This plan shows ideas for making Queen’s Crescent more attractive to traders and shoppers. It focuses on:
- opening up views into the street from Malden Road
- removing street clutter and redesigning the road junction
- providing pedestrian crossings with lights to help cross the road safely
- new facilities for traders and a market hall for communal activities on market days.
In 1997 Camden Council obtained funding from central government to revitalise Queen’s Crescent as the ‘heart of the neighbourhood’, and to increase the competitiveness of the shops and market. The following work was completed:
- repaving the road and pavement
- service bollards for market traders
- signs for the shops
- the gateway at the Malden Road junction
- the toilet outside the Sir Robert Peel pub.
In March 2018, the GLA announced funding of £1.1m for Queen’s Crescent. This is proposed to ‘enable local people to take an active role in the regeneration of their communities, to deliver social and economic improvements to community assets, workspaces, green infrastructure and cultural venues.’
Proposals we set out below prioritise the need to support the economic and social life of Queen’s Crescent. They focus on:
- assisting traders to increase the attractiveness of the market and shops to visitors
- improving the environment for all.
No investment is proposed at the east end of the street in the short term, as this is likely to be disrupted by redevelopment.
VISITORS TO THE MARKET
To get the attention of people passing through the area by car, bus, cycle or on foot, the entrance to the market needs to be a more effective sign of what lies beyond, and give a powerful impression of accessibility. This could be done by:
• removing clutter from the entrance to Queen’s Crescent, including the automatic public toilet (WCs to be provided elsewhere)
• redesigning the junction with Malden Road to provide a threshold to Queen’s Crescent and to facilitate east-west movement, linking through to Chalk Farm. This could slow down traffic and prioritise pedestrians by including pedestrian crossings controlled by lights
• improving signage on Malden Road, with details of when the market is open
• providing a community noticeboard to highlight both market and community events to passers-by.
FACILITIES FOR MARKET TRADERS
Queen’s Crescent needs to be more attractive to potential and existing traders so we propose the provision of lock-up storage facilities in a range of sizes to suit different needs. The facilities could be located in an existing garage space, eg. in Gilden Crescent. Refurbishment would be required to provide suitable environment, with security, lighting and ventilation. Additional facilities could include a preparation area and workshop.
We propose a “market hall”, a shared space to be used on market days for activities that support the market. It could provide:
- a community kitchen or pop-up cafe
- storage for tables and chairs to be used in the market for outdoor eating
- toilets and shelter from rain in winter
- clean up facilities
- basic food prep facilities (to encourage food businesses on the market)
One possible location is the empty shop on at no. 137 Queen’s Crescent. If the lease to this shop could be purchased by the Council this would be an ideal location.
PAVEMENTS AND HARD LANDSCAPING
It is proposed to focus pavement resurfacing in strategic areas, for example to strengthen the junction with Malden Road. Specific areas where improvements to the paved surface would be particularly beneficial include Ashdown Crescent, which serves the principal entrances to both Queen’s Crescent Community Centre and Ashdown Crescent, sheltered housing, and Weedington Road in front of the Baitul Aman Mosque.
There are a many opportunities for garden projects that could be run by the community: refurbishment of redundant play space on Gilden Crescent to create a new community garden, a garden to be created in the existing planters outside QQCA and a small pocket garden outside the library. Existing and potential new food growing projects in the local area could link to the Crescent, with local foods being consumed or sold at the market. Food growing projects increase the resilience of local communities and help reduce social isolation. Encouraging public involvement with spaces around the market adds footfall to the market, with market days an obvious occasion for maintenance of community gardens.