Word on the street: Is there really a vision for Crouch End?


- Credit: Archant

We know what regeneration projects really look like.

Over in Wood Green, Haringey’s Wood Green Area Action Plan declares a grandiose vision of shopping malls, shiny new civic centres and tower blocks. In Tottenham regeneration schemes travel in convoys oiled by millions of public and private sector money – lob in TfL’s Crossrail 2 and you’re talking budgets that can be seen from space.

In the west they do things differently. A little private investment here, a bit of TfL money there, and voilà a radically different town centre, a new town hall, public piazza, and hundreds of new homes. Haringey’s role is largely to step to one side and let the developers get on with it, which certainly saves the public purse a good deal, but leaves a few doubts. Will we get a desirable – or as TfL would have it – “liveable” neighbourhood?

Which is where Haringey’s planners and engineers are engaged, in designing and delivering our slice of TfL’s ambitious Liveable Neighbourhood Initiative – a new programme to transform local transport infrastructure, similar to the “mini-Hollands” scheme lately ruffling feathers in Walthamstow and Enfield. With £5.8m to play with, it imagines a Crouch End for walkers and cyclists, with innovative road layouts, cycle routes, traffic becalmed and wide pavements full of shoppers – a virtuous circle of social, environmental and economic benefits. If they can pull it off bring it on, one might say.

However, questions remain, about the impact of reduced parking on local retailers and the reliability of public transport for example, and while the concept of a new junction and Clock Tower piazza is certainly an eye catcher – the traffic calming vision is to some drivers the harbinger of “unimaginable chaos”. Expect an official consultation exercise shortly.

Meanwhile, our other “place-making” developments are upon us. At Hornsey Town Hall the interim-use is winding down and the potentially magnificent £30m restoration of Crouch End’s most important grade II* listed building about to commence. Not to mention the new restaurants, bars, arts centre, hotel and blocks of flats included in the project. Oh – and a brand new design for the civic square. Hundreds of new homes are due across town and the concrete is being poured right now along Tottenham Lane aka the cinema quarter (say goodbye to Kwik Fit soon). It’s the most significant transformation in decades, and by 2021 you won’t recognise the place... well, that may be slightly over-claiming, but perhaps we’ll soon have two new public squares to drink our coffee in. The Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum aim to lend a meaningful public voice to local developments. Please add your views to the questionnaire and check out these links: