Haringey – Wake up and smell the café

Are you ready for summer?

All roads lead to Haringey, part 3. The remit for Neighbourhood Forums calls for the representation not only of the interests of residents, but local businesses too, and we’re facing a difficult moment for a town centre heavily dependent on service businesses and the hospitality sector.


EDIT June 25th:

The Government have published a Business and Planning Bill to encourage pavement trading. See details at –
https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/draft-planning-guidance-to-support-the-business-and-planning-bill

Businesses are informed that licencing applications will be fast tracked for the summer –
“Once the information is submitted to the local authority the authority has 10 working days from the day after the application is made (excluding public holidays) to consult on, and determine the application. This consists of 5 working days for public consultation, and then 5 working days to consider and determine the application after the consultation.”

We need Haringey to act in a joined-up fashion, to identify additional footway width precisely where businesses need it…


We’ve posted on topic on a few occasions already, but prompted by local traders we’re now putting forward a few worked-up ideas to Haringey for the kind of temporary summer-long measures we’d like to see. September is too long to wait for emergency street interventions: retail is open now and Crouch End’s cafés, pubs and hair salons may begin their return on July 4th – just two weeks away. The traffic has already returned and is getting worse and the window is closing for the Mayor of London’s “complete transformation of local town centres“.

We want to see changes that allow flexible, creative and novel solutions. We should be bold in our interventions, to close or filter roads if there’s a possible improvement to be made and to act now for opportunities for outdoor trading. Yes, work remains to be done, yes, there’s a need to consult, and yes, not all traders would want to start trading on the pavement – but remember, these are temporary measures. We call upon the council to respond.

For our ideas on cycle routes, see our earlier post.


Proposals

The maps below pick out closures, barriers and retained parking. Significant footway extensions and new pedestrian-only road closures and trading areas are sited next to food and beverage units by design.

The Crouch Hill weekend market

This idea is supported by independent traders on Crouch Hill – an area of small shops, no outside space and the narrowest of pavements. Yes, it requires the Saturday and Sunday rerouting of buses, but the road is frequently closed by utility works and it seems to sort itself out. Other than that, it’s the cheapest option around, no parking is affected, and no stranded bus stop up the hill is more than 500m of an alternative.

Crouch Hill? (with a tad more social distancing of course)

Crouch Hill now, awaiting developments

The Weston-Elder Low Traffic Neighbourhood

LTNs are expressly identified in TfL guidance as interventions to enhance local environments and promote safer cycling. This measure would also produce a new trading area slap bang in the middle of the town centre (previously mentioned here), whilst retaining the same number of loading and visitor parking spaces.

At Elder Avenue the filter, simply planters, is sited outside the Earl Haig to preserve access at the Tottenham Lane end for loading areas for commercial use. It also creates a safer environment for nursery children.

Planters, quick solutions for road filtering

Tottenham Lane café quarter

The extended footways here are already signalled as part of Haringey’s plans – it needs action now, not in 3 month’s time. Always a challenging part of the town centre, the section of Tottenham Lane between the Queens and the cinemas needs the extra space, we see it potentially as a relative of Lordship Lane in East Dulwich with a line of outdoor pavement cafés (?).


Costs and funding

Funding may be a problem, but in addition to TfL’s thousands, there’s the Re-opening High Streets Safely Fund, or even the neighbourhood CIL pot – still unallocated and unspent, or why not drop the plan to review the local CPZ and spend that money on the emergency instead?

We contacted one of the leading providers of temporary street infrastructure, Meristem Design, who are already working with councils across London. The interventions described above, for example the closure of Crouch Hill, require planters which costs as little as £500-700 apiece, which taken together with the cost of Traffic Orders and administration mean each move could be delivered for a few £thousand. And there’s nothing to stop the box planters going in a a week or two’s time.

10 Comments

  1. Mark Afford Author

    Today’s (23rd June) newspaper –

    “The Business and Planning Bill is expected to include relaxation of planning rules to allow innovative methods of maximising the amount of trade venues can carry out, such as expanding pavement cafes and other outdoor dining and drinking areas.”

    Reply
  2. Claire

    These plans are just what is needed! How can we support them and make sure they are heard?

    Reply
  3. Sharon

    The Market stalls idea is great, but not at the bottom of Crouch Hill, it is too disruptive to 2 bus routes. Perhaps the broadway end of Weston Park would be a better location for it, or the side of the green , by Barclays Bank, or even the area on Hatherley Gdns by the library. The latter location could still have the desired effect of increased footfall along the bottom of Crouch Hill. Not overly keen on pavement cafes, although i feel that as a temporary measure to assist local businesses the could work for the summer

    Reply
  4. Andrew Georgiou

    As a business owner that relies on the parking spaces on Weston Park I can state that my own and other neighbouring businesses are struggling even more due to the impact of Covid.

    IF popular opinion is determined to block of the already low traffic turning of Weston Park….then please do it properly and incorporate the Clocktower to make a Crouch End Piazza

    Whatever happens parking for customers ( or lack of it ) should also be addressed

    Reply
  5. Mark Afford Author

    Hi Andrew, the thought this time round is very much ‘temporary help’. However, the reality of the situation is that these proposals are highly unlikely to bear fruit.

    Haringey are not listening to any new ideas, having submitted their own bids to TfL prior to any consultation. Their plans are due to be imposed in September. NB. On the parking issue, the Haringey scheme includes the removal of all main road parking throughout the entire town centre, and the expansion of CPZs to all-day long.

    Reply
  6. Mark Afford Author

    The Government have published a Business and Planning Bill to encourage pavement trading.

    Businesses are informed that licencing applications will be fast tracked for the summer –
    “Once the information is submitted to the local authority the authority has 10 working days from the day after the application is made (excluding public holidays) to consult on, and determine the application. This consists of 5 working days for public consultation, and then 5 working days to consider and determine the application after the consultation.”

    We need Haringey to act in a joined-up fashion, to identify additional footway width precisely where businesses need it…

    Reply
  7. Andrew Georgiou

    Hi Mark
    Thanks for the update.
    Well from business point of view I sincerely hope that these measures dont bear fruit as shopkeepers are currently in a worsening recession of the likes I have never seen before.
    On the parking issue. If Harringay council have decided to remove all main road parking spaces without providing provisions for any alternative parking, then that may the decision that destroys my own and other Crouch End retail shops.
    Passing trade that briefly stops to park and shop accounted for 10% of pre covid trade.
    Andrew
    Broadway DC

    Reply
  8. Mark Afford Author

    Things are happening over in Wandsworth. They’re closing Old York Road to traffic (including buses) entirely, have gained TfL approval to do so, and are planning “alfresco zones” to replace the cars.

    Simultaneously, they promise:
    “To ensure that all hospitality businesses across the borough can lawfully access outside space and set up tables and chairs for their customers, the council has agreed to simplify the process of applying for a street licence and waive the normal fees.”

    All in time for the summer.

    If only someone had suggested doing a similar thing in Crouch End.

    https://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/news/june-2020/council-secures-agreement-from-tfl-to-permit-al-fresco-trading-for-pubs-bars-and-restaurants/

    Reply
  9. David Orford

    It certainly seems more imaginative than the council’s plans. Well done.

    I don’t really see the demand for the Crouch Hill part and it requires extra organisation to find market traders etc. The other two would be fairly simple to do.

    I’d also consider blocking off the triangle of the clocktower temporarily and seeing how that works. With some planters and benches it would be a lovely spot for an ice cream – or a small number of market stalls too?

    All this could be achieved for the cost just of the engagement part of Liveable Crouch End!

    Now you need to lobby hard for it – so far Crouch End Forum has been a lovely talking shop but hasn’t really achieved a great deal…

    Reply

Leave your thought