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Talkies at Christ Church: live organ music, immortal comedy

Published on . Posted in Theatre and Cinema

david hinit accompanying metropolis at christ church southgate

David Hinitt improvising accompaniment to Metropolis at Christ Church in 2015

Following on from the roaring success in 2014 and 2015 of silent films at Christ Church Southgate set to live organ music, this year Talkies Community Cinema brings you silent comedy from one of the all time greats – Buster Keaton – with live organ music from Christ Church’s very own David Hinitt and Adam Dickson.

Buster's Shorts will be shown at Christ Church at 7.30pm on Saturday 5th October.

Follow this link for more details of the films to be shown and Buster Keaton's career.

Following on from the roaring success in 2014 and 2015 of silent films at Christ Church Southgate set to live organ music, this year we bring you silent comedy from one of the all time greats – Buster Keaton – with live organ music from Christ Church’s very own David Hinitt and Adam Dickson.

Tags:   Cinema
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Will Month at the North London Hospice

Published on . Posted in Charities and Volunteering

Following the success of our first 'Will Month' in June 2016, we are delighted to announce that we will be launching another free-wills campaign in November 2016.

north london hospice logoDuring this campaign we will be working with a selection of local solicitors who are offering their time free of charge to write a basic will in exchange for either a donation to North London Hospice, or a pledge to leave a gift to us in your will.

We are also holding an information clinic on October 6 at 4pm at North London Hospice (Finchley site). This will involve a short presentation on the role legacies play in the Hospice, followed by a Q&A session with a local solicitor. Refreshments will be provided. The campaign aims to highlight the importance of legacies to North London Hospice, and to encourage our supporters to remember us in their will so that we can continue our vital work in the community for generations to come.

To register an interest, visit the North London Hospice website.

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North London’s Got Talent 2017 - raising funds for the North London Hospice

Published on . Posted in Charities and Volunteering

After a hugely successful event in 2016, North London’s Got Talent is back at the artsdepot, in Finchley, on 25 February 2017.

photoWith almost  200 performers, each raising much needed funds for the Hospice, anda sell out audience,  our last show managed to raise an incredible £11,000 for North London Hospice! This year we are hoping to raise even more!!

We are looking for local amateur acts of individuals or groups to take part in the event. If you can sing, dance, tell jokes, perform magic or have any other talent, now is your chance to show off your performing skills in front of a live theatre audience and a judging panel. To register your interest complete the online registration form.

Tags:   Charities
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The Fox - housing development planned

Published on . Posted in Conservation

Fox Palmers Green geograph 3461584 by Christine MatthewsCopyright Christine Matthews and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons LicenceThe owners of the Fox pub in Green Lanes are planning to "develop" the site - they say they are keen to "rightsize the Fox alongside much needed housing on this site".

The Fox is owned by Star Pubs and Bars and the site redevelopment will be managed by a company called Lateral Property.  They are planning to discuss their ideas with local community groups and "key stakeholders" before engaging with the wider community in November.

Last year Southgate and District Civic Trust successfully registered the Fox as an Asset of Community Value.  The distinctive building is also included in the draft Local Heritage Listing document for Enfield.

It is not known whether the developers wish to demolish the building and replace it with a smaller pub.  Hopefully, this will become clearer once local groups have made contact with representatives of the owners.

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Posted: 16 Sep 2016 15:21 by Colin Younger #2274
Colin Younger's Avatar
Councillor Mary Maguire has invited a representative from Lateral Property, Star Pubs & Bars development managers, who are planning to develop the site of The Fox to come to the Palmers Green Ward Forum to talk about the plans for the Fox. The forum is on 6 October at in the Mayfield Athletic Club, 1 Kenmare Gardens, N13 5DR at 7.30pm.

Lateral Developments website says:
We are recognised as one of the UK's most active developers of food stores, retail units and restaurants. Our team of experienced development professionals, combined with our comprehensive market database and strong occupier relationships, has delivered projects across the UK for Lateral and for our partners.

Star Pubs and Bars is HEINEKEN's leased pub business which is made up of an estate of around 1,100 pubs throughout the UK. The Hop Poles in Enfield is one of their local pubs.

