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
Re posts about planning policies etc and expertise...
I agree we should make use of anyone's skills etc. I understand that some of Haringey's policies are being reviewed or should I say that have the status of 'guidance docs' while they work out NPPF impact and other issues...we've had a few issues with planning on Queens Rd and recently had a meeting with Ransford and local Councillor Joanna to talk through some policies and things that had gone wrong with the process....
It was a very open conversation and informative.
I haven't read the strategy group minutes as yet, but wondering if a similar conversation might be useful? But do we need to form a N'hood Forum first? And maybe Caroline and the startegy group have had these conversations before? On the other hand, we are approaching an election, so now might be the time to capitalise on a political desire to good?
Many thanks indeed to Lindsey who has completed detailed minutes of last weeks meeting.
These are also available to download from the "We Love Mydleton Road" page on this site which also links to useful background information about establishing a Neighbourhood Forum.
Thanks also Julie and Simon who have set-up a brief questionnaire to gather information from those neighbours who want to get involved in the next stages of establishing a Neighbourhood Forum. If you haven't already - you can sign up here.
A smaller group of those who want to be actively involved in taking the ideas forward will be meeting on December 10th
The next stage in this process is a small planning group meeting - on December 10th at The Step
This smaller group will take the dicsussion from the public meeting as a starting point and establish proposals for setting up a Neighbourhood Forum.
If you are going to attend - or want to suggest an agenda item - please leave a comment on the event listing entry
What a shame - the next meeting clashes (again) for me so I won't be able to come to this one either but I'm very keen to get involved. I look forward to hearing how I can help!
Anyone notice they're doing some work at the old Zara Fish and Chip shop on Myddleton Road at the moment? Definitely some hardcore gardening. (I saw a Japanese Knot Weed sign on the van nearby)
Anyone know what's planned?
Yep... this is one of the ones we looked at before opening The Step. The garden was full of Japanese Knotweed and there was a mains water leak underneath the building (probably for a number of years), so there is also serious dry rot on the ground floor. The surveyor we had was astounded when he saw it!
The owners put plans in to convert some of the back section of the shop and build an extension to create, wait for it... a studio flat! This was refused by Haringey but passed by the Planning Inspectorate. Only two people objected to the plans and I'm very cross with myself that one of them wasn't me.
Here's a link to the documents...
It could be a really nice shop, but if anyone plans on opening a business on Myddleton Road, please have your wits about you when dealing with this landlord. They are ok but they will negotiate very hard and I would suggest that you do NOT agree to a "full repairing lease" however reasonable they make it sound.
It's a good space and obviously the bonus is that it is empty and they seem to still be actively looking for a tenant. The rent was also reasonable but please get advice when agreeing a commercial lease.
Hope that helps!
What is really maddening is that no-one from Haringey Planning turned up at the Inspector's site meeting. It just may be that the decision would have been different if they had!
I visited the site on Wednesday evening and Thursday Morning following this I spoke to Haringey’s enforcement department the enforcement officer stated that the planning permission for this site was refused by LBH planning department but subsequently approved by the planning inspector in 2011.
The enforcement officer was due to visit the site yesterday afternoon to see what works are being carried out.
If there any questions regarding 90 MR please use the link below to get in contact with me.
Cllr Ali Demirci
I’m aware it’s about time Bowes & Bounds readers were updated on the on-going work following the public meetings about Myddleton Road.
A successful smaller meeting of the group was held on 10 December – big thanks to all those who attended.
At that meeting we discussed the various issues the Road is experiencing, what we might be able to do to bring about change (including the Neighbourhood Forum idea) and some next steps.
In addition to much discussion about the issues and challenges two key actions arose from the meeting:
Thanks to this work we’ve started to figure out what we might want to do to address the various concerns and how we might be able to use the community enthusiasm brought together by Nell’s original post “A Street Worth Fighting For...” to make a difference.
As such we will be holding another small group meeting of those keen to help shape and organise the response. It will take place at The Step on Tuesday 21 January at 1930 to discuss the way forward.
Afterwards we then hope to update the whole community with fuller details and to present some ideas for action over the coming year.
If you wish to attend the next small group meeting please RSVP to the new event listed on Bowes & Bounds.
Or to get involved more generally we can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel, Lucia, Toby & Laura
We had a very productive meeting of the Myddleton Road Strategy Group (MRSG) on Tues 7th Jan where we discussed the future of the MRSG and its' potential relationship to the "We love Myddleton Road" group or whatever we decide to call ourselves. I will be writing up the MRSG minutes and posting them here soon.
In the meantime, attached are the minutes from the 3rd December MRSG meeting where the main topic was HMOs. Sorry for the delay, but Xmas intervened and I wanted to make sure everyone was happy with them before posting them here.
Rather more quickly than I expected, we have finalised the minutes from the MRSG meeting on 7th January (attached) where discussion focused on feedback from Toby's factfinding about the best way forward for the "We love Myddleton Road" group (or alternative names?) and the MRSG.