Later this month local residents will be invited to play a part in planning future enhancements to the "Palmers Green Public Realm", which we understand refers to redevelopment and public works along the stretch of Green Lanes between Bourne Hill and Broomfield Lane and to the eastern end of Aldermans Hill. The focal point of this area is Palmers Green Triangle, the future shape of which is uncertain - the last study carried out by the Council actually recommended completely removing the triangular traffic island.
The active part of the consultation exercise, to be held between 21st and 23rd March, will literally involve "playing", as members of the public will give their views by placing cards on a 3D model of Palmers Green town centre constructed by pupils at St Anne's High School.
The model will be located in a fully accessible mobile "consultation space", which will be parked in Green Lanes, near the Oxfam shop - the original plan to site the vehicle at the Triangle was changed because of fears that the concrete slabs placed over the underground toilets would not take the weight. The public will be invited inside, given a briefing and then invited to point out positive features and problems in the area, and make suggestions for improvements. This will be done through cards which are placed within the model.
Facilitators from the Council will be available throughout the process to explain the objectives and answer questions. The placing of the cards will be documented continuously by the consultation facilitators through marking up maps of the area and taking photographs of the model.
The day before the consultation space opens, there will be a presentation on the process (and a chance to question local councillors) at the regular meeting of the Bowes, Palmers Green and Southgate Green Area Forum, which will be held at 7.30pm on 20th March at Trinity-at-Bowes Methodist Church (corner of Bowes Road and Palmerston Road).
By the time the consultation starts it should be known whether or not Enfield has been successful with its "Mini-Holland" bid for money from the Mayor of London to improve conditions for cyclists in the borough. Should the bid (supported by both Labour and Conservative groups) be successful, this too will have implications for Palmers Green town centre, as Green Lanes would form part of an enhanced through cycle route from Enfield Town to Wood Green that would involve remodelling Green Lanes and, in particular, its junctions with Hedge Lane/Bourne Hill, Fox Lane, Alderman's Hill (The Triangle) and Broomfield Lane/Oakthorpe Road.
During the consultation exercise, the Council will make it clear that finding the money to make the enhancements is likely to be difficult. It may well be the case that they are counting on using some of the Mini-Holland funding from the Mayor (up to £25 million across the borough). However, any Mini-Holland changes would involve a separate consultation process and it is unclear how this would tie in with the consultation that is about to begin.
- Enfield Council press release
- detailed report about a previous consultation about enhancing the public realm in Palmers Green
- survey of public opinion about Palmers Green Triangle.
[This article was edited on 9 March 2014 to update information about the location of the consultation space.]