A Community Network for Bowes Park and Bounds Green
Went through all the different forum threads on this site tonight and the common theme is the exact same worry as the one troubling us day in day out as Bowes councillors: too much development in an already densely populated area.
Spiralling demographic growth in London, the UK and the world was always bound to have an effect locally - Enfield's population was 293k in the 2001 census, in the wake of this wrongheaded Government's housing benefits cap, we're now at 320k and rising! The new people are already here....
I'm always arguing that the burdens of this growth should be distributed more fairly. For instance, by leaving us alone in Bowes and Bounds and spreading things around, i.e. building more in affluent and sparsely occupied neighbourhoods like Hadley Wood. The developers don't listen to me however, and given the stupidly high level of densities accepted under the London Plan (managed out of Boris's City Hall), they don't have to. It's insane.
So all we can do here in Enfield is fight and negotiate - and keep fighting and keep negotiating - to try to limit developers' excesses. Sometimes we win. Originally, the Tories left us with plans for 2000 - 2000!! - new housing units in New Southgate and Bowes. We've whittled it down to 1300, which is still far too much but at least better than 2000. Sometimes we lose. The Bowes Labour councillors argued like mad dogs in front of the Planning Committee opposing the six story high blocks that Notting Hill is still going to build on the NCR - there is a thread written elsewhere on this site by a wannabe politico accusing us of "rolling over" in front of Notting Hill, which is an ignoble lie.The truth is that irrespective of the state of the North Circular Area Action Plan (another red herring that gets evoked quite dishonestly in some quarters), NHHT has the London Plan behind them. And don't they know it. I repeat - it's insane.
It remains that the distress that I read on this site about the consequences for school places, social amenities (like healthcare), traffic, smog, parking everything is totally justified. And the question becomes where we might make a difference. It would take too long to go into all the mitigation strategies that we are pursuing - to say there is a lack of joined up thinking is just plain false. But I think there is one beam of relative hope, somewhere that People Power might be able to make a difference. Namely Ritz Parade.
What gets lost in some of the commentary about the situation on the NCR is the way we inserted the term "balanced" into the Local Plan that our Labour Administration adopted shortly after taking over Enfield in 2010. This was useful because it has got Notting Hill to accept that they can't just build housing in our area (regardless of what Boris wants) but must also create space for the social and other amenities that we all want (and which are so cruelly lacking).
The site where they've agreed to locate these amenities are on what is currently known as Ritz Parade (you know, NW corner of Brownlow and the NCR). The plans for this site have not been finalised yet which gives the Bowes and Bounds community a chance to row back some of the effects of the terrible over-development taking place in front of our eyes. An example of the decisions that the community might take is school places. Enfield Council is re-doing Garfield to accommodate some of the new population but is there cause for a through school covering years 1-13 at Broomfield? You need to say what you think about this, also about what kind of commercial/retail premises might be desirable at Ritz Parade, etc. etc. This whole scenario is very rough for our people and we need to get back anything we can.
I'm not exactly sure re: the timing of the Ritz Parade consultation but please stay in touch with Achilleas, Yasemin and me at http://boweslabour.blogspot.co.uk/. Get involved. I'm hoping that on this one site Notting Hill will be particularly disposed to listen to the community. Touch wood. In any event, we will never ever stop fighting
We should both frame this!
Anyone wanting to send an objection to Enfield Council is welcome to download the objection letter on the BHORA website http://www.bhora.org/planning-applications.html
McDonalds have withdrawn their planning application for a drive through on Bowes Road. BHORA received the following communication from Ray Reilly on Monday 29th July.
"As requested and to keep you informed, as of today and following officers advice McDonald's have withdrawn their planning application and advert applications at 188 Bowes Road.
I have received circa 100 objections, so would appreciate it if the word can be distributed. The applicant may or may not choose to re-submit.
Senior Planning Officer (South Team)"
Many thanks to those of you that submitted an objection letter, your efforts are most appreciated. But of course the fight goes on for a suitable development plan for both this site and the A406 in general.
Bowes Councillor Alan Sitkin shared this news via this website earlier this week: see message here.
Now what would we like to see on Ritz Parade instead of a DriveThru "restuarant"?
Is there a revised bid from McDonald's to renew their planning Application for Ritz Parade?
