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Palmers Green residents are being invited by Enfield Council's Journeys and Places team to provide feedback on the newly published concept for a permanent redesign of Devonshire Square. In addition to an online survey running until 2nd June, there will be a public drop-in session on Friday 24th May.

devonshire square concept design may 2024An artist's impression taken from the concept design and design inspiration document

"Devonshire Square" is the name given by the council to a stretch of Devonshire Road at its junction with Green Lanes that was blocked off to cars in 2022 to provide a pedestrianised public space suitable for events such as markets and a play area for children. In February this year the traffic order used to create the space was made permanent, and at the Spring Market held in the square in March Journeys and Places asked visitors to comment on some initial ideas for a permanent redesign aimed at creating a more welcoming and flexible community space for residents and businesses.

An invitation from Journeys and Places and Hayatsu Architects

Please join us at Arbeit Studios, rear of 310 Green Lanes, N13 5TT on Friday 24 May from 4pm to 6pm to view the plans for Devonshire Square and help shape its future.

exterior of arbeit studios palmers green

Arbeit Studios, just off Green Lanes, is the venue for the drop-in engagement session on 24th May

We invite residents, businesses, and anyone interested to attend and meet council officers from the Journeys and Places team, along with Hayatsu Architects who are leading on the designs to transform Devonshire Road into in a permanent cultural and community space.

The design has been informed by the feedback gathered from the local community and stakeholders so far, and your input at this event will inform the next phase of detailed design.

Please drop-by anytime between 4pm and 6pm to share your views, have a chat and enjoy some delicious cake provided by local business Le Grand Jour.

If you are attending the event, please note that the toilet is located on the first floor up a flight of stairs at Arbeit Studios. However, there are ground floor toilets located at the Olive Cafe and Bakery and Le Grand Jour Cafe nearby on the corner of Devonshire Road.

Source: Let's Talk Enfield website

children playing in devonshire square palmers greenDevonshire Square today: the former road surface, raised pavement areas and wooden decking will be replaced by a level decorative surfacing. The play equipment will go, and there will be several areas of planting, designed to improve biodiversity

Taking into account comments collected in March, Journeys and Places have now published a "concept design and design inspiration document". In place of the existing surfacing, basically unchanged since this was a through road and consisting of raised pavements on either side of a standard carriageway, but with added temporary wooden decking, the square will have a decorative flat surface.

A planting strategy for the square is being developed by the Hortus Collective and is designed to improve biodiversity, human wellbeing, soil health and air quality. Each planting area will potentially form part of an integrated sustainable urban drainage system, diverting rainwater into planted bioretention areas designed to reduce flooding and filter out impurities -  something that is becoming increasingly important as climate change brings about heavier rain storms.

As well as tables and chairs provided by the cafes on either side of the square, there will be built-in seating adjacent to the new planting.

Devonshire Square concept design and design inspiration document

The online survey

The survey, available until 2nd June, invites people to judge the extent to which the proposed design would create a space which

  • is safe and separated from the road
  • feels welcoming
  • will be somewhere they would like to spend time in
  • will feel like a vibrant public square
  • will be greener through new planting
  • will be accessible to everyone.

It also asks for view on how the space can be made safe for everyone considering it is a shared space for people walking, cycling and spending time.

Online survey form - deadline Sunday 2nd June

If, as appears to be the case, the project is keeping to the timetable that was published in December 2023, we can expect the council to publish a summary of the current engagement phase next month, then in July reveal a revised design for the square, issue a notification letter about the works in August or September and launch the new-look Devonshire Square in March next year.

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PGC Webmaster posted a reply
16 May 2024 12:42

Apologies to readers who may have encountered a broken link to the design concept document in yesterday's article about redesigning Devonshire Square .

The link was correct when I wrote the article, but since then Journeys and Places have replaced what was quite evidently an interim version of the document with a new version.

I've updated the link in the article, or you can read it here.
Basil Clarke posted a reply
10 Jun 2024 00:14

Enfield Dispatch has reported that at a recent planning committee meeting the leader of the Conservative opposition on Enfield Council, Alessandro Georgiou, voiced opposition to the permanent pedestrianisation of Devonshire Square.

The Dispatch quotes Cllr Alessandro as saying:

“What the committee is being asked to do is to make a permanent decision without a level of consultation, and my understanding is once the order’s been terminated, the vehicular access, it won’t come back to the committee.

“My problem with that is we won’t have the opportunity to hear from the public, there won’t be a statutory consultation done and that for me causes a concern.

“We’ve general assumptions but no actual data in this report.”

To me, this line of reasoning makes no sense. After all, the Green Lanes end of Devonshire Road was closed in 2020 as part of the Fox Lane quieter neighbourhood scheme following extensive consultation. There have since been attempts by the Conservatives and by campaigners to undo the Fox Lane scheme, both within the council and in the courts, but all have failed. And there will be a 28-day opportunity to make objections to this latest change, it's built into the law. So why on earth raise this now?

Does Cllr Alessandro really expect the end of Devonshire Road to be reopened so that non-local drivers can zoom along this residential street to shave a few seconds off their journey times while bringing back a hazard for pedestrians that we thought had gone for good?

Or is it just opposition for opposition's sake?
Darren Edgar posted a reply
12 Jun 2024 10:34
Agreed. Rabble rousing. Electioneering. Opposition for opposition sake.
Karl Brown posted a reply
13 Jun 2024 09:24
Agree, and sometimes it is surely better for a leader to show leadership qualities by supporting the bleeding obvious: “invented” and trial-led by a Palmers Green resident, picked up and run with by two of our voluntary groups, supported by local traders and subject to a raft of consolations, pilots, in-flight additions from locals, such as the pontoon lights, and subject to various input opportunities, including on line and face to face (with cakes) here’s something that’s safer, brings footfall and stickiness of footfall to the high street vs what had been, as Basil outlines.

I previously highlighted the much bigger recent pedestrianisation of The Strand (outside Somerset house) as worth a visit. Last evening I attended a session by the designing architects, landscape architects and several other professionals involved in its delivery. I’m now more impressed.

Seven years or so of development process.

Deliberately linking the river with Somerset House and Covent Garden with a “pause” space

Traffic times reduced and air quality improved in the wider area despite the closure. It was noted Kings is in the vicinity and as UK leaders in air quality research the area is apparently covered with monitors.

Learning is ongoing – the surface will likely change as will the opportunity for cyclists to race through.

With deliberate flexible space, uses are still being “discovered” such as a dance troupe who simply turned up, as well as street food, displays etc etc

More linked development expected with St Mary’s le Strand awarded a lottery grant

74 stakeholders, many being substantive organisations, to work with

The local Business Improvement District (BID) to fund future maintenance (they benefit)

When visiting do closely check out the seating material between the western end hostile vehicle barrier and the coloured chairs, what appears to be stone is actually wood – countless individual made pieces.

Get it right and the benefits clearly are huge. Or the local organisations, businesses, TfL , council  and others could have kept the (slower and more polluting) east west traffic in place. Bleeding obvious when confronted with it.
PGC Webmaster posted a reply
14 Jun 2024 13:19
As mentioned in a previous post in this thread and contrary to the assertion by Cllr Alessandro, the council IS consulting on the plan to "extinguish" the right to drive cars on the part of Devonshire Road referred to as "Devonshire Square".

The statutory consultation runs until 9th July, giving anyone so minded a chance to object to the plan to ban cars from Devonshire Square permanently.

Information about the statutory consultation

Online form for submitting objections