Lateral Developments are reaching out to a wide range of Enfield groups in their consultations, and a number of further meetings may be arranged.
Posted: 27 Sep 2016 15:08 by Karl Brown #2294
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Hopefully we will finally see some long needed investment in the building and its associated business, something which has been lacking for years. With the PG public realm due to be improved with Mini Holland / Cycle Enfield monies, the opportunity for a community-centric, flagship building holding the northern approach to the high street could be wonderful. Locals have said for years how a suitable pub / gastro pub / wine-bar type could work in this area. Combined with a function room for eg cinema, theatre – including the local drama groups, comedy as well as more traditional functions it could be a blinder.

Then again, who would be surprised if a money-centric viewpoint of seeking to maximise housing return from most all of the space, including some of the existing pub / function room, comes forward.

Money business or community business? Let’s see.
Posted: 27 Sep 2016 22:11 by PGC Webmaster #2296
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Joe Murray, landlord of the Fox, has posted the following message on the N13 Palmers Green Facebook page:

I have run the Fox since 2005 when I purchased the leasehold from original freeholders. I have worked extremely hard over the years to turn the pub around however, it has become abundantly clear to me that due to decades of neglect and mismanagement by previous owners, that the Fox now requires a very substantial investment in order to refurbish and modernise it both structurally and aesthetically.

After continued talks between myself and Heineken, the current freeholders, we both agreed that this investment should proceed.

Heinekens lease and management group Star Pubs have appointed Lateral Property Group to help them formulate and deliver their proposals. Lateral has a proven track record of working with local authorities and listening to the local community. Over the next few months, they are planning to undertake consultation with the local council, interested parties and residents.

I can assure you all that The Fox will not be demolished and will continue on this site and that the original building will remain. The result will be extremely pleasing to all locally concerned parties and to the wider community as a whole.

Joe Murray

Local listing: Draft list now out for comment

Written by Colin Younger Published on . Posted in Conservation

Following a comprehensive survey exercise covering the whole of the borough, in which many local residents took part, Enfield Council has now produced its revised draft list of items considered worthy of Local Listing. 

There are 251 entries on the list, considerably fewer than volunteers nominated. Details of those not selected for the list will be preserved for future reference.

enfield local heritage listThere are a number in the Palmers Green area, for example the HSBC bank building, the finger post road sign on the Triangle and the old Evans and Davies building, virtually all the parade along the west side of Green Lanes up to Dawlish Road, and the Fox.

Palmers Green station, the air raid/decontamination station in Broomfield Park, the United Reform Church on Fox Lane and Hazelwood School  are also included.

The background to this is that every borough will contain a number of buildings, designed landscapes and archaeological sites that are not on Historic England's National Heritage List for England, but have been identified locally as having some heritage interest meriting consideration on planning decisions. Creating a Local List is a way for local councils and communities to identify these local landmarks. Many property owners see the recognition of their buildings' heritage character as a positive benefit.

Local listing does not introduce a requirement to obtain any additional permissions over and above those that are already required. Being on the Local List means that the building's conservation as a heritage asset is a material consideration when deciding on planning applications. Proposals for change will be decided taking a balanced judgement having regard to the scale of any harm or loss and the significance of the heritage asset. Policy 6.5.2 of Enfield's Development Management Document sets out a requirement that development should conserve and enhance these buildings.

The draft list is open for public comment until 30 November.


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Beginners French classes starting this month

Published on . Posted in News

I am native and qualified teacher in Palmers Green, Muswell hill, Highgate and East Finchley. I run French classes at all levels.

Evening and daytime Course (10 weeks) - £170

  • 10 Weeks Course (15 hours)
  • Course for beginner A1-A2
  • 15 hour course over 10 weeks, one 90 min class per week
  • Fits easily into your life
  • Ideal for long-term learning, busy people or those studying for fun.
  • Focuses on practical language for use outside the classroom
  • Sociable, relaxed atmosphere

Also intermediate and advanced classes available.

Class Times:

  • 7.15-8.45pm on Monday/Tuesday
  • Tuesday 1-2.30pm
  • Friday 9.30-11am

Start Dates Available: September 19th 2016
Min Class Size: 4

Location: London - Muswell Hill - Palmers Green

TO BOOK NOW, please email  

Please call me if you need more information 07906 175529 or visit my website

A bientot.