This forum post details a current application for fixed advertising display on the site - is this the full story?
As reported separately in Bowes and Bounds
LOCATION: Bowes Road Garage 188 Bowes Road London N11 2JG
PROPOSAL: Erection of a detached two storey building to provide a restaurant and drive thru
with associated car park and customer order display and canopy
DECISION: REFUSED! (see Decision Notice on 18th August 2014 pdf file attached)
In this week's Enfield Independent, (July 29th) Derek Honnor writes as follows:
Perhaps those with short memories need reminding that the Bowes Telford Community Action Group agreed with TFL and LBE to remove the shops from the Compulsory Purchase Order, (CPO) "Community Action Group saves shops from road expansion", NEWS 19th March 2008 CLICK HERE
As to the September meeting, the Southgate Green Area Forum is on 8th September at Beaumont Retirement Home, 15 Cannon Hill, N14 7DJ
For reference the NCAAP Policies Map is attached, an extract appears below
The areas shown on the plan cross hatched with red lines over blue background
identifies development sites within a local centre
Of course the construction on other sites continues as they were generally part of the pasckage of properties sold for housing/refurbishment to the Notting Hill Housing Association
Gosh this is a long thread. Don't know how I did not see this.
I think we should have a lovely gym with studios for classes (yoga etc) , pool, health centre, cafes and restaurants, other shops (hairdressers, boutiques, car rental office,) run by independents with a few chains, it would nice to have a balanced mixed between chains (can be McDonalds - drive in one is handy) and independents. And some decent parking (underground?) at reasonable prices.
Given that health and obesity is frequently in the news, any opportunity to help people pursue a healthy lifestyle would help + a health centre would serve the problem of offering additional surgery places to the ever growing development that is occurring.
More schools places are needed but this is not the right area, parents are already not happy about schools being located on the North Circular, read all the discussions from the parents of pupils at Bowes Primary School etc, there are loads about.
PS I remember when it was a cinema!.My sister and I used to go to the Ritz Saturday cinema club every week when we were little in the late 60's. It was very popular and packed with kids.
The newly published ‘Development Brief’ draws on the North Circular Area Action Plan with some additional commentary specific to development of the Ritz Parade. It states “The regeneration of Ritz Parade has been a long held aspiration of both the Council and the local community. However, it is important to remember the site is entirely in private ownership and therefore the Council has limited influence over how the private sector will respond to bringing redevelopment forward.”
The Council’s Development Brief sets out four key principles for the development:
A mixed-use community hub – i.e. for both community and retail use e.g. everyday convenience shopping, supporting services for local people. If the assembly hall were not retained appropriate community uses would be expected to be provided e.g. health uses, flexible community spaces, community spaces associated with a place of worship.
High quality design – a prominent frontage paying homage to the existing art deco style.
Improved routes and connections – e.g. an east-west cycle/pedestrian route & potential future access to Broomfield school.
A flexible development framework – i.e. potential for phased development.
At the moment the Parade doesn’t really hang together as a destination, it’s a collection of different businesses but I’m not sure how many local people regularly frequent them. There’s a (rather good) Sri-Lankan restaurant, a Hertz hire, a furniture shop, a trophy shop, an Indian sweet shop, commercial lettings office, solicitor, hair salon, plumber’s merchant and in the middle the old ABC Ritz cinema which is currently used as a Jehovah’s Witness Assembly Hall. The site is apparently split into 5 parcels, four of which are owned by Notting Hill Housing Trust (NHHT) and the fifth, I assume based on recent planning applications, by McDonald’s. Ideally the businesses that thrive there would combine provision of service to the local community (including the immediate development) with provision of service to passing trade.
It’s always going to be a balance against the art of the possible and what is commercially viable. The location has some constraints based on its location, land and rental value, mixed ownership and the lengths of individual tenant’s leases. The council document outlines two possible development scenarios, (A) retains the Assembly Hall within an East-West retail and residential development with a mews development to the rear with a total of 71 residential units (B) envisages demolition of the Assembly Hall, comprising a ‘courtyard’ development concept with retail fronting the North Circular, together with residential accommodation above and to the rear and a possible a cycle way connecting Wilmer Way and Powys Lane with a total of 115 residential units. Due to the loss of the Ritz Option B has significantly less community space with both retail and community uses sharing the retail space offered by A (1,440m2). In Option A the Ritz gives 2,145m2 community space plus the 1,440m2 for retail. Both options are council guidance rather than actual development proposals. The Development Brief acknowledges that the mixed ownership and lease lengths are constraints and may lead to a phased development; therefore the council has its work cut out to try to establish a cohesive solution for the site.
