A farmer's market in N21?
This site at 62 Station Road, next to Winchmore Hill Station, has been empty for two years, following the closure of the Garden On The Green. However, a planning application has just been submitted to host a farmers market, on Saturdays, Sundays and over Bank holidays,
This is a prime retail site, at the heart of Winchmore Hill, but could James I stop this worthwhile redevelopment?
Did you know that there is an ancient charter passed by King James I in 1618, which decrees that no other market can be established within 6.5 miles of Enfield Town Market?
The Charter was enforced by the Old Enfield Charitable Trust in 2012 to prevent a market being set up in Capel Manor Farm. Is this about to happen again? Whilst the Old Enfield Charitable Trust is an extremely worthy cause, providing much needed grants to help people in need, is a weekend farmers market in the heart of Winchmore Hill really going to deter people from shopping in Enfield Town Market? Is this an anti-competitive anachronism in the C21st?
If you have been up to Southgate over the past few Sundays, it has been buzzing. You can already see that the new Kings Market is attracting people to Southgate on the day that many people have more time to browse, shop with their families, sit and drink coffee over a cappaccino with the Sunday papers etc.
Whilst Enfield Town is our 'borough capital' it has absorbed the lion's share of the Council's support for retailers, to the detriment of our smaller high streets. Perhaps it is time to let go of this four hundred year ruling? Cllr Martin Prescott has already asked Enfield Council's Business Department for a response. We wait to see whether some compromise will be reached.
This is a very important site in the very heart of Winchmore Hill. The market could be very good for N21 businesses and will be supported by the N21 Live Local Spend Local team.
You can view the planning application here
Is this a good idea? Have a look at the London Farmers Market (who are not connected to this particular project), but it provides a good indication of what a high quality farmers market can do for a local community. http://www.lfm.org.uk/markets-home/
A high calibre farmers market is not competition for the existing businesses, because it brings more people in. We wait to hear the outcome.
This little site, next to Winchmore Hill Station could become a destination for food lovers from N21 and beyond.