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Information about plans for radical changes to local NHS services to be revealed in late September

Published on . Posted in Health Services

Information about plans currently being drawn up to make radical changes to NHS services in Enfield and four other north London boroughs will be made public at a meeting on 26th September.

Details of the meeting at the Dugdale Centre have appeared on the Healthwatch Enfield website (see the box at the bottom of this article). 

The plan in question is one of the "Sustainability and Transformation Plans" (STPs) that are currently in development, each covering health and social care in one of 44 areas into which England has been divided (so-called "footprints").  The North Central London footprint comprises Camden, Enfield, Barnet, Haringey and Islington.

The STPs are being drawn up in very short order at the behest of NHS England with the stated aim of introducing efficiencies that will make it possible to provide NHS services that are supposedly better than at present but at the same time allow the government to spend some £22 billion a year less than the amount that the head of NHS England, Simon Stevens, has stated would be needed to provide the services using current operating methods.

However, various pro-NHS campaigning organisations fear that the STPs will in practice involve sharp cut-backs in services while at the same time dividing NHS services up into geographical packages that would be ideal for contracting out to private health providers.

It is known that the North Central London STP has to reduce annual costs by some £117 million.  Some details have already emerged about the STP plans for neighbouring North West London, which seem to indicate a reduction in hospital beds and downgrading of some hospitals.  (See this earlier article for links to information so far gleaned about STPs in various parts of the country.)

Your STP is coming – don’t let it go unnoticed!

logoOn Friday, 26th August 2016 the BBC hit the headlines with its feature on STPs. Great, if you know what it is. What if you don't? A quick Google search unfortunately does not provide a definite answer. It could be a Scalar Triple Product, a Spanning Tree Protocol or a Sewage Treatment Plant. Sowhat do STPs have to do with health and social care?

STP is a Sustainability and Transformation Plan – a document that will affect every one of us! But let's start from the beginning.

In October 2014 NHS England published the 'NHS Five Year Forward View', which was further supplemented by the 'Five Year Forward View for Mental Health' and the 'General Practice Forward View'. In total almost 200 pages on what the future of our National Health Service will look like. Still, how do you put theory into practice? Cue - Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs).

Across Enfield, Barnet, Haringey, Camden and Islington, commissioners, providers and local authority representatives have been working together to shape our STP for North Central London. For a period, they have been operating in private meetings – discussing clinical approaches and their effectiveness, crunching numbers and generating volumes of work to meet the pace set by NHS England. However, our draft STP will not be private for much longer. Within a few weeks, you will not only be able to review the content of the plan, but you also will have an opportunity to meet the local decision-makers behind its development.

The need for public involvement and engagement with health and social care service transformation has never been greater than this. At Healthwatch Enfield, and in partnership with our counterparts in Barnet, Haringey, Camden and Islington, we constantly remind the STP leaders about their obligation to seek out and embed public views and opinions in all work-streams underpinning the development of new health and social care models. However, we cannot do this without your support! STPs are here to stay and we all need to take responsibility for shaping how they end up delivering our services.

Patricia Mecinska, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Enfield and North Central London Healthwatch nominated representative for the STP Transformation Board, said: "We are aware of the levels of anxiety surrounding the Sustainability and Transformation Plans; however I would urge the residents of Enfield to engage with the process of shaping the plan. Enough local voices can create a unique opportunity for a radical rethink of services to better meet individuals' needs, a true integration of health and social care, and put us, the people of Enfield, at the heart of future direction. In particular, we are anxious to ensure that the interests of Enfield residents are met, along with those from the other Boroughs.

"Healthwatch Enfield will continue to provide a local evidence base to STP leaders so your contribution to shaping the Sustainability and Transformation Plan for Enfield, Barnet, Haringey, Camden and Islington can be as simple as getting in touch with us. You do not even have to leave the comfort of your house to potentially make a difference to over 300,000 residents in Enfield. Email us, phone us, tweet us using #NCLSTP or simply write to us.

"Help shape your local services, otherwise the decisions will be made without you. Make health and social care services work for you and your community. Your voice matters!"


