A Community Network for Bowes Park and Bounds Green
We’ve spent the last 18 months focusing on making The Step the best it can be but we are now thinking more about the future of Myddleton Road and how we can all work to make it a better place. We don’t want to look backwards, we are where we are, but we need everyone including the relevant people at Haringey Council to share our enthusiasm for this street and, more importantly, the Bowes Park area to be bullish and belligerent about our future.
The potential for regeneration in this curious little “Bowes Park Triangle” of ours is immense. We have the excellent transport links, the availability of relatively well-priced housing and the enthusiastic spirit of a creative community. Look at the massive success of the Myddleton Road Market and how it brought our own community together and drew scores of new people to the area. This was a reason to be proud and must be capitalised on.
So we must ask ourselves why the heart of Bowes Park is a rundown, ramshackle street crippled with high density, low quality housing and the multitude of anti-social problems this brings? We must ask why illegal and ugly shutters out number open shop fronts at a ratio of five to one? Because this Myddleton Road does not reflect the vast majority of people who live in streets and roads that surround it so difficult questions must be asked of Haringey as to quite how the street has been left to rot and decay like this. We know of several people who have wanted to set up a business in the area but couldn’t find a retail space to let so we must ask why in less than 100 metres we have ten “property” companies whose activities contribute absolutely nothing to the local community?
We are not kidding ourselves that the solutions are easy and we know the historical reasons that led to the decline of Myddleton Road as a shopping street. There are probably many issues that we don’t fully understand but we founded The Step because we believe in Bowes Park and want to put back something in to the community as well as trying to make a living here. Without being too big headed we are bloody proud of what we have achieved so far but we want to make it very clear that if Haringey Council is not serious in backing the future of Bowes Park then we will move elsewhere and we will do this soon.
We didn’t open our business because we looked at the area and saw pound signs to get rich quick. We opened The Step because we saw a huge potential for long term regeneration and improving the quality of life here but nearly two years on, the signs are mixed and confused. On the one hand, the rubbish in the street is getting worse, anti-social behaviour is significantly on the increase and the quality of housing on the street is becoming ever more alarming and absurd. This is spreading to other roads in the area, make no mistake about that.
However…the positive news is that we know there are local people who want to invest in Myddleton Road. We know that there are many local people in Bowes Park both old and new who care deeply about the area. We know from personal experience that there are many people considering moving to the area but the ugly and seemingly unloved High Street is a big drawback for them. We have a brilliant street market, beautiful community garden, the Tin Tabernacle and an outdoor gym. In two years time wouldn’t it be brilliant if that last sentence was a paragraph?
So let’s not use the past as an excuse for passing more and more poor quality, high density housing in the area …let us use the future as a reason for saying no, this will harm the people who live here, your proposals are of no benefit to Bowes Park whatsoever. Let’s all of us work together to get that English Heritage money flowing in to Myddleton Road because if managed correctly it will make a world of difference.
It is also vital we engage with the certain landlords on the street because when we have spoken to them they don’t seem to have any idea of the damage they are doing to the Bowes Park community. They also don’t realise the huge potential of the properties they own…by train, we are twenty minutes from the City of London and the same from Shoreditch, the creative centre of London. Bowes Park could and should be the next big emerging area of our capital but a handful of cynical, short-sighted landlords don’t, or won’t, see this potential and have their foot to the throat of Myddleton Road. This is choking the life out of a whole area.
Do we throw our hands in the air and leave the future of Myddleton Road and, more importantly, the wider community of Bowes Park in the clutches of a handful of landlords who live far away from the boundaries of Haringey. We have put too much into The Step to walk away just yet and over the coming months we will be doing absolutely everything we can to put Myddleton Road and Haringey Council in the media spotlight…its blighted and bungled past and present, as well as its future potential.
Because it is a story worth telling and a street worth fighting for.
Let us know what you think by posting on our discussion on the Bowes and Bounds Forum.
Yours in hope
Nell and Mat
Maggy from the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum will be talking about Neighbourhood Plans (NPs) on the 18th.
If you want to know more about NPs and to help you decide whether you think we should produce one for Myddleton Road or Bowes Park, there is some information here: http://locality.org.uk/projects/building-community/
Specifically, the "Quick Guide to NPs" is very good: http://locality.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Quick-Guide.pdf
In the last meeting there was mention of a document that was a property audit (mentioned by Matt Cooke)
Listing the owners of the properties on Mydlleton rd is this publicly available anywhere please?
Some good few years ago the Council did such an 'audit' and had all this information.
It was not a public document, and I have no idea if they have kept it up to date since then. I doubt it.
But Cllr Cooke suggested, I believe, that it would have to be done if any form of genuine plan for the improvement of the road was to be created.
The only way that I know for you or me to get the name and details of owners is to go on to the Land Registry website and get the current information for a property. The website usually has details of ownership - but sometimes none appears to exist, I dont know why. If they do have the title documents, then you can purchase those for £3 per property online. I guess we could all do it ourselves if we chipped in enough money into a kitty. But if Haringey is going to do it soonish.... then perhaps not waste our money.
Another piece of news coverage on this issue - this time an article by Ruth McKee in the Enfield Independent - which includes a plug for the community meeting on November 18th. You can read the full article here
Yes - it is about an impact on the whole area. Thanks for the link to the article.
Clodagh McGuirk from Haringey Council gave an interesting presentation on Neighbourhood Planning, specifically to do with Myddleton Road at the recent Myddleton Road Strategy Group meeting on 7th November. I attach the presention she gave and I will upload some brief minutes of the meeting soon. I hope that they are both useful.
Below are the minutes from the MRSG meeting on 7th November when we discussed Neighbourhood Planning with reference to Myddleton Road. They and the presentation (above) should help provide some context for the public meeting on Monday.
The time has whizzed by since the last Myddleton Road meeting. We were amazed, ecstatic and so impressed by how many people came to share fantastic ideas and pass on valuable knowledge. The swell of positive feeling about Myddleton Road and Bowes Park was tangible, which is seriously exciting for this place we call home.
So the time has come to start getting some concrete plans in place and lay a solid foundation. We've asked Maggy Meade-King who heads of the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum along as well as Jan Kattein Architects to present at the next meeting, which is at The Step on...
Monday 18th September at 7.30pm
We've had a very busy month at The Step so please accept our apologies for the delay sending around the minutes of the last meeting. They are now complete though and we've also drawn up an agenda for the next meeting:
Minutes of the last meeting
The meeting is at The Step again but it will be on the ground floor which provides more space and better access. Refreshments and a slightly reduced menu will be available.
We hope to see you all there and please do spread the word to people you know who would also like to attend.
In case you can't wait for, or can't make the meeting, Maggy has recently written a blog about her experiences with the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum, available here: http://www.highgateneighbourhoodforum.org.uk/blogs/planning-for-hig...
Thanks so much for providing all this background information - we should have a well informed crowd at Monday's meeting. :)
Inspirational - interesting to see the way that the forum grew. Great that Maggie is coming to the meeting on Monday.
Thanks to all those who attended the meeting last night and contributed their ideas for the next steps to make sure Myddleton Road's future is as grand as it's past. There was a full house at The Step - a report on the meeting, and what happens next, will be published over the next few days.
Special thanks to our guest speakers Maggy Meade-King from Highgate Neighbourhood Forum and Jan Kattein. Also to Cathy Herman and Lucy Whitehead for their updates on the Market and Myddleton Road Strategy Group.
All the news and developments around Myddleton Road will now be collated on this page of the forum.