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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

The Open Arms - Finsbury Park - five days a week from 17 May to 17 September

Yesterday I saw a notice fixed to the Finsbury Park Manor House Gate giving notice of a licence application for an event in the park – The Open Arms.  When I got home I had a look on the Council’s licensing application web site.  The information was as on the attached screenshot.  I then did some further searching on the Council web site and found further details - see the attached file.

To sum up the area to the north east of the Mckenzie Gardens (the garden near the lake) is going to be let out for four months from 17 May to 17 September.  The event will take place on five days a week – Wednesday to Sunday. 

The event description is:

“The Open Arms is a performance-led pop-up occupying Finsbury Park for summer 2021. As a recipient of the Arts Council England’s ‘Culture Recovery Grant’, we will be looking to bring to life an activation that celebrates and supports the rich pool of talent living within the borough. Essentially we providing a stage for local performance in the midst of rapid venue closures.” 

It will involve live entertainment; live (amplified) music; food stalls and a bar.  The area will not be fenced and access will be free and not ticketed. The organisers anticipate a maximum of 200 attendees at any one time.

I can see some potential problems.  Whilst the idea of free entertainment is nice, there is the problem of the music noise.  Local residents could be faced with having to put up with this five days a week for four months.  The Council document states:

“Due to the low numbers within the venue at any one time (200), it is anticipated that any noise levels emanating from the onsite performances will be kept to a minimum, with minimal effect on park users, and local residents”

However, there is no information given as to noise levels permitted and how the Council are going to monitor this – if at all.

A second issue is the number attending.  The organisers say 200 at any one time.  However given that there are no controls on numbers there could be any number turning up, and as the numbers increase the amplified noise levels go up inevitably as people want to hear the music.

A third issue is the application to sell alcohol.  With completely free access to the bar will there be any checks on under-age drinking?

Tags for Forum Posts: finsbury park, the open arms

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I'd have thought that a professionally competent outfit would've had some insurance cover for such an eventually that has occurred. No?

"pig headed local nimbys" ?? - if you thought this why did you publicise the on-line petition?

Permalink Reply by Adrian Hackney on April 28, 2021 at 7:58

There is now a petition online for those wishing to object. https://www.change.org/p/haringey-council-stop-the-pub-in-the-park

There were 135 objections to the planning application, 27 in support - so the "pig headed" won!

There were also 1009 signatories to the on-line petition.

With regard to the licensing application there were over 100 objections and one support.

Such an odd comment Adrian calling people NIMBYs.
Not sure why you say that when you publicised the petition??

Personally  I think it could have been great for one week but the idea of something like that running for four months relentlessly was just unrealistic. It would change the nature of the park for that whole period. The Peckham Rye Park event that Gala is running seems to be for a weekend only. That would be much more realistic.  Hopefully the organisers will learn from this. 

I'd have thought that final comment was fairly obviously self-depracatory but the pearl clutching responses after it have proven me wrong. 

Self deprecation or proud boast - take your pick.

I wondered how long it would be before you let people in on the true meaning of your comment!

Sarcasm on line will turn round and bite you.

"self-depracatory" - no.  Doesn't this term refer back to the individual making the remark?  Adrian Hackney's comment was "My guess is that drafting all the reports and drawing up the plans and applications and dealing with the various local authorities, only to be frustrated by pig headed local nimbys, probably used up the best part of £270,000"

I don't see how this is"self-depracatory", it is a comment on those who objected to the plans.

If the comment had of been "My guess is that drafting all the reports and drawing up the plans and applications and dealing with the various local authorities, only to be frustrated by the local opposition, probably used up the best part of £270,000"  Then there wouldn't be any complaints. 

Perhaps Adrian might explain his comments.

As for your "pearl clutching response" - can't you come up with something better than that?


The Islington document quoted by Gordon T relates to the planning application - I can't see any other document from Islington in the list of consultation comments.

With regard to the licensing application the Islington representation form is at page 129 of the Public Reports Pack which is still available on the Haringey Council web site:


That representation was quite critical of the event proposal.  It would probably have been even more critical if the increase in attendance from 200 to 700 had of been known at the time of submission - 8 April.

The conclusion was that:

"This application should be refused
If the application was to be granted it should be limited to as follows:

The site enclosed by a fully secure, staffed and gated perimeter fence so the site can be managed with all the current Covid guidelines; and

Alcohol must not be taken off the premises
Islington would be consulted on the detail of access and egress from the event

NB - I couldn't find any representation from Hackney.



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