I received a flyer about a petition to object to the "pub in the park", in Finsbury Park next to the athletics track and dog training area. It was proposed in a fairly secluded site, away from most of the residences and close to dispersal areas such as the tube station and bus stops. I think they considered this but the design and concept is weak and the "performance/ spoken word" element was very sketchy. On examination of the planning application: HGY/2021/0992 it has been withdrawn so well done to the local petition however it made me think whether Haringey has long term policy to manage "pimping out the park". The park is in a woeful state already with very dry soil. Should a policy document include climate change (water retention tanks in the ground to collect rainwater, irrigation systems for the soft landscape, solar and other energy systems to power on site services and sell off grid for example), offer up sites at events to local businesses first, offer jobs to local people first, discounted tickets to local residents, a significant portion of the profits to go into local community grants, training and services. The leaflet seems to imply that very little of the profits went to Haringey Council so what's the point other than having a big booze up which I am more that happy to do btw, particularly after such a rotten year.
It seems impossible to have a pub these days without televisions showing sport and loud music. Is that what we want in a park ?
Unfortunately we have a vocal minority who’ll fight anything new, anything that’s a bit different from what they’re used to, anything that runs counter to their own culture of dog walking and bird watching. They live in central London but seem to want to make it boring like St Albans or something.
I’m also appalled by the small vocal minority and their lack of thought for their fellow citizens. Not everyone lives with a partner or family or housemates, or has a garden to enjoy entertaining friends/family, or access to a vehicle for days out. Many people are suffering the effects of prolonged isolation and lack of facilities for socialising. We have hardly any beer gardens in the area and the ones we do have are always rammed full. The pub in the park would have been a perfect facility for those people who don’t have the above to meet with friends and socialise and a much needed holiday vibe seeing as a lot of people won’t be able to venture out of London this year. Lots of people moaning about a commercial enterprise... what the hell else is it supposed to be? You can’t run a pub (and the associated security etc) on charity, volunteers or donations! Surely you’d want people who were experts in running this type of thing doing it, and they’re not going to do it for nothing! Also saw moans about the fencing off and wiping out of nature in the enclosed area... from what I could tell there was no plan to wipe out any nature, and it was to be an area about the same size as the tennis courts which are fenced off and where there has been no nature at all for decades... just tarmac or whatever it is... and these courts are only used by a very small minority of people. Certainly far less an impact than the horrible fun fair. The stage would have been relatively small, like an open-mic or acoustic set stage... which would’ve been lovely. The pub would have been enjoyed by many people every week from all of the surrounding communities on all sides of the park... an opportunity to come together, would create employment and would actually make the park safer at night for everyone as there would be more people using it for leisure and passing through in the evenings. I think we have really missed an opportunity as a community here because of a small minority of people thinking only of themselves. Very sad indeed. Soppose people can still do as present and sit with their carrier bags of booze from supermarkets and burn holes in the grass with their disposable barbecues and leave their rubbish behind,, but this would’ve been so much nicer. Such a shame.
The whole argument that pubs are uniquely suitable for people to socialise is pretty anachronistic.
It also doesn't play out in reality - pubs have been closing left right and centre for years before the pandemic, indicating a softening in demand. I can't see how an outdoor pub that can only be open a fraction of the time can somehow be more viable than the average UK pub, which is already not a very good business to be in.
As for the whole 'social' utility of pubs - the UK has a pretty significant alcohol problem with alcohol-related deaths increasing 50% since the 1990s, so it's more of a societal cost. It also seems as though the 5X increase in coffee shops over the same period is offering a viable, and considerably more healthy venue for people to meet.
The whole argument that the 'pub' would have made no difference to the cleanliness of the park is fundamentally flawed - there's no guarantee that direct (e.g. cups, tissues) and indirectly generated rubbish (e.g. takeaway boxes, night-cap bottles etc will be contained to the premises.
And I don't think people who spend £5 to get some cans of beer to drink in the park and subsequently toss them on the grass would necessarily spend the same on a pint 3 feet from where they'd normally sit.
Even when I (reluctantly) put aside the argument for nature/biodiversity the pub was plainly, rationally a bad idea.
