Both the discussions on the mini-Holland scheme and the consultation on the future of Palmers Green raise issues about the shopping environment. One of the most significant influences on the street scene, whether in a Conservation Area (as along parts of Aldermans Hill) or more generally, is the appearance of shop fronts themselves.
This can be as subtle as the colouring and lettering on shop fronts or as “in your face” as the spread of the solid shop front security shutters which can give a forbidding aspect to the street scene when closed.
Strangely little known, and regrettably so far as I can see little used, is the Shop Front Design Guide, which if applied could have an enormously positive effect. Shop fronts are subject to frequent revision, and it seems to me, if the Design Guide was used could transform our shopping areas at no added cost to shop owners.
I would like to see Enfield using this routinely - in fact I can’t understand why they haven’t been using it. If local businesses want to improve the shopping experience and are concerned about the death of local high streets perhaps they could begin by taking this in to account when they replace shop fronts. What’s the down side? At the moment we have a jumble of clashing frontages which have no regard to their overall impact – let’s bring some style to Palmers Green!