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Don’t scupper our super high street – please!

Mrs PT

Mrs PTWho am I? A local resident of Hornsey & Crouch End.

What do I want? A Sainsbury’s mixed use development in the centre of the Hornsey High Street.

When do I want it? Now, or as soon as practicably possible!

I live close to the Hornsey High Street with my husband and two Dalmatians. You may have seen Rose and Kate (the ‘Dals’) taking me for a walk on a regular basis!

I have an ambivalent relationship with the High Street. It has some real local gems;  Tomo (the restaurant), the refurbished Great Northern Railway Tavern and Italica (the authentic Italian coffee shop) to name just a few.

However, one cannot escape the reality that there has been for some time (and still is) a vast, gaping hole in the centre of the High Street that has failed to be filled for many a year. This, sadly, slowly sucks the vitality and viability out of our little High Street. Every year the site remains dormant.

As a Pilates Instructor and enthusiast, I love all things healthy and not just a healthy body! A high street should be healthy too. It should have a good range of services to support its local community, attract plenty of foot-fall, as well as having very few vacant sites. It is damaging to have that vast, vacant site form the desolate heart of our High Street. It seems ridiculous to stand in endless, circling queues in the High Street’s little Tesco, whilst all that potential space sits empty.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love an independent business, I am currently striking out setting up my own Pilates practice and I am very aware of the challenges of being a small fishy. That said, I am a realist and understand that that development site needs to be filled – asap- by the bigger chains (and only they can).

Now, I’ve heard a few rumours on Twitter, that some of the die-hard Crouch End enthusiasts don’t want Hornsey to have a Sainsbury’s. They fear it will compete with the Broadway, and I’ve even heard the plans exaggerated by the doomsayers. Hmmm…Well, you don’t have to be an urban planner to see that Hornsey’s High Street needs more shopping provision, and that Crouch End would be just fine should Hornsey get a Sainsbury’s, (just think of all the supermarkets crowding round the Clocktower!).

You see, I heart Crouch End, very much so. I also heart Muswell Hill. But there is another love to my retail life…I heart Hornsey!! I want the people of Hornsey to get what they need. Yes, another supermarket- offering much needed choice- as well as many new homes for first time buyers.

There are more than 200+ town centres in London and there is room for all of them. London, our wonderful city continues to grow attracting new residents. The New River development (on Hornsey High Street) is a clear example of new demand. So let Hornsey High Street grow too, in line with its needs.

The first Hornsey Festival is set to launch this September and is a testament to the buzz that is on the High Street and gathering momentum. The people of Hornsey are no longer willing to let their little High Street go without. So this summer, don’t scupper our super-high street, its supermarket, and Hornsey’s future health!

Please!

Naomi Boxall

 

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