Unit M, Arena Design Centre

Refurbishment of Unit M, Arena Design Centre

Planning Consultation Summary

Finding a way to refurbish warehouse units that are in need of repair is key to securing warehouse life for the future.

The aim of this refurbishment is to maintain the character of the unit, while adding elements that improve various problems reported by residents. Examples of common complaints include access to natural light, units freezing in winter and over heating in summer. Also elements like more green space, sustainable drainage and water collection.

Externally the footprint of Unit M will remain unchanged, the current overhanging roof will be straightened up and extended by 1m (see pic below). The terrace will be updated, a new render added to the walls and a green roof (plants/vegetation) added to the sub station. Internally, the walls will be insulated, new windows added and the space will be re-configured (from 10 rooms to 9). 

Following discussions with residents, a slightly different process of consultation was undertaken. A Warehouse Representative shared the design plans with residents in Arena, and a meeting with the Units directly facing Unit M was held. The plans were also shared in the September Meet Up and questions / concerns were noted. 

A letter was sent to all neighbouring residents on Ashfield Road, Oakdale Road, Beechfield Road, part of Hermitage Road. 

Planning Application / Construction
Prior to a contractor being appointed, the plans for Unit M are submitted to Haringey Council. Once planning has been granted a professional contractor will be appointed. The contractor will have a set of conditions they need to adhere to, these will be outlined in a Construction Management Plan (CMP) and will include additional consultation with neighbouring residents around things like construction methods, hours of operation, noise controls etc.

Themes from the Consultation

The concerns raised about the proposed design mainly centred around impact on daylight / sunlight, perceived changes to the physical footprint and concerns about overpopulating the area.

A full daylight / sunlight survey was conducted by Charted Surveyors Waldrams Limited. This survey confirmed that there will be no impact to light (see pic below). There are no changes to the footprint and the room ratio is being reduced from 10 to 9 bedrooms.

Construction Period
Most concerns related to the potential disruption caused during construction.

A professional contractor will be appointed, once planning is granted. They will have a strict set of conditions they need to adhere to and they will all be outlined in a Construction Management Plan. Neighbouring residents will be consulted during this period – expected to start around February 2022.

A question of whether compensation could be offered was raised.

As this is not the norm, the planning team feel it is only something that would be considered if the contractor fails on its obligations according to the Construction Management Plan.

Operation of the Unit
Some residents asked if the previous tenants of Unit M could move back in and what the rent will be.

Affordability is a priority. The rent will be higher than previously offered, more in line with rents across other Provewell Warehouses. This reflects the improvements and the reduction in rooms. Provewell have agreed to offer the previous tenants first refusal.

Supporting Imagery



EXISTING SHADOW – Analysis by Waldrams Ltd

PLANNED SHADOW – Analysis by Waldrams Ltd



Sustainability Study

various plants growing in a courtyard outside of warehouses

Sustainability Study

A key aspect being considered as part of the development of Provewell Warehouses is sustainability. Judith and Dan, from Expedition, have been appointed to lead a sustainability study. Judith attended the recent Meet Up to share a presentation and ask residents two questions:

What do you thing biggest opportunities are for the area?
Has anything been missed that should be a priority?

A number of topics were raised and discussed at the meeting. For reference, here is the presentation that Judith shared at the Meet Up.

To extend involvement, we are asking the same two questions in the short comment boxes below.

Please add your comments and share the post to help reach everyone in the area. These questions will be open on for comment on the website until 7 November 2021. 


Please add your comments below. These questions will be open on for comment on the website until 7 November 2021. 

At the September Meet Up Judith led a number of small group discussions. These are the priorities that were raised:

  • Thermal mass of warehouses – leaking heat in the winter + overheating in the summer
  • Support for the idea of solar panels
  • Interest in a rooted vertical planting if maintained (similar to Florentina Clothing Village)
  • Explored idea of a community compost bin
  • People liked Judith’s outline of Stewardship Fund for more organised ecological projects
  • Rain  gardens were discussed as a way of managing surface water runoff and providing green space
  • Pest control was raised as an area of concern
  • Some experienced poor ventilation, mould and flooding
  • Support for additional cycle storage but needs to be secure and discrete

This survey has closed.

