Connecting Crouch End and Hornsey with news, views and information
As long as its not another coffee shop we should all be safe!!! ;)
This is SUCH a shame. So many independent shops failing.
Before you know it CE will be like the Angel, Islington, good for nothing except filling your face, working in the coffice and getting drunk. I think there is a lot of complacency about Crouch End, for instance I know that the Crouch End Festival, The Hornsey Town Hall Creative Trust and the Crouch End Project are all too pre-occupied with their own undertakings to bother applying for any money from the Mayor's fund. The most energetic group at present seems to be the proposed Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum which deserves our support.
I'm very excited about the formation of the Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum - especially with the involvement of your good self and the very wonderful David Winskill.
Personally, my biggest concern is the death of local businesses and, as you stated, CE becoming another identikit town.
I live near Park Road and, while I'm overjoyed by the success of Heirloom, Bar Esteban, the Urban Flower Co and Bottle Apostle, there's quite a few empty units popping up, which I really hope are populated by ambitious, intelligent businessmen/women.
However, if you were a landlord, would you take a risk on charging lower rent for a small business which might fail, or take more cash from a chain with millions of pounds behind them and a proven business plan already in place?
It's such a shame, but I'm not sure what (if anything) can be done to arrest the slide...
The same chap owned Pizza Bella and Bouga (two eyesores) for ages. Thankfully he's now sold them both, but he was quite happy to let them rot until the right amount of cash came through.
I think in the long term the only answer is reform of the commercial property laws to give small independent retail more security, and maybe 'designation' of essential shops preventing them changing use, as happens in Paris. Maybe the CE Neighbourhood Forum can make some difference to the planning situation in the short term - not sure what yet