Boundary Walk Report – Area 6 (Tregaron / Mount View)

CROUCH END NEIGHBOURHOOD FORUM
Boundary Walk Report Area No 6 (Tregaron / Mount View)
Background
A walk of this area was completed by my, Philip Smith on 31 May 2015. The weather was windy
with moderate rain. There were no attendees on the walk other than myself. I received no messages
from any residents indicating their intent to attend my walk for Area 6. I had asked a member of the
congregation at St Peter’s Church to advertise my walk, but I am not sure this was passed on.
I took a circular route around the area and made enquiries with people I passed in the street who
were either residents, or connected to the area, in order to learn their opinion about which streets lie
within Crouch End. I asked them, first, whether we were in Crouch End, and second, where the
boundary with Stroud Green was located. When asked, I explained to respondents that Crouch End
Neighbourhood Forum was being set up, about its objectives and the Localism Act and the need for
detailed consultation of residents or stakeholders.
Opinions and Feedback
My first stop was St Peter’s church on Womersly Road, where I spoke to three sets of respondents.
The first conversation was with a member of church staff at the church entrance. She considered the
church to be within Crouch End and a church for Crouch End. I spoke with residents and with a
couple leaving the church. They concurred with this, and additionally suggested that Mount View
Road (at least the park closest to the church) was Crouch End, even though it was in N4, and that
the roads beyond the reservoir were Stroud Green.
I also spoke to several further sets of local residents who I passed on the street who agreed that
Tregaron Ave, Dickenson Road were all within Crouch End. It would be useful to engage further
those involved with St Gilda’s School. The term ‘Crouch End Heights’ was mentioned twice to
denote the area surrounding St Peter’s Church and St Gilda’s School and Mount View Road.
I spoke to one resident of Mount View Road with a property to the North side of the street, facing
South across the reservoir. He initially suggested the boundary was in his back garden, where the
highest point of the geographical ridge is located and because Mount View Road has an N4 post
code. However, he then suggested that all of Mount View Road was in Crouch End on the basis it is
within the Crouch End CPZ, therefore the notional boundary would be the reservoir.
Ella Road and the lower end of Mount View Road including Video Court are located beyond the
geographical ridge, but to the North of the Parkland Walk. A set of residents I spoke to living on
Ella Road believed they lived in Crouch End. The general consensus of respondents was that Ella
Road, and the North side Mount View Road were in Crouch End.
However, I did not question residents of the South side of Mount View Road, which includes Video
Court and some further residential blocks. I do not have sufficient evidence to gauge the views of
residents of these blocks and intend to make further investigations, then update this report. Having
lived in Video Court myself for one year back in 2004-5, the position seems ambiguous, with
relatively weak links with both Crouch End and Stroud Green and shopping in both directions.
One might exclude the housing estate with an entrance on Mount View Road, close to the corner
with Crouch Hill. This 1970’s / 1980’s development faces downhill towards Stroud Green and is
physically separated from Crouch End by the Parkland Walk. It also backs onto various other
housing estates or blocks to the South as far as Crouch Hill station and in the direction Finsbury
Park station. However, I intend to make further enquiries with residents, following which and will
update this report.
Both natural and artificial physical boundaries were discussed during the walk. On the one hand, the
approximate geographical ridge can be identified on Dickenson Road and to the rear (North) of
Mount View Road. On the other hand, a reservoir forms a natural boundary to the South of Mount
View Road. This appears to correspond with the historic urban spread, extending north from Stroud
Green, and South and East from Crouch End in the mid- and late Victorian era, given the age of
houses on the North side of Mount View Road and the presence of more modern buildings to the
South of the road, and facing the reservoir to the South West, across Mount Pleasant Villas.
West across Crouch Hill
I continued across Crouch Hill. I also interviewed one resident of Oakfield Court, which is located
off Haslemere Road and to the South of this. This includes several residential blocks. Her opinion
was that Haslemere Road, including Oakfield Court, marks the farthest extent of Crouch End. The
Parkland Walk, formerly a railway line in immediately behind Haslemere Road and Oakfield Court,
and offers a convenient point to agree a notional geographical boundary.
Consideration might be given as to whether to include the Parkland Walk itself and the historic
platforms of the now disused Crouch End Station, and nearby, Marilyn Collins’ ‘Sprigan’ sculpture,
which inspired a short story by Stephen King, or the new dance school and adventure playground.
This section of the Parkland Walk seems to be a key asset to the area, widely used by local
residents, including ‘Crouchenders’. I intend to collate some further research on this and update this
report.
Feedback on local issues
Respondents were not familiar with the concept of a neighbourhood forum, nor the Localism Act.
Due to the disfavourable weather, I did not use the questionnaires during the walk, but referred
respondents to the website, where the questionnaire can be found.
Some of the respondents discussed key local concerns, summarised as follows:-• lack of primary school places (One respondent also said ‘too many children in the area’!);
• over-inflated house prices;
• 161 Tottenham Lane (described by a resident as a monstrous development);
• the future of Hornsey Town Hall;
• excessive parking restrictions and enforcement thereof.
A key benefit of the area mentioned by two respondents was that people know their neighbours,
develop an affinity with the area and local friendships, and tend to stay in the area. They perceived
these characteristics to be more true of Crouch End than many other areas of London.
Author: Philip Smith, local resident, Ridge Road, N8

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