New Events + Social Space

Events + Social Space

2 Overbury Yard

2 Overbury Yard is currently a dead end spot in the warehouse district. Hidden away and poorly lit, the yard attracts anti-social behaviour and is often used for flytipping and abandoning cars.

The yard is overlooked by Stone House to the north and Unit 2 to the south. Currently it is only accessed from Overbury Road.

In recent discussions with tenants there was a lot of support to ensure all units have access to outdoor space, which Unit 2 currently does not. There have also been several supportive comments about creating additional space to utilise outdoor areas. Some tenants also feel uncomfortable in parts of the area due to pockets of anti-social behaviour.

The planning team are keen to read your comments about proposed idea. Are the current features included needed or are there alternative elements that should be added?

Through the creation of more studio space, a natural courtyard area is created at 2 Overbury Yard. The following features are proposed:

The installation of benches, planters and trees to create a mix of seating areas for people to congregate.

Ground Works
A new surface area will be installed. To add vibrancy the current design proposal is to use a ground work design commissioned by local warehouse tenant Studio DoDo.

To make the space usable day and night, lighting will be installed. Illuminating the Yard will also make it less attractive to anti-social behaviour.

Proposed landscaping design 



Design Reference Imagery

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New Studio Space

New Studio Space

2 Overbury Yard

Based on previous conversations with tenants living in Harringay Warehouse District, access to local and affordable studio space is seen as a priority.

New River Studios and Eade Road Studios currently provide space at affordable rates. Since opening in 2019/2020 Eade Road Studios is now fully occupied and space is once again limited. 

2 Overbury Yard proposal aims to create new work-only studio space utilising upcycled shipping containers. The planning team are working with Container City who have been working with shipping containers since 1998.

Affordability is a priority and all current leases are offered on a month-by-month basis, they can be sublet if need be for gaps in working and they are priced by comparing to local providers.

The planning team are keen to read your comments about the proposal for more affordable studio space and whether the proposed design meets your local needs.

Workshop Studio Space
The proposed arrangement would create 16 x studio workshops, all with access to natural daylight. Toilet and kitchen facilities are included. Internally they’ll be fitted out.

Upcycled Shipping Containers
Modified shipping containers are a fast solution to an immediate problem. They can be installed in a matter of days and, from a sustainability perspective, they have a low embodied carbon and are less destructive than building from scratch. 

Design, Look + Feel
The current proposal takes a neutral approach utilising a standard pallet for shipping containers. The layout creates space to store the Getir bikes and creates a natural courtyard. The proposal has a ground and first floor, without distributing the right to light to Stone House.

Supporting Imagery



Feedback period has now ended.

Defining Space – Private Communal, Communal & Public

Defining Space:
Private Communal, Communal, Public

It is sometimes hard, even for other tenants, to distinguish between the informal boundaries that warehouse tenants erect between units. The outdoor spaces in front of each unit rarely ‘belong’ to the unit. Over time corners have been occupied and some great spaces have been created. 

To better understand how tenants view space around the warehouse district, the team have developed three terms that they’re using to understand these informal arrangements. 

Private Communal
The working definition of ‘private communal’ is areas of outdoor space that are attributed to a particular warehouse or cluster of warehouses. It’s deemed private, because it is implied that this space is only for the use of the associated warehouses.

In contrast to the above, communal is outdoor space that is free for any warehouse tenant to use. Use of the space could include socialising, making items or hosting events for other tenants.

Key parts of the warehouse district are open and accessible by the general public. Also, some areas within gates are used for public events when permission has been granted, 

The team are keen to know:

  1. How you differentiate between the three types of space – Private Communal, Communal, Public?
  2. Do you use any other ways of describing the different outdoor spaces?
  3. Have you had any problems with other tenants claiming ownership of a space?
  4. What could help improve the boundaries of outdoor space?
  5. Would you like to see more clarification of outdoor space – maybe including more support to keep ‘Private Communal’ areas private from others?

This topic is being discussed at the next ‘Meet Up’ on 20 July – register to attend.

Alternatively, add a comment, observation or idea to the form below.

Supporting Imagery




Recycling Rainwater & Vertical Growing

various plants growing in a courtyard outside of warehouses

Recycling Rainwater & Vertical Growing

An idea that had been discussed by the warehouse planning team was brought back to life when a recent comment was submitted to

“To add more greenery we could use the walls of the buildings. I recently collected some rain water from the drain pipe when it was raining and was astounded at how much water passes the roof of Overbury road warehouses – enough to water a huge garden all year round!”
Unit: Overbury Road

Given the increase in plant and veg growing across the warehouse district in recent years, the team are really keen to explore ideas for recycling the rainwater from the roofs of units.

