Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Mayor of London identifies "dormant" public land in Harringay but...

...the only trouble is these sites are far from dormant!

Evening Standard journalist, Richard Godwin, who is also a Harringay resident, highlighted in his column this week that the mayor's office has published an interactive map of "underexploited" public land. 40,000 sites have been identified of which Boris says,

“[For] far too long, land owned by public bodies has lain dormant or [been] sold off with no benefit to the capital. [We] must build on the work done at City Hall in releasing land for development.”

However, when Richard looked closely at the areas he discovered that this "underexploited" dormant land is far from asleep but is in fact our local primary schools, Ducketts Common, Fairland Park, my beloved Railway Fields (over my dead body Boris), the Kurdish centre and various bits of Chestnuts Park to name but a few! 

Public land is under scrutiny like never before - our parks, libraries, nature reserves, even it seems our schools are not safe from the developers beady eyes.

Tags for Forum Posts: public land

Views: 1841

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Isn't the map all public land, not necessarily "underexploited" land.

Yes, in essence that's what it is and so I don't expect to have to build a Swampy-style camp in the 350yr old field maple in Railway Fields any day soon. However, the point is more the language that Boris chose to launch this map with, coupled with his need to find space for 130,000 more homes. Add to that the mighty sledgehammer that is about to hit local government finance when central funding stops and councils must raise their own revenue - they are going to need a lot more people paying council tax and business rates just to pay for adult social care let alone parks and libraries. Does all that make you a little uneasy? 

That map must be a squatters dream. Someone should copy it before they realise what they've done..

You can filter what is not currently operational ....

Nice to see wild conservation area's are considered 'operational'.

Yes, Haringey will lose out big time. Westminster & Camden for example will win.

One concern is that they've listed a lot of sites without much information. For example, the Kurdish Community Centre, one of the sites mentioned in Richard Godwin's piece, is listed as operational status and use to be confirmed.

I understand that all council estates in London are now to be designated brownfield land, making it easier for developers to demolish social housing and replace it with totally unaffordable properties.

Not sure I like Richard's description of Railway Fields as 'a scrubby triangle of land' run by volunteers. Has he ever been in there? It's much more than that - it's been an established nature reserve for the past thirty years, and used to be in the capable hands of the fantastically knowledgeable botanist David Bevan (known as 'Mr David' to my son and his friends.)

Yes, but it was once (around 1980) a scrubby triangle and there were successively, plans to build flats on it, then plans to build a road along it and the railway alignment. Liz's lunchtime stroll captures it now.

So apart from expressing dismay, how should we respond to get changes in government policy and the law?  Changes which balance the demand for truly affordable decent homes and business spaces; as against a growing population and other factors such as increases in the number of households who want decent homes. While at the same time meeting the needs for green city spaces, attractive streets and squares with lively commercial areas. Along with proper parks; sports and arts facilities etc etc.

Hugh's makes a fair point about Hampstead Heath being an unlikely target for developers. But as I recall its history, there was some piecemeal development; and it could have been built over if it hadn't been bought with public funds.

The issue is surely that of our common wealth for which we - as citizens - and our elected representatives, are stewards for present and for future generations.

I think the most worrying thing as far as this issue goes is that the Mayor's office seem to be formulating policy on rubbish data.
if we permanently sent to pendarren the feckless and overproveldged we would have half of crouch end empty. Then we could move the hard working economic migrants in there. That would give us some real skills and we could level Archway to put it out of its misery and then build sufficiently high- high rises just to piss off Highgate and Hampstead.

That would probably be quite elcotrally popular.

It may not be strictly relevant to Harringay, but worth noting that the City Corporation (which is responsible for Hampstead Heath) is currently steering a bill through Parliament to re-designate the Heath as a "park", presumably so that it can be monetised like Hyde Park (or Finsbury Park) with rock concerts and other events that deny public access. Apparently the Heath isn't making enough contribution to its upkeep (says that impoverished local authority the City of London). It's not just developers and Boris leading the assault on quality of life and existing public land by making legal changes designed to make life easier for speculators and commercial interests.

Is nowhere safe? There are concerts in the grounds of Kenwood House of course, but that's a separate entity I think.

It's all one with the poor old City of London (and the City of Westminster) charging the highest entry fee in London (50p) for their public conveniences. But then J Paul Getty had a payphone for his guests.....



© 2023   Created by Hugh.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service