I think the development faces some challenges including the presence of the Ritz, especially if the use of that building serves only a minority of local people. I’m not convinced the assembly hall space will be suitable for re-purposing (you could put a mezzanine in it perhaps) but I’m open to suggestions (I’ve made one of my own, below). The problem is that if the Ritz is demolished it constrains the space available for community use (not that this use is in any way guaranteed).
Ground floor retail needs to be included in a mixed-use development and needs to serve the immediate development, the local community and passing trade. Walking along the North Circular is not a pleasant experience, especially with young children. People in the vicinity will use businesses at this location if they are attractive and the product of ‘balanced’ development. Everyone else will drive there. In time they may cycle.
In my view realistic options for business include those that will serve the immediate development, the local community and passing trade, such as an anchor tenant in the form of an express style supermarket plus others such as a wine warehouse, coffee shop and restaurant. In addition to these (which may end up being part of large chains), there could be provision for smaller, independent units - flexible spaces that can be used for different purposes while businesses hopefully establish themselves.
In terms of community use some kind of flexible meeting spaces and studios for community rental would be good, enabling a drop in, exercise or other classes, a playgroup, nursery or crèche. I don’t see why these couldn’t be used for community orientated business purposes. A café within this space would be a good use of the flexible retail units.
With the exception perhaps of the supermarket, flexible design for both business and community spaces that enables units to be reconfigured at minimum cost for maximum variety of uses would serve the community best in the long term.
One idea, which could be a flight of fancy on my part, would be to use some of this flexible community space for an arts and crafts centre, with individual units for artists from which they can create and sell their wares. I have no idea how this could be made to be commercially viable but I have seen these become shopping destinations and catalysts for regeneration in their own right (Manchester’s Craft & Design Centre is one example). The passing trade would help. I’ll rain on my own parade at this point; the centre in Manchester is owned by…the council. What role can the council play in negotiating a lease for a not-for-profit group which has a brief to provide a reasonable return from renting flexible community space? Does the council itself have a need and is it able to rent / utilise and thereby support a facility like this for community purposes (e.g. for training & education classes)?
The following text has been taken from the Enfield Advertiser web site:
TRADERS are up in arms after learning they may lose their livelihoods to make way for a new development – and they claim no-one bothered to tell them.
Ritz Parade, on the corner of Powys Lane, and the North Circular Road, Arnos Grove, has been identified as a key site, ripe for a revamp as part of an over-arching regeneration blueprint for stretches of the A406 in Enfield.
But traders along the parade surrounding the former Ritz cinema, now the Jehovah’s Witness Assembly Hall, say news that to them second-hand. They say they were not sent letters or told in person that a six-week public consultation on options for the future of the parade was set to be launched. The site has been earmarked for redevelopment under Enfield Council’s North Circular Area Action Plan.
People are being asked to give their feedback on site owner Notting Hill Housing’s two proposed options for a mixture of flats and commercial property on the site.
But the business owners say their tight community will be forced out to make way for luxury flats.
Peter Sandamas, who has run Ariana Heating and Plumbing for 37 years, told the Advertiser: “I have been here the longest but several other businesses have been here for more than 20 years. I will be very sad to leave as it is a really strong community. When they widened the road and put in red lines a few years ago new lost 60 per cent of our custom and in the end we had to close part of our business but this will be the end for me. The council has not informed us at all which seems underhand.”
Another trader, who asked not to be named, said: “We could understand losing our businesses to make the road better for everyone living in the local community but not so that Notting Hill Housing can build luxury houses and make money. It feels like it is all being done behind our backs.”
As can be found from this feed, the document was in the public domain and approved for consultation via the LBE Lcal Plan (Sub Committee) on 26th November 2015.
A Statutory Notice was published in the local press on 30th December 2015.
The Ritz Parade site sits on the southern boundary of Southgate Green Ward (with Bowes Ward). Did Southgate Green Councillors report anything at the Southgate Green Ward meeting on 8th December 2015 held at Bowes School?