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Station staff strike scheduled for Wednesday has been called off

Published on . Posted in Public Transport

A strike of station staff employed by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) that was scheduled for Wednesday 7th September has been called off.

The strike would have been the first in a campaign of industrial action mounted by the RMT union in opposition to the rail operator's plans to close ticket offices at a large number of stations (the union says 84) and introduce "station hosts", who would be based on station concourses.

The RMT has suspended the campaign following discussions at the ACAS arbitration service.  According to the union, agreement has been reached with the company as follows:

  • The new arrangements will be trialled at eight locations with the pilots closely monitored by the unions
  • Ticket offices will remain open and staffed during the trial period
  • There will be no extension beyond the trial period without union agreement through a Joint Working Party
  • The trials will prevent a situation arising where lone workers are left carrying cash
  • There is an absolute guarantee that no jobs will be lost and there will be no changes to terms and conditions. Staff volunteering for the trials will be paid an additional £1000.

The talks at ACAS also involved a second rail union, the TSSA.

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Cycle Enfield plans come under more scrutiny

Written by Basil Clarke Published on . Posted in Cycle Enfield (Mini-Holland)

Enfield Council's plans to install cycle lanes along the A105 are again being challenged, this time by Conservative councillors, who have "called in" the decision by the Cabinet Member for the Environment, Councillor Daniel Anderson, to implement the proposals as set out in the Statutory Consultation earlier this year.

Under the Call In procedure the Conservative group is asking the Council's Overview & Scrutiny Committee to refer the decision back to Cllr Anderson, demanding that he hold a public enquiry into objections relating to bus lanes and waiting and loading restrictions and at the same time reconsider the objections to the scheme that were received during the Statutory Consultation phase.  They contend that the decision was made too quickly and objections were not considered sufficiently thoroughly.

The Call In will be discussed at the next meeting of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 8th September (7.30pm at the Civic Centre).  Links to relevant paperwork are below:

Report on the Statutory Consultation

Cllr Anderson signed off the decision to proceed on 17th August on the basis of a recommendation made by the Director of Regeneration and Environment, Paul Rogers, following analysis of 1600 objections to the scheme (some relating to its entirety, others to specific aspects or locations).

Mr Rogers' report (see the link in the box above) lists and responds to each of the objections (obviously, not all 1600 individually, as there was considerable duplication), concluding that, on balance, none of them is sufficient grounds to modify or cancel the scheme.  However, there has been one change from the proposals as previously published:  there will no longer be a two-hour time restriction in all of the free parking bays along the residential section of the route.

Familiar objections and familiar responses

The objections in principle to the scheme and to its main features are by now very familiar, and the same is true of the council's responses, so I won't repeat them (having said that, the report summarises the arguments on both sides very succinctly and elegantly).  There is some new and interesting material:  the inputs from the emergency services, the arrangements for Blue Badge holders and some of the detailed objections to the design at specific locations.  I've extracted the detailed points relating to Palmers Green (as far north as Sainsbury's) and you can read them in the box at the end of this article.

Emergency Services

The Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade have both indicated that they are content.  There was no formal objection lodged by the London Ambulance Service, but it did register general concern about road widths.  However, the nature of "light segregation", as opposed to the more substantial segregation along eg the Victoria Embankment, will make it possible for vehicles to drive in the cycle lanes when necessary.

The report makes it clear that the traffic orders will allow for circumstances in which it is quite appropriate for motorised vehicles to enter the cycle lanes.  These include dropping off and picking up Blue Badge holders, even when this takes some time.  The council will also be making further provision for disabled parking, set out in some detail in the report.

Arriva Buses

Arriva Buses objected to the removal of some lengths of bus lane where the road is rather narrow, and this has been seized upon by the chief anti-cycle lanes campaigners.  As a bus user myself, I'm unhappy about this, but clearly balances have to be struck.  However, I anticipate that there will be gains for buses in other places because they won't be stuck at bus stops waiting while cars overtake without letting the bus out, as is the case at present (long bus stop "dwell times" are as much to do with selfish car drivers as with passengers getting on and off).

In any case, Arriva run buses under contract to TfL, and it is TfL that is the prime mover for all the Mini Holland schemes.


