TOMORROW (Monday) night the Council Regulatory Committee meets to consider the future of Wood Green.
The Council paper has the snappy title, Wood Green Investment Framework & Area Action Plan: Broad Options for Regulation 18 Consultation. Of the four options listed for Wood Green's future, the Council favours Option 4 (below):
* This option promotes a complete transformation of the town centre through significant interventions aimed at unlocking the development potential of the wider town centre area through radical changes in the layout of existing urban blocks. It promotes shifting the heart of the town centre further down High Road to benefit from a new Crossrail 2 station that will be located below a new public square in the vicinity of the current library, at the heart of the new town centre. Around this square taller buildings would be located while the depth of both sides of the High Road would expand to provide larger retail floorplates with greater potential for residential above. …
For those interested, more information can be found here.
Liberal Democrat Party
Member of the Regulatory Committee
I have no particular fondness for the Shopping City and wouldn't mind seeing that part of Wood Green redeveloped, but some of these options sound... scary.
"Around this square taller buildings would be located while the depth of both sides of the High Road would expand to provide larger retail floorplates with greater potential for residential above."
Larger retail floorplates? Reading the detailed description of Option 4, this sounds as if it will affect the whole of the High Road. So are they talking about knocking everything down and starting again? The High Road has some undeniably ugly buildings, but if you look up, it also has some lovely frontages that should be preserved (with nicer shops underneath). Is it going to be a complete slash and burn?
"North of Station Road high-density residential development lines both Station Road and High Road and then transitions in scale into the existing suburban hinterland."
I don't question that Wood Green needs new homes, but the High Road is already one of the busiest high streets in London, and absolutely rammed at weekends. Can it accommodate that many more people living right on top of it?
The statement about "the new Crouch End" may have been deemed offensive, but it's also just wildly inaccurate. This development sounds huge and overwhelming and soulless in exactly the way that Crouch End isn't.
Having spent more than a week in deep cogitation over these significant interventions aimed at unlocking the development potential of the wider town centre area through radical changes in the layout of existing urban blocks, I have been forced to conclude that my house on Whiteman Road West will never make the magic Million threshold - surely the definition of leisured Ladder Living - so I am moving forthwith to Blackboy Lane East, abandoning all my aspirations.
'Haringey: Wood Green' is on the agenda at the real estate show MIPIM, 15-18 March at Cannes:
Wednesday 16th March at 14:30.
Speakers include Cllr Claire Kober, Leader, Haringey Council.
The venue is just 100m from the Casino Barrière Le Croisette-Cannes [ici].
However the general public is not invited.
if you're interested in attending, you'll need a "package".
TO the extent that the preferred option depends on new retail bricks and mortar, this aspect of the Complete Transformation may be heading in the wrong direction.
I note two BBC news items, almost side by side on their front page:
Morrisons signs deal to sell food to Amazon customers
900,000 UK retail jobs could be lost by 2025, warns BRC
There may not exist a need for larger retail floorplates in future.
Yesterday I noticed that what was Wallis (just about opposite what used to be Marks and Spencer) is now empty, as are two shops on either side of it. Ties in neatly with the two articles but makes that stretch of road a sorry site/sight. The former M and S is now occupied by some very enterprising young men calling themselves "Factory Outlet". Regrettably I could find nothing I wanted to buy, tho' I was a bit tempted by their centrifugal spin dry mop.
Is there any news on how the consultation is coming along?
A lot of the chain stores are moving out maybe they know something we dont - like they're going to knock the whole thing down and build a Westfield. I wouldnt mind, it cant be worse that it is.
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