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TOPIC: Regenerating Palmers Green town centre

Regenerating Palmers Green town centre 14 Aug 2019 20:19 #4772

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The following report on the July meeting about the regeneration of PG town centre is reproduced, with kind permission, from the most recent Fox Lane & District Residents Association (FLDRA) newsletter. As noted in the report, the next FLDRA open meeting, on 11th September, will include an update by Andrew Catcheside from Enfield Council.

improving enfield palmers green croppedThe Leader of Enfield Council, Cllr Nesil Caliskan, held an open meeting on 13 July 2019 to kick off consultations on plans to revitalise Palmers Green High Street.

Enfield Council is implementing a plan to revitalise several key town centres in the Borough, including Palmers Green. A Town Centre Development Team has been created. Team member Andrew Catcheside is liaising with community and business groups for an initial gathering of information and ideas.

Town centres are declining throughout the country, unable to compete with the convenience of internet shopping, large shopping malls and hypermarkets. Palmers Green is still comparatively healthy, but some important shops have closed down in recent years and the retail offer is not sufficiently varied. Many would say that the environment along the High Street is unattractive, with no open spaces, little greenery, and a jumble of discordant shop frontages and signage. Shop owners complain that the controversial laying of the cycle lane along the high road has made things worse, reducing parking spaces and increasing congestion. Cllr Caliskan gave a general overview of the scheme, which aims to make our town centres "vibrant, vital and valued". She noted that a number of initiatives are already underway that will support better high streets, such as the Heritage Strategy, improvements to street cleaning, waste enforcement, the review of business rates, support for an "evening economy" and the creation of a £50K fund for community projects. Groups including the Palmers Green Action Group and the Green Lanes Business Association have already received grants for projects to improve the high street environment.

Mr Catcheside said that the team has already taken on board some of the ideas coming from the community, including the possible development of guidelines for new shop fronts, facilitating access to empty commercial spaces for pop-up businesses and start-ups, and the creation of "parklets" where possible. Feedback received from the community in other consultations in the past will also be reviewed and taken into account.

There was a lively general discussion and Q&A, and the sensitive issue of new housing blocks on the high street was debated. Cllr Caliskan stated that the construction of housing developments near transport and services is official policy to meet housing targets in the London Plan. Some participants felt that new housing should be supported but must be genuinely affordable and suitable for families, and objected to high-rise constructions with large numbers of expensive 1 and 2-bed units that do not address the need for affordable family-sized accommodation.

Next steps are as follows:

  • Andrew Catcheside (Town Centres Development Team) will give an update at the next open meeting of our residents’ association to be held in Burford Hall at 7:45 pm on Wednesday, 11 September 2019. There will be an opportunity for Q&A and discussion.
  • Meanwhile, the Development Team will convene a small consultation group of representatives of local community groups.
  • It is hoped that a Vision and Action Plan will be available in October 2019. This will be a live document and there will be further opportunities to give your views and suggestions.

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Regenerating Palmers Green town centre 26 Aug 2019 21:15 #4773

Come and visit the Pop-up Parklet on September 15th at the Devonshire Road/Green Lanes junction, N13 4QS in Palmers Green Town Centre. Greenery, seating and more - to show what could be done. Please come and show your support between 2pm and 5pm (and why not visit a local shop/cafe at the same time - a fair few will be open).

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