There were a few points in the decision report that disappointed me, where I had submitted objections myself, but these were all rejected:

  • No 20mph limit through town centres
  • No pedestrian phase at the Green Lanes/Bourne Hill/Hedge Lane intersection on the grounds that it would case traffic congestion
  • No pedestrian phase at the entrance to Sainsbury's car park, on the same grounds.  But I was pleased to see that the objection to traffic lights here was rejected. 

The person(s) objecting to the Sainsbury's traffic lights claimed that there are "no perceived benefits for the majority of road users" - in other words, car drivers.  The fact that pedestrians and cyclists trying to cross the car park entrance on their way to Winchmore Hill are in mortal danger is clearly of no concern to some people, because we are only a minority.  The traffic lights will hopefully make the crossing slightly less hazardous.

Final thoughts

A couple of final thoughts. 

I wonder how many of the people now using loss of bus lanes as an excuse to try to stop Cycle Enfield objected to the bus lanes being put there in the first place. 

I'm very pleased to see that Save Our Green Lanes are so concerned about air quality.  However, I'm still waiting for them to call on their supporters to do their bit for air quality by driving less and driving smaller cars.

Objections relating to specific places in Palmers Green

Extracted from the Report discussed in the article

Objection that 'The Triangle' has not been merged into the footway space and t-junction created at Aldermans Hill which would have created a more enhanced area of public realm.

The concept design at the bid stage proposed the removal of the triangle island. However, a number of objections were raised against the removal of Palmers Green Triangle so the Council made the docision to take forward the option which retains the Triangle based on the objections at the time.

Objection to increased opening hours to Lodge Drive Car Park on the grounds that this will generate anti social behaviour (as previously experienced).

The upgraded and expanded car park is proposed remain open later into the evening to support the evening economy in Palmers Green. Access controls will be introduced so that vehicles cannot enter the car park after a specified time, but those already in the car park will be able to exit. This, together with amendments to the car park design, improved lighting and CCTV should ensure that past problems with anti-social behaviour do not recur.

Objection to the retention of taxi rank on Alderman's Hill. believed to be superfluous.

Taxi ranks are a vital part of the transport network and help ensure that taxi services can meet passenger demands. More than a third of taxi journeys completed in London each year originate from a taxi rank. Ranks are also of particular importance to passengers with mobility issues or those starting their journey in suburban areas. As a result the proposals look to retain the taxi rank in the vicinity of the station and the Palmers Green triangle, which are considered key trip generators.

Proposal for contraflow cycling along Devonshire Road based on the perception that this will be dangerous.

The conversion of one-way roads to two-way working for cycling is recommended in the London Cycle Design Standards, with the following extract taken from the standards. 'Unless there are over-riding reasons not to, there should be a presumption that contraflow cycling should be provided in any one-way street' This arrangement is already in place at several locations throughout the Borough with no reported problems.

Objection to the route going along Palmerston Crescent on the grounds that it will have a negative impact on residents.

The proposed route will not result in loss of parking on Palmerston Crescent, cycle logos will however be provided along the road to highlight to all road users that it is a designated cycle route.

Objection to the re-alignment of the Triangle on the grounds that it will create difficulties for westbound traffic turning right into Devonshire Road.

The re-alignment of the traffic island at Alderman's Hill will not affect westbound vehicles turning right into Devonshire Road. In both the existing and proposed situation there is a single eastbound lane passing Devonshire Road, which then flares to two lanes on the approach to Green Lanes.

Objection to the lack of formal pedestrian crossing points at the proposed traffic signals at the entrance to Sainsbury's store.

Traffic controlled pedestrian crossings were considered at this junction. However, the modelling assessment showed that the introduction of signalised crossings would have a significant impact on the network resilience and would result in significant queues and delays to general traffic and the bus routes along the corridor. Therefore, based on the need to maintain network resilience pedestrian crossings could not be implemented at this location.

Objection to the merging of the two zebra crossings by Sainsbury's store. The objector suggests that this decision seems to have been taken in order to try and maximise delays for other road users.

