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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

The Finsbury Park "Town Centre" proposals: town centre or development?

THREE boroughs: Haringey, Hackney and Islington, are at last collaborating over the future of Finsbury Park. This is overdue and excellent.

The area has long fallen through the cracks because of its location at the intersection of three boroughs' boundaries. The object is the laudable goal of creating a town centre.

However, Islington council planners are currently promoting a single developer's intensive development proposals, in the guise of fulfilling this good object. The Finsbury Park "Town Centre" proposals: town centre or development? – my comments can be downloaded in PDF form at:


(N.B. 8.3 megabyte file)

Their consultation—in theory, ended yesterday—was held at the height of summer. I think we know enough of municipal duplicity that this timing should set off alarm bells!

This is supposedly an early, preliminary consultation, but some of us have seen this kind of ploy before. Stroud Green Councilors secured a small extension to the deadline. If anyone else wants to submit views (for or against, or merely commenting), they'd still be considered:







Tags for Forum Posts: Centre, Finsbury, Park, Town, apartments, development, planners, planning

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Anne, they are all council planners, save for Andy Hull, who is an Islington Councillor. Martijn Cooijmans (Islington) seemed convinced of the merits of the Rowan's development.

I chatted with the Haringey planning officer (Jacqueline Veater) who wisely, was neutral about this business and who encouraged public responses.

Despite the fact that the Rowan's site is in Haringey Borough, it is Islington who are pushing hard this developer's interests. We should be able to do much better than this half-baked proposal.

I don't think anyone can take satisfaction if local authority planning services aren't adequately serving the community.

people have virtually no reason to visit that area

The area is currently run-down and this comment underlies the need for real regeneration. The comment is also close to the councils' own previous outlook, neglectful for many years, due to the area being on the borders and falling between three stools. Thankfully, at least their attitude has changed for the better.

I should have included above Islington's web page on the matter, with further documentation, here.

The Rowan's site is within Haringey Borough. I'm hoping that Haringey planners – now don't laugh Billy – might yet come to the rescue. Especially, rescue the original concept of a town centre ...

Billy H, I'm agreeing with you this time; all three of our local boroughs are piss-poor at coherent strategic planning.  This amply demonstrates how some vested interest gets a voice and us poor people have to put up with the dross and even crap thrown at us.

Finsbury Park as a local centre has grown up due to the Transport Interchange, which has led to a community developing around that 'agglomeration' of railway lines and bus routes.  For any proposal to suggest removing a bus station from one of the busiest transport interchanges shows its exponents have not got a clue about urban planning.  Ease of interchange between modes is the first lesson I was taught in Transport Planning at Birkbeck, and ensuring urban development, both housing and commercial / retail / industrial has good access to public transport, that was at Tottenham College.  Simple, and no meerkat  S.

So any development proposal must be sympathetic to the local environment.  Unfortunately there was no coherent planning between Islington and British Railways when the the former coal yard site was closed.  Who remembers the bridge over Wells Terrace and the 212 Bus Stop!?  And RT buses weekdays and ROUTEMASTERS, real ones, at the week-ends.  I digress .....

Parts of this site are still a mess the best part of 50 years, that's half a century, on .... So the opportunity to create a small local centre with a mixture of shops, smaller non-family flats and small business units was lost.  It is only now that development is taking place and it seems very haphazard.  Sainsbury's Local should have been next to bus station, not on Stroud Green Rd.

But we need to see a bit more, does anyone have Rowan's proposals either on paper that HoL could can in, or as a file that can go on the site.  OK I know FP technically  ain't Harringay, but it is next door so planning issues are relevant to many of us.

If you know more please post on this discussion.  I have quite enough keeping up with changes on local Public Transport for that same half century, ie since I was a just a teenager.  Never stops, GO-B line, Thameslink! 

I've goofed, the links are already are in Clive Carter's comment behind 'here', Thanks. R

If you know more please post on this discussion.

RicP, you also mention the transport interchange and the ease of interchange. I believe that this is key, not development of flats on the Rowans site, that Islington planner claim is "key".

exponents have not got a clue about urban planning.  Ease of interchange between modes is the first lesson I was taught

Yes, and I agree with your other comments. I've attached some further notes – more detailed – that may be of interest. Frankly, I am surprised at the quality of what now passes for town planning. I think the proposals so far are without merit and even shockingly bad. I should have made the Islington link clearer so people can see what is threatened:




Thanks Clive, I have quickly read your paper and it's a useful analysis.  This is an unbelievable can of worms, and frankly we are at a loss for the departure from this world of the wonderful Margot Schrebney (sorry if that's the wrong spelling) and Finsbury Park Action Group.  There was a woman who could 'kick-arse' and smile at you at the same time!  

But Islington has always been weak on public transport, Haringey is under-resourced on that front, and Hackney's very pro-rail officer had his work cut out with London Overground, and Hackney may not have it's Tube, discounting one entrance each at Manor House and Old St, the Overground network is a fine substitute.

Apart from the Coal Yard site, development is not easy, and Rowans site could offer a multiplicity of uses, but wholesale demolition of local Victorian stock is not on.  Same reason as why we want to keep the best of our other period centres in all three boroughs.

The transport interface is not ideal, I hate getting off a 29 or 253 under the railway bridges, walking round to my W7 under the Stroud Green Road bridges is worse.  Light colours on the underside of bridges, vandal/graffiti resistant surfaces and much better lighting on all day, LED systems may be costly but they are very low cost to run, would improve it.  Restoring a proper roofed bus station at Wells Terrace would be a good idea!

This needs more public discussion and as usual the consultation is in the holiday season.

This debate is going to run and run!

I've attached below a scan of the Evening Standard article from last week (22 August 2013) that I referred to in my (PDF) comments above:

Stone Roses concerts blamed for huge crime rise in Finsbury Park



This Finsbury Park redevelopment saga seems to have gone a bit quiet.  Is that 'No news is good news', or is this silence indicative of some subversive plot to rip the heart out of Finsbury Park.  In another thread we have been looking at what was happening to Finsbury Park station with the slow onset of the Thameslink scheme, not that much benefit will come to Harringay and Hornsey passengers, and despite requests I have not heard from |Lynne Featherstone on her meeting with the Train Operators.

Alexandra Palace station is undergoing a refit to the surviving Victorian entrance, again no discussions with passengers about what they would like but sadly that is par for the course,  Platform shelters are pretth minimal and the major criticism was no lift provision for wheelchair access.  I could go on .....

Any news, anyone?

Any news, anyone?

Morning RicP!

In the Islington Gazette (page 15 on 29 August) there was a third-page article:

Opposition grows over park regeneration bid

Residents attack 'detrimental' tri-borough plan

It featured a reproduction of the artist's hallucination. Cllr Andy Hull who is the chairman of the Finsbury Park Regeneration Board, appears to be advancing this plan and he offers a number of excuses for it that do not appear to hold water.

Attack on Tri-borough Finsbury Park plan - including plans for early Beatles gig venue

Attached is a powerpoint-style account of the Board chaired by Cllr. Hull.

I understand there is a "Design Meeting" on the 19th, but I know no more than that ...



It's an attractive building and would make a lovely entrance to the park....  knock down the cycle park (which can go anywhere) to widen the parks entrance and keep Rowans as it is with perhaps using part of it as a 'Coffee Shop / Cafe' for park users making it therefore more accessible to the public as befits a 'Historic Building'......and ermmmm... maybe paint it white and clean up the side of the building (currently covered in air conditioning extractors) which would be more visible.

Lets hope decency & common sense wins through.



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