Say 'No' to knocking down Rowan's

edited December 2013 in Local discussion
I know it's been mentioned in previous threads here, but there hasn't really much concern about the loss of Rowan's - one of the places that makes Finsbury Park what it is! This petition to save it has already reached 1000 signatures - add yours! 1. Rowans is an asset which enhances the vibrancy and vitality of the area and an important social hub. 2. Rowans is a great spirited venue for socialising for a wide ethnic and multicultural mix that will never be replaced. 3. Rowans is a unique feature of Finsbury Park. If it were to close it would leave an irreplaceable void and a lack of alternative avenues for similar activities. 4.It is inconsistent with the Finsbury Park Town Centre Supplementary Planning Document objectives of "Protecting and enhancing the historic character of the area". This document praises the "intact historic fabric" of the area which ripping down Rowans clearly destroys. 5. Rowans is a unique venue with strong links to the community. Since first opening as a cinema in October 1909, the community has benefited from this asset. Its loss would set the area back over a 100 years. 6. Many local residents believe Haringey Council has an obligation to protect the Rowans as an important part of the social fabric of the area. For instance, it is one of the few evening activities that does not require drinking - and alcohol is a now problem in so many areas. Haringey needs to send a clear signal to the local electorate that it cares about the people, and not just the developers.


  • Totally agree. I met Jonty there and she does not like pubs. So a good joint. Great local place will all types thronging in there. Chang
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • I was always a bit scared of the place and eventually went for a birthday party in the late 90s.  Was quite surprised how much nicer it was than I imagined it to be.  But I was with a big group and I've been back a few times over the last decade or so with groups and have always had a good time.  Not something I'd want to do all the time and I imagine being a couple or a small group of three or four people would be a different experience.  Part of Finsbury Park but won't say I'd miss it if it went.
  • I'd like it to go if it opens up the view of the park. Is that going to happen?
  • edited December 2013
    It's a bowling alley.  You go there to play ten pin bowling, have a laugh, sink a few beers.  It's not The Shard. Next people will want it to serve cocktails and seafood and have people on hand to give back rubs.   
  • I go a few times a year. All my friends come from all over london to go to Rowan. It has a unique arcade with many games I played as a child. It attracts a diverse group of people which gives it a vibrant warm atmosphere. What are they planning on building if they knock it down? Unaffordable housing. No way should it go
  • I was apprehensive the first time I went, it does look rough but it really isn't. Whenever I have friends visit we always visit Rowans for some bowling and pool, sometimes en-route somewhere else, sometimes we end up spending hours in there.<div>I must have missed that it was planned to go, will definitely sign up to keep it. Rowans is one of my favourite features of Greater Stroud green :)</div>
  • p38 in the Draft Finsbury Park SPD gives an impression of what it could like without Rowans.<br><br>;br&gt;&lt;br&gt;Personally, I don't think Rowans adds anything to Finsbury Park and if done right development could be a positive.  Part of the proposals is to remove buses from Station Place too.  TfL are not happy about this and in my conversations with LBI officers (admittedly not the ones leading on this piece of work) there seemed a lack of appetite.<br><br>In terms of your petition, what response did you give to the Draft SPD?<br>
  • Rowans has been in Finsbury park since I used to be a kid. It as part of the areas as much as the halal meat shops and wig shops of SGR. As long as there is demand for these services then they should not be knocked down.