Based on site observations the predominant movement between the bus stops is to and from the Sainsbury's store. The existing arrangement of the southbound bus stop and zebra crossings is therefore away from the pedestrian desire line. The proposed bus stop arrangement improves the pedestrian desire line for people travelling between the store and the southbound bus stop.

Objection to the installation of traffic signals at the entrance to Sainsbury's store on the grounds that there are no perceived benefits for the majority of road users.

Left hook collisions — where a motor vehicle turnina left hits a cyclist — were involved in nine or Lonoon s rourreen cycling deatns in 2013. he access to Sainsbury's has a high volume of left turning vehicles as well as HGVs accessing Sainsbury's. The signals have been introduced primarily to remove the left hook conflict but it also provides dedicated time to the Sainsbury's exit to allow vehicles to exit onto the A105.

Objection that there is nowhere to park for disabled visitors to Gillian House Surgery at 457 Green Lanes, N13 4BS.

Access to the off-street parking at Gillian House would be retained as part of the scheme, with the current off-street parking restriction associated with the surgery retained.

Parking is available on the eastern side of Green Lanes between Park Avenue and Osborne Road, as part of the proposed scheme, as well as the existing side road parking off the A105.

Under the proposed scheme blue badge holders would be permitted to pick-up and set-down within the mandatory cycle lanes. Blue Badge guidance states that when you are being carried as a passenger, or when you are being set-down or picked up, the driver is allowed time to accompany you to your destination, including taking you into premises near to the vehicle. Tho Blue Badge should be displayed when this happens.

It should also be noted that current guidance for Blue Badge holders restricts parking where there is a dropped kerb, which forms a large section of the western footway in the vicinity of Gillian House currently and these dropped kerbs would be retained as part of the proposed scheme.

On an experimental basis, the Council will now also introduce an on-street dedicated disabled bay as part of the high street parking bays opposite the surgery.

Objection to the upgrade of the informal crossing point by St Monica's Church to a zebra crossing. The objector acknowledges that it would create a safer crossing facility but objects on the basis that zig zag lines utilise space that could be otherwise used for car parking.

Given the need to remove the existing advisory crossing island to accommodate the cycle lane and feedback from the public consultation, it was considered essential to retain a crossing provision in this location, given the proximity to St Monica's Church.

Objection to prevention of southbound vehicles using the slip road from the A105 into Hedge Lanes. It is perceived that this restriction will create difficulties for left turning HGVs and put pedestrians at risk.

Left hook collisions — where a motor vehicle turning left hits a cyclist—were involved in nine of London's fourteen cycling deaths in 2013. The left turn has been relocated to within the junction, to prevent left turn hook collisions occurring between ahead cyclists and left turning traffic. The traffic islands on Hedge Lane have been relocated east of their existing location to allow HGVs to safely make the left
turn movement.

Objection to the lack of signalised pedestrian crossing points at the Hedge Lane / Green Lanes junction.

Traffic controlled pedestrian crossings were considered at this junction. However, the modelling assessment showed that the introduction of signalised crossings would have a significant impact on the network resilience and would result in significant queues and delays to general traffic and the bus routes along the corridor. Therefore, based on the need to maintain network resilience, pedestrian crossings could not be implemented at this location.

In the existing situation the time between the Green Lanes traffic phase terminating and the side roads receiving a green is 13 seconds. In the proposed situation there will be a period of 20 seconds where only cycle movements are permitted and the general traffic is held, where pedestrian could cross to the central islands or across the entire width of the carriageway.

Objection to the removal of the crossing just south of Hazelwood Lane on the grounds that pedestrians will continue to cross the road at this location which will be dangerous and create congestion.

The signalised crossing south of Hazelwood Lane has been relocated north as it is currently below the latest design standard regarding the proximity of a side road (Devonshire Road) to a crossing. The crossing to the north is offset further from a side road and also increases the amount of parking on the high street.

Objection to me proposal for a t-junction at Fox Lane on the grounds that it will create tailbacks along Fox Lane and encourage 'rat running'.

The replacement of a roundabout with a priority junction has been proposed to better protect cyclists through the junction, as recommended in the London Cycle Design Standards. The proposed priority junction will also reduce delays on the A105, which will benefit buses and general traffic. Post implementation monitoring will be carried out and mitigation implemented, where appropriate, should rat running be an issue.

