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devonshire plaza palmers green under construction october 2022The scene this week in Devonshire Road

If you've walked along Green Lanes in recent weeks and glanced up Devonshire Road you'll have noticed some rather puzzling changes. First, a poem by Stevie Smith appearing on a wall, then some strange drawings on the road surface, and this week the slightly bizarre and somewhat chaotic scene shown above, with stairs that go nowhere. So what's going on?

It's the long awaited Devonshire Plaza under construction - a new public space where people of all ages will be able to pass the time of day with others, sit, eat and drink and play. When finished it will look like the artist's impression below.

artists impression of planned devonshire square in palmers green 1An artist's impression of what is being created: Devonshire Plaza

The idea using the end of Devonshire Road as a space for people to spend time with one another goes back to 2019, when Better Streets for Enfield set up the borough's first "parklet", which was there for a few hours only but proved popular with both passers-by and local businesses. Parklets are a concept that was devised by Brenda Puech from the Hackney Living Streets group and has been taking off around the capital.

devonshire road parklet september 2019The September 2019 parklet in Devonshire Road was a modest affair and was only there for a few hours, but it showed the concept's potential

The pioneering Better Streets for Enfield parklet led to Enfield Council taking up the concept. After consulting local businesses the council announced that it would be installing a commercially built moveable parklet at the same spot in late 2021 - but the location was then switched to Chase Side in Southgate, where it remains to this day. The reason for the change of plan was the decision to go for a much more ambitious scheme in Palmers Green - the Plaza that is now under construction.


A plaza for PG? (Palmers Green Community 17 November 2021)

What a perfect day for a pop-up parklet! (Palmers Green Community 20 October 2019)

Parklets page on the Let's Talk Enfield website

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PGC Webmaster's Avatar
PGC Webmaster posted a reply #6614 15 Oct 2022 14:42
Apologies to Palmers Green Action Team for failing to mention their involvement in this project. They have provided the following information:

"This is a project that was inspired by Better Streets pocket park in 2019 and then from there we (Palmers Green Action Team) proposed the idea of Devonshire Square to the council and have been consulting with them and Jan Kattien architects for over a year.

"The final pieces of the install are street furniture and then festoon lighting which will go in in November and then we will have an official opening."

Note too that the new public area is no longer referred to as a "plaza", which is what the council were calling it last November . The official name is Devonshire Square.
Karl Brown's Avatar
Karl Brown posted a reply #6616 16 Oct 2022 10:10
So we have a Square as well as a Triangle, while Southgate offers five-ways roundabout. Is Winchmore Hill even at the races?

Well done to the Action Team and Better Streets before that; this should be a really positive addition to the high street offer
Neil Littman's Avatar
Neil Littman posted a reply #6623 20 Oct 2022 11:47
Why does Karl Brown need to have a dig at Winchmore Hill when he doesn't know what the proposals are for improving the Green even further when it has been established as a dining out area for nearly three years and has been generating much needed income for local businesses and attracting visitors from outside the area. Don't see what the roundabout in Southgate has to do with anything either?
Karl Brown's Avatar
Karl Brown posted a reply #6624 20 Oct 2022 15:01
Neil, I would take your victims hat off and instead look at it through the jovial lens of a run of shapes; I almost went for a Halloween timed pentangle reference, but decided against. A GCHQ posting probably not for you. As for the Green, a splendid development. Have a word and Helen O who might recall the thanks she sent me for suggesting such a change of perspective for the area probably about a decade since, maybe before you moved to the area.
PGC Webmaster's Avatar
PGC Webmaster posted a reply #6631 25 Oct 2022 22:48

One of several new photographs on the Palmers Green Action Team Facebook page of people of all ages enjoying the as yet incomplete Devonshire Square in Green Lanes.

The accompanying text reads:

The install of Devonshire Square is almost complete and the festoon lighting will be introduced in November. We are so thrilled to see it being used already! Here’s a little more about the project:

Devonshire Square is the first public square in Palmers Green, designed by @jankatteinarch and funded by Enfield Council in consultation with Palmers Green Action Team. It’s a democratic space for everyone to use ? Currently it’s an 18 month pilot but we hope in time it will grow in popularity at which point the ground will be levelled and it will be made permanent.

The idea for DS came from the community and started with Better Streets in 2019 and their pocket park. It’s part of a borough wide strategy to invite people back to the high street; We know that a lively street scene is good for footfall, local businesses and makes the high street more resilient.

The structures, built by @buildingbloqs are street furniture and are for people to sit on, climb on and enjoy. By adding height it allows a better perspective once you’ve completed a dot to dot drawing on the ground ☺️ The art and poetry is all inspired by the work of local poet, Stevie Smith.

We plan to hold a Winter Market at Devonshire Square in December and we hope this will be the first of many outdoor events in this new community space.
Ann Jones's Avatar
Ann Jones posted a reply #6639 03 Nov 2022 10:05
Thank you for the update. Please can anyone tell me is there any public seating in the Plan? The designer couldnt point to any but does say you can sit on the stair steps. Is this really all the public seating there is here? Do all the chairs belong to the cafes? Would really like to know where members of the public can freely sit in this public space. Thanks.
Darren Edgar's Avatar
Darren Edgar posted a reply #6640 03 Nov 2022 10:10
wasn't this where there was going to be public seating? a lovely parklet providing seating, dry cover and attractive planting, then a load of people kicked off (principally anti-LTN folk) and it got moved to Southgate High Street?
Ann Jones's Avatar
Ann Jones posted a reply #6643 04 Nov 2022 00:02
Anyone know if there is any public seating in this public place? According to the Council, it was the local cafe that refused to allow the £35k parklet here as if would ruin their business which is why I’m keen to know if again they have refused to accept any public seating here?