May I say that you make assertions that you do not back up with any proof:
“small vocal minority and their lack of thought for their fellow citizens.” - It precisely because the park is a green recreational park area, set aside for the benefit of all the community that we should object to the temporary privatisation of quite a substantial chunk of that space and for a very lengthy and the best weather period of the year when we most use it.
“Not everyone lives with a partner or family or housemates, or has a garden to enjoy entertaining friends/family, or access to a vehicle for days out.” - Quite so and it precisely because not every one has a garden that the park should be reserved for them to enjoy without being subjected to music and food and kiosks and a barrier around the landscape. This is why parks like these were created back in the day.
We have quite a few pubs in and around Haringey/Haringay/Tottenham that have seen a rebirth recently. They need our custom to continue to survive after months and months of being deprived of their customers. It would be better for pub punters to go there and help keep them alive. Why should our council support and subsidise competition from a private operator? Also the use of the park for these events is extremely disruptive and does do damage even though conditions impose restoring the grounds. They just are not meant to take this battering and take a while to recover only to be misused again the very next season.
As you say yourself, as singles, with friends, with family or as any other group, we CAN all go there, if Covid rules allow it, and either take a picnic or snacks, or buy stuff from and support one of the two cafés that already operate in the Park.
You arguments actually make a case against the event. Those who don’t have the means (financial, car, or other ) rely on having a peaceful park available nearby that does not continuously host disruptive events.
We have one and we should cherish it.
Well, strangely enough, that was the story of the park for several hundred years.
Whilst it was well outside London at the time, from at least as early as the 1700s, what is now Finsbury Park had a tavern of some sort or the other until the park was created in 1857.
In its earliest days, it was described as the tavern 'at the sign of the horns'. It then became the rather more genteel Hornsey Wood tea-house before becoming the more rumbustious Hornsey Wood Tavern which drew crowds in from all over London at weekends. In addition to eating and drinking, the tavern hosted a variety of sports including most notably shooting. (In fact the Hurlingham Club had its roots there!). I marked the site of the tavern on Google maps a few years back.
Across the road, the original Manor House Tavern also had extensive gardens and down the road was Eel pie house (which I also marked on G Maps).
Well, all that was in the past. Now, Finsbury Park is a public park. It has at least two pubs near to the gates (Manor House and the main gate nearest to the Finsbury Park tube station). Surely that is enough, in an economic and social environment where the number of customers for traditional pubs is decreasing, and where many pubs still in business are struggling (and were well before the pandemic)? Times change, culture changes, people change.
Well the above says that the planning application has been withdrawn, and that’s because a few locals whipped up a frenzy and overplayed the impact of it, especially on on park nature, and encouraged people to object to it. Like the original poster mentioned, there’s a habit in this community of preventing anything new or different by a minority of people who live in central London yet want to make it boring and generic, just because it’s not something they would go to themselves. I would’ve thought that the pub would have collected the glasses and waste, obviously you can’t stop people from leaving litter but they do that anyway. Look at all the carrier bags of empty cans and takeaway boxes you see on Friday and Saturday night, yet nobody is campaigning to have KFC and Lidl shut down. Utterly selfish and disappointing, I really think as a community we can do better, and that a lovely outdoor space for socialising was just what a lot of people here needed this summer.
Lauren, the language in your last two comments on this post, along with that used by Benjamin C, has been edited. To avoid any future comments being deleted, please do not use derogatory language to describe people with whom you disagree, as per our house rules / terms and conditions.
Is it banned to call out examples of local NIMBYism?
I believe NIMBYism to be a scourge in our area and in need of debate.
Outright banning of the expression is over the top and harms the credibility of this site.
Whist there is some debate out there on the use of the term, sufficient opinion exists to suggest that the term is only ever used pejoratively.
So, yes, along with other terms which are used almost exclusively in a pejorative sense, except when it is clearly not used in this way, it is banned.
The way both you and Lauren used it was clearly intended to be pejorative.
You’re always welcome to express your opinion, but please be respectful to others’ opinions and don’t use pejorative language or tone to do so.
Such a shame we won't have a pub in the park this Summer,
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