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To what extent do the shops/services of Northwood satisfy the needs of the Local Community?

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Introduction

Charlie Jeary GCSE Geography Project _ To what extent do the shops/services of Northwood satisfy the needs of the Local Community? Contents Page 1. Introduction Page 2. Hypothesis Page 3. Plan Page 5. Results Page 9. Conclusion and Evaluation Page 11. Bibliography Included. Appendix of sources Introduction: Northwood is a town situated in the London Borough of Hillingdon, northwest of central London. Below is a map of the area showing the exact site of Northwood and its situation in relation to other settlements. _ (Map taken from www.multimap.co.uk) Here is a map of Green Lane and its adjoining roads, the commercial centre of Northwood. This is the area where I will carry out my investigation. _ (Map taken from www.multimap.co.uk) My investigation will try to determine how well Northwood�s commercial centre (Green Lane) satisfies the needs of the local community by comparing two factors; what shops and services exist, and what the local people feel is needed in the way of shops and services. Hypothesis My hypothesis for this investigation is that the shops and services of Northwood do not fully satisfy the needs of the local community. Northwood�s commercial centre has relatively good travel links. It has bus and coach services to some surrounding areas; it also has a Metropolitan (Underground) Line station, and has a main road running through it (B469). This means that the commercial centre of Northwood is quite accessible. This means that many people using the commercial centre do not necessarily live locally in Northwood, raising Threshold Populations * to the requirements of middle order + shops/services. * Threshold Population- the minimum number of population required in an area for a shop/service to be viable for that area. + Order- shops can be placed into a hierarchy based upon the services they provide. At the bottom of the hierarchy are small shops selling �convenience� goods that are needed daily, such as a newspaper from a newsagents. ...read more.

Middle

This tally sheet was used to make figure 2: Figure 2 _ EMBED Excel.Chart.8 \s ___ This bar chart of the number of high/middle/low order shops/services in Northwood shows several key points; one is that there are no high order shops/services at all in Northwood (all the shops and services are either middle/low order), another is that there are approximately double the number of services than shops, meaning actual shopping potential is lost. Finally there a very few (only 6) middle order shops in Northwood. All these points immediately hinder Northwood�s ability to be a comprehensive shopping area, meaning it wont fully satisfy the needs of the local community. Using my Base Map and Booking sheet, I was able to produce 2 maps of the transect area. Sources 2 and 3 in the appendix are these maps; Source 2 is a map of buildings, classified whether they are a shop or a service, source 3 is a map of buildings, classifying whether they are high/middle/low order. Source 3, like figure 2, shows there are many low/middle order and no high order shops/services in existence; it also shows that 6 of the 88 buildings (7%) in Northwood�s CBD are empty, showing a wastage of prime CBD land. Source 2 clearly shows that Northwood has an abundance of services. This is further demonstrated by figure 3, a pie chart showing the types of service in place in Northwood. It shows that over a third of all the services in Northwood are restaurants/cafes, banks, travel/estate agents or beauty salons. Most of these are rarely required frequently, and do not serve the short-term immediate needs of the local community, hence do not really encourage local people to shop in the area, lowering threshold populations and discouraging those high order shops from moving in. I have discovered from my investigation that Hillingdon Council are trying to make the shopping environment of Green Lane more pedestrian (ie. ...read more.

Conclusion

I feel this method would give more accurate results, as people would not feel intimidated. Also by conducting the questionnaire using this method, it could be done on a much larger scale (as no time would be required on my behalf actually asking the questions), meaning more answers could be analysed, increasing the accuracy of the results and enabling a more valid conclusion could be drawn. Secondly I found that making my own GOAD maps was incredibly time consuming, to improve this I would either ask the Council if they could provide me with one. Failing that I would ask �Ordnance Survey� to make me one. Most of the data I collected strongly supported my hypothesis. The booking sheet showed the absence of high order shops/services and the abundance of services that didn�t serve the short-term needs of the community. The questionnaire showed how most people found Northwood not to fully serve them and that the majority of the opted to shop elsewhere. The map of public facilities showed that the Council were trying to make the Green Lane area more shopper friendly in order to boost threshold populations, installing several benches, bins, phone boxes etc. However there were some results that rejected my hypothesis. In my refined questionnaire, 10% of the sample questioned answered �No� when asked whether or not they ever had to go shopping elsewhere, hence meaning that in their opinion Northwood did fully satisfy their needs. However if we look closer at their questionnaires, they were all over the age of 50 (3 out of the four were over 61), perhaps meaning that they were unable or unwilling to go elsewhere. In order to determine a further understanding on the subject of Northwood�s CBD, I would perhaps conduct an investigation to discover exactly what people brought from Northwood, and what items they went further a field to purchase. This information could then be used to tell the council just what businesses they needed to attract to make Green Lane fully serving. ...read more.

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