  • Incidentally, the councils plans can not force anything to be knocked down.  All it is saying is that if development was to come forward on that site, this is what they would want it to like.<br><br>I strongly suspect the owners of Rowans have come to the council to enquire about options, when it comes to planning there is very rarely planning policy (or smoke) without developer interest (fire). This would suggest there maybe isn't the demand to warrant staying as a bowling alley....<br>
  • <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi">Yes, Rowans have approached the council about redeveloping the site.  It is their firm belief that the business is no longer economically viable; the implication was that visitor numbers are dropping  - perhaps partly due to demographic change.  They have tried various other schemes, including hiring out some of their space for business functions, but this has not been successful.  <o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">Stroud Green CAAC visited recently, and had a full tour.</span><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">  </span><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">It is something of a maze inside, and has been repeatedly rebuilt over the years.</span><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">  </span><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">With the exception of one small section of ceiling all of the original heritage features have been lost.</span><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">  </span><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">The building itself could not be described as being of architectural merit, though there is an argument that it has some historical significance.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">My own view is that the existing buildings represent an underdevelopment of a key site, and that redevelopment would provide an excellent opportunity to improve access to the park.</span><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">  </span><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">That said – and in recognition that there is considerable support for retaining it and legitimate fears about what might replace it – I think there is an argument for holding on until John Jones and City North are complete.</span><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">  </span><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">The new residents (particularly all those students) might boost the business case for retaining the current Rowans business.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">It’s worth noting that TfL have indeed been very sceptical about the prospect of moving the bus station to allow Station Place to become a public plaza.</span><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt;">  </span></p>
  • Thanks Arkady for informed, rational info, as ever -  as opposed to the OHNOES! of the petition<div><br></div>
  • If bowling and arcades are not popular any more then it has to close. If the council wants to improve access to the park that would be great. But I would hate to see miss cara favourite shop Oliver bonas moving in or more unaffordable housing
  • I'm not surprised TFL have been sceptical about turning the bus station into a plaza, it's one of the stupidest ideas I have ever heard.<br><br>1) There is no need for a plaza outside the station - if people want to sit outside there's a massive park on the other side of the road. It will simply attract the aggressive street drinking fraternity.<br><br>2) There is a need for a bus station outside a mainline station.<br><br>3) Seven Sisters Road at that point is already a nightmare - move the buses to stop there and it will be even worse and when that section of road is blocked it causes traffic jams all the way from Tottenham to Camden.<br><br>I've only been to Rowans once, it wasn't great. The concept of a better bowling alley there is a good one though.<br><br><br>
  • Have they tried it as a laserquest? I believe that laserquests are a popular pastime among the younger folk. (this site - passim).
  • Jonty's a she? I feel this is an important plot twist. 
  • If they turned it into a laserquest I would chain myself up outside to prevent closure.*<div><br></div><div>Re the potential conversion into a plaza.  Having seen the amazing job that has been done in front of King's Cross, I'm inclined to think it would be a good thing, and not one necessarily destined to be only an outdoor drinking club for the homeless.  Also, the plans for the Euston station redevelopment involve getting rid of the bus station and having bus stops along the Euston Road instead, and the evidence behind that proposal was rather compelling - it supposedly improves traffic flow and waiting times.  Perhaps TfL could be so persuaded about the Stroud Green Road?  Possibly impractical, but worth considering.</div><div><br></div><div>*Also, I could beat any of you at laserquest.</div>
  • If they demolished the buildings between the bus station and Seven Sisters where the Silver Bullet is(was?) that would give room for plaza and bus station.
  • I've never been inside Rowans but I think the outside is interesting, especially the neon signs, but I'm not an architect or a planner so what do I know.<div><br></div><div>I was looking forward to the opening of the plaza in front of King's Cross, but I find it very sterile and dull really. The station itself looks great and I thought opening up the space in front was a tremendous idea but the concept and the reality haven't translated well. </div><div><br></div><div>It's not really a place people want to linger -- which to me is the entire point of having a plaza. I'm not sure it would work at FP either.</div>
  • @Arkady,<br><br>But there is room on the Euston Road for buses. It is substantially wider and less of a bottleneck than that bit of Seven Sisters Road. I also suspect due to its strategic importance a lot more though will be going into making sure the Euston plan works OK.<br><br>The plan for Finsbury Park does not instil any confidence in me that they won;t just cause a mess.<br>
  • The plan for Euston also involved the 18 no longer terminating there (and I think the 476 would be moved too) which would mean the only buses terminating at Euston would be on a N-S alignment.<br><br>At Finsbury Park the buses currently terminating in Station Place would have to be relocated somewhere else, these casue a bigger challenge than through buses.<br>
  • Plazas are great in the summer but how long once the sun has gone would it take to be covered in chewing gum, fag-ends, bird poop and general litter?
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • It’s Station Place that has been earmarked to become a plaza. Rowans is earmarked for housing with commercial premises below, with a wide access point though the centre creating a route and vista into the park.
  • From the conceptual drawings, it looks like the the existing entrance and the bicycle lock-up will have new housing and Rowans, is the access point vista to the park? <div><br></div><div>Don't know how it would work especially with the block to the right of Rowans, the and the arts centre in the back. To me it looks like the new flats encroach on actual park land.</div>
  • The drawings are just suggestive.  There is no way that they can build on the park itself, as it's Metropolitan Open Land.
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • @Arkady: What is "Stroud Green CAAC"?
  • edited December 2013
    Are these going to be the same amazing residential properties [for BTL, natch] with commercial premises below we have seen be so successful between Rowans and the Twelve Pins?  Or a different type, because an architect put some coloured tents in the sketches to make it look all breezy and Mediterranean?<br><br><img src=""><br>
Sign In or Register to comment.