity space which is proportionate to that of neighbouring properties in the surrounding area.

Development should respect and preserve existing architectural features where these contribute to local character and appearance, for example projecting bays and decorative balconies.

Side extensions (Policy DH4)
Side extensions to detached or semi-detached properties, including the enlargement of existing garages, should be sensitive to and respect the character of the streetscape, and not block or significantly infill gaps between buildings, or otherwise disrupt the integrity of the individual architectural composition or group where these contribute to the character of the local area.

They should be subordinate in scale to the original dwelling and complement its character in terms of design, proportion, materials and detail. They should not harm the amenity of adjacent properties.

Roofs and roofscape (Policy DH5)
Roof extensions, dormers and rooflights should respect the existing roof form in terms of design, scale, materials and detail and be restricted to the rear except where they are part of the established local character and a new extension or dormer would not have an adverse impact on the amenity of the area or the significance of heritage assets; re-roofing materials should avoid use of inappropriate substitute materials that can erode the character and appearance of buildings and areas.

Chimney stacks should be retained where they positively contribute to the character of the conservation area. Satellite dishes and other telecommunications equipment should be located discreetly, and not be sited at the front of buildings on the roofline in the conservation areas.

Front boundaries (Policy DH6)
Original boundary walls, gate piers or railings should be retained unless their removal is necessary due to the condition of a structure, or replacement provision is proposed which would enhance the character of the area.

In areas where matching and similar boundary walls form a recognizable part of the streetscape, for example clinker walls in Cromwell Avenue, replacements should be reinstated to match the originals. New boundary walls requiring planning permission, and gated developments will not be permitted if they:

I. Have a detrimental impact on the open character of the street-scene; or
II. Result in the unnecessary removal of mature hedges or natural features which have a positive impact on the character of the local area;
III. Would result in a loss of visual permeability or public accessibility where this contributes to local character.

Basements (Policy DH7)
Where basement development does not fall in the scope of permitted development, and where there is evidence that there may be problems with drainage or flooding, applications for basement development will be supported only where they meet the requirements set out within this policy.

1. Impact Assessment requirements:

I. Any assessment on the impact of a basement development should demonstrate that:
i. There will be no adverse effect from subterranean development on the structural stability of adjacent properties and associated potential damage;
ii. There will be no possibility of irreparable damage to the local water regime both in terms of ground water diversion and surface water flooding;
iii. There will be no individual or cumulative impact of development on the character and biodiversity of gardens and adjacent open spaces, particularly in designated conservation areas and those areas adjacent to Highgate’s Major Open Spaces (identified in 3.4.2).
II. Where there is evidence that there have been problems with drainage or flooding, or desktop surveys indicate problems may arise, applicants will be required to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the LPA that development will not cause or exacerbate such problems.
III. Under no circumstances should construction be allowed to proceed where there is evidence that damage to neighbouring properties would exceed Burland Scale 1.
2. Protection for Neighbours:
Where a Construction Management Plan (CMP) is secured, it should be submitted, and must be approved by the LPA, prior to the commencement of works.
3. Limiting Environmental/Ecological Impacts:
I. Any basement development should normally be expected to allow for a minimum of one metre of permeable soil above any part of the basement beneath a garden to support biodiversity and larger trees/planting. This depth should be greater if necessary to preserve landscaping consistent with neighbouring properties.
II. All basement developments should incorporate a positive pumped device or other suitable flood prevention device to avoid the risk of sewage backflow causing sewer flooding.
Refuse storage (Policy DH8)
Where appropriate, all proposals for new buildings will be required to ensure that waste facilities are well designed and sensitively integrated into developments. Refuse storage points must be appropriately located so they will not impact upon the amenity of neighbouring properties and obscure light wells or basement windows.
The environmental health of existing and future residents (Policy DH9)
In line with Camden and Haringey policy, certain types of development will require air quality and noise assessments. This is to ensure that new residential development and other sensitive uses, for example educational, offers suitable protection of amenity for existing and future users.

In the Highgate Neighbourhood Area, particular attention will be paid to development along the following transport corridors:

  • Archway Road / A1;
  • Aylmer Parade / Aylmer Road;
  • North Road / North Hill;
  • Hampstead Lane;
  • Highgate West Hill; and
  • Highgate Hill.

Residential and other sensitive development along these corridors must consider issues such as the use of site screening, insulation, internal layout considerations and appropriate materials. In the event that an adverse impact on amenity is identified proposals will only be supported if appropriate mitigation can be provided.

Garden land and backland development (Policy DH10)
1. There will be a presumption against the loss of garden land in line with higher level policies.
2. Backland development will be subject to the following conditions:
I. Existing mature trees and landscaping shall be retained wherever possible. Development proposals should allow sufficient space above and below ground to prevent damage to root systems and to facilitate future growth;
II. Proposals, including conversions that are likely to significantly increase the proportion of hard surfacing on front gardens, should be accompanied by satisfactory mitigation measures such as landscaping proposals which address drainage;
III. Alterations and extensions should be carried out in materials that deliver high quality design and reinforce local distinctiveness. Other development should use materials which respect the character and appearance of the immediate area;
IV. New development will be required to take account of existing front and rear building lines.
Archeology (Policy DH11)
Within the designated Archaeological Priority Areas as shown on the Councils’ Policies Map, development proposals will be required to assess the potential impact on archaeological assets, Where appropriate, a desktop survey should be undertaken to assist in the assessment and pending the findings, a further field evaluation or trial excavation may be required and, if necessary, more complete excavation.

Proposals will be expected to provide satisfactory arrangements for excavation and recording, in advance of development. The information thus obtained from the survey will be published or otherwise made publicly available.

Such excavations are to be in accordance with a detailed scheme to be agreed in advance with the Councils, who will, as appropriate, consult with the Greater London Archaeology Advisory Service, Historic England, and other local groups with appropriate expertise. They will be carried out by a suitably qualified body, to the satisfaction of the Councils.

Non-statutory actions
CA34: Work to clear the streets of wheelie bins and other refuse dumpsters.

CA35: Work with Councils to improve shop fronts and discourage external shop shutters.


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