Proposed Ideas

  1. Installing waterbutts that collect rainwater from the roofs of warehouse units
  2. Devise methods for self-watering to keep everything looking green
  3. Utilise more of the warehouse frontages by installing vertical growing plant boxes – the team are in discussions with Growing Revolution who make 100% recycled self-watering plant boxes.

Let us know what you think. Add your comments and ideas via the form below.

Supporting Imagery




Warehouse Sharing Schemes / ZipCar

poster on a wall saying take sharing offline

Warehouse Sharing Schemes / ZipCar

The close proximity of like minded neighbours living in Harringay Warehouse District often means informal sharing arrangements are in place. It’s not unusual to swap tools, furniture, even the odd pot and pan from a warehouse neighbour. 

The planning team are keen to know whether there is interest in developing more formal schemes that share resources more collectively.

What resources could be better shared between warehouse units? Add your ideas in the form below.

ZipCar – Car / Van Sharing
First raised as a discussion topic in a Meet Up of warehouse tenants in 2019. The idea of counteracting the loss of some car parking space with the addition vehicle sharing options received a warm response.

The team are still in discussion with Haringey council, who are looking at sites for a potential ZipCar scheme.

If you like the sound of this idea, please do share a comment or raise a question in the form below.

Outdoor Spaces

Outdoor seating

Outdoor Spaces - what could be added?

“A lot of thought has been given to what happens inside the warehouses, but very little thought has been given to the spaces in between.” Chris Horn

What functions and features would you like to see in some of the open spaces between the warehouses?

Help the team understand what you would like to see added to various open spaces, courtyards and car parks across the warehouse district. This question is mainly focusing on the communal areas – accessible to all warehouse tenants. 

Possible Ideas could include:

  • Makers space – to accommodate larger construction more suited to outside / outside under cover
  • Electricity power points 
  • Larger communal dinning tables
  • More collective growing space
  • Scope to cover courtyard spaces for pop-up events
  • Add your own ideas below

What is the Warehouse area called?

What is the Warehouse area called?

In July 2021, a month-long poll was run on the topic of ‘What the area is called?’. For years everyone has called the area something different. The planning team asked HWD Comment to run the poll to see if there is a consensus.

Specifically focusing on the warehouse units owned by Provewell, as opposed to other warehouse clusters like Fountayne Road for example.

In total 253 people took part, representing an estimated 32% of the warehouse district population.

What Next?

This poll is useful food for thought.

It suggests that Harringay Warehouse District has a fair amount of support in the area – achieving 28% of the first poll – and only 12% outright objection in the second poll.

However, this was a poll rather than a scientific study. The results have been shared in the most recent newsletter and a comment box added below. If you have additional feedback you’d like to give, please do respond over the next few weeks.

The Results

First, we asked ‘What do you call the area?’ (using a drop down list). The option of adding something different was included with answers like (‘No name, just our street names’, ‘Artists warehouses’, ‘That bit by the new river’ and a few we couldn’t publish!).

Poll results on what the Haringey warehouse area is called

Second, we asked ‘how do you feel about the area being named Harringay Warehouse District?’ on Google Maps and Wikipedia:

Harringay Warehouse District poll pie chart

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Bulky Waste Items

Bulky Waste Items

From time to time tenants have bulky items that will not be collected by the council waste collection provision.

It is also sometimes difficult to distinguish between items being stored by tenants outside of units and items that are waiting to be removed / recycled.  This has caused tensions in the past when items wanting to be retained by tenants have been removed as waste.

  • Tenants may struggle to dispose of bulky items
  • Piles of bulky waste can cause problems for access
  • Not always clear what is being retained and what is waste

Proposed Idea

Monthly collection of bulky waste items from designated drop-off sites around HWD. The cost of the service would be provided by Provewell. Tenants would need to place items out for collection.

  • Designated areas to be identified and discussed
  • Proposed frequency – monthly. Exact frequency to be discussed
  • Find out if there is sufficient interest from tenants and commitment to using the service to keep access areas clear

Feedback period has now ended.