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Pinkham Way Alliance supporters fill the public gallery

Written by Karl Brown Published on . Posted in Pinkham Way

Karl Brown was in the public gallery to listen in during the examination in public of part of the Haringey Local plan dealing with the Pinkham Way nature conservation site (for background see this page on the Haringey Council website and this appeal from the Pinkham Way Alliance).

A full gallery heard from Haringey Council, the NLWA and Turleys acting for the PWA. Previously extensive written submissions, together with a call for more detail on some specific aspects (available on the PWA website), meant that this section of the multi-day hearing into the Soundness of Haringey’s proposed R19 Site Allocations and Development Management DPD  was relatively short and focused, at least in terms of the annals of this long running story.

Haringey Council confirmed that while the land at PW was (partly) designated as Employment, it was not included in figures discussed at an earlier day’s DPD examination to meet the employment demands of their own strategic plan nor the employment requirements of the London Plan, rather they were viewing it as some form of contingency comfort-buffer given the pressure the London Plan is generally placing on levels of Employment designated land.  Under questioning from the Inspector, who seemed puzzled why it was included in the submission in the first place, since they were proposing no change and had not counted any related employment figures, the Council indicated they would be content for the PW site to be removed from the submission, although as the overall discussion progressed it seemed this option was no longer left on the table by the Inspector.

The Waste Authority (NLWA) indicated in the clearest possible terms that while they had no idea what waste streams they intended to put on the PW site ("black bag" recyclate in a possible Edmonton incinerator replacement, or various functions related to recycling and/or bulking and on-transport) they "do intend to bring it forward in terms of development", ie concrete over at least part of it and build upwards. Their spokesman explained to the Inspector the difficulties that losing the site’s Employment designation would mean to this ambition.  It was made clear by the NLWA that the PW site was included in the (overdue) R19 draft of the North London Waste Plan being prepared by the seven councils of North London (again) as a chosen waste processing location. PWA highlighted that the NLWA had no (publicly available) strategic plan to support PW as such a "strategic site" they could apparently not afford to lose.

PWA and Turleys argued strongly that as the only dual-designated Grade 1 SINC (Site of Importance for Nature Conservation) in London and with no employment rationale or any employment supporting technical-planning-evidence, its Employment designation should be removed. The PWA case built from the extensive written submissions, highlighted the number of ecologically favourable reports since the designation was first made and the evidence since that time of the dilution in its relevance to carry Employment status, including findings made by the Council’s own external consultants. Technically the Inspectors attention was drawn to apparent contradictions in Haringey’s approach to Policies in both the London Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework.  PWA argued the definition emerging from these higher level planning guidelines and Policies indicted the site should be Open Space and the Employment designation should be removed.

After five years of huge ups and downs, experience suggests there will doubtless be more of the same. The Inspector will shortly be retiring to consider her report, which she indicates may require further specific written input, and after which, or perhaps before, we will see the R19 Draft NLWP, a document rewritten after the previous version failed to be Examined in Public a few years ago when the Inspector deferred the hearing on day 1 for the submitting Authorities to contemplate a revised approach fitting with national planning requirements. That NLWP was never resubmitted.

It has been a long, tortuous but to date very successful campaign. Previous PWA pressure leading to the termination of the Procurement alone is expected to save local ratepayers £900m over a three decade period. (NLWA’s own figures, PWA suspect the figure may be noticeably greater.)  But for such successes PWA needs ongoing resident support and especially financial support for this long running matter. While the core team of local PWA experts have run up many thousands of hours of voluntary input over 5 years and while which has consistently proven to be the better of all comers, on public examination occasions such as this, the topping-off of that work with expertise from Turleys has proven to be invaluable – and inevitably costly for a voluntary campaign. Your support can be indicated through the web site by signing up for occasional mailings and ideally donations. The alternative may well be a waste incinerator about a mile upwind, as the NLWA have this week reminded.

(The PW site is immediately to your left having just passed under the large mainline railway bridge on the north circular road. The rail bridge itself is just after the old gas holder, BP garage and the two large blue sheds which are also visible from space, as may be any waste site developed on PW.)

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