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Forum topic: The draft Local Plan and Sainsbury's Winchmore Hill

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The draft Local Plan and Sainsbury's Winchmore Hill

Basil Clarke

07 Feb 2024 19:16 #7071

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Neil Littman wrote (message 7065) :

The local councillors in Winchmore Hill held a Ward Forum to discuss the Enfield Local Plan a few weeks ago despite it being minus four degrees. They still managed to get an attendance of 12 residents and at least they organised something. I have asked them what they think the commitment is elsewhere in the borough towards interacting with the community.

Thanks Neil.

A disappointingly small number - but then it was extremely cold!

It would be good to have more input from readers about local ward forums.

Was there discussion about the Local Plan entry regarding Winchmore Hill Sainsbury's?

I ask because the paper submitted by the Conservatives that was recently debated by full council included the Sainsbury's site in a list of "green assets under threat".

However, reading the relevant pages of the draft plan reveals that it actually stresses the importance of retaining the green assets at the Sainsbury's site and calls for them to be increased.

So, either whoever drew up the list for the Conservatives didn't read the relevant pages of the draft plan, or deliberately gave a misleading impression that green assets are under threat there when they aren't. If the latter, then they worded it carefully so that it doesn't include anything that's not true, but still gives a misleading impression.

The offending wording is in this document:

The Conservatives' paper lists assets which it says are threatened, beginning with the words:

However, these green assets are under threat because of this current Labour administration. The Opposition notes the following:

This is followed by a list of green assets, including the Sainburys' site. The paper says:

Woodland surrounding Sainsbury’s, Winchmore Hill

The Woodland surrounding Sainsbury’s in Winchmore Hill is a natural buffer between Green Lanes, the very busy and well utilised Sainsbury’s and a quiet residential area. This woodland is not only used as a pedestrian cut through, but also a walking path which is enjoyed by adults and children alike. This site has been identified in the Enfield Local Plan as a site for development.

Everything in that statement is true (the Local Plan allocates the site for housing), but including Sainsbury's in a list of "threats" is nonetheless misleading because the draft Local Plan does not in fact include any threat to the green space and its use as a pedestrian cut-through, quite the reverse in fact:

The following is extracted from page 12 of

Comprehensive mixed-use redevelopment with compatible main town centre, commercial and residential uses. Public realm and environmental improvements, including improved walking and cycling routes. It is anticipated that redevelopment would include re-provision of the supermarket alongside new homes.

Infrastructure requirements

Redevelopment of the site;

I. should contribute towards delivery of streetscape improvements and improved highways in the vicinity to encourage sustainable travel, potentially including but not limited to cycle lane and footpath widening identified in the IDP
II. should contribute towards delivery of towards public realm, new and enhanced public spaces and gateway improvements to key areas within the vicinity as identified in the IDP
III. should contribute towards the extension of Firs Farm flood alleviation scheme
*The Environment Agency has noted that the site is in close proximity to potable groundwater abstractions we would strongly advise that the abstraction licence holder is also consulted with respect to piled foundation proposals.

Design principles

Development on the site:
A. must retain existing open space and existing high value trees.
B. should provide additional tree planting and biodiversity enhancements.
C. should improve east-west pedestrian connections from Halsmere Road to Green Lanes towards the New River Path.
D. must improve north-south permeability within the site through the creation of secondary connections within the development.
E. should improve existing entrances into the retained green space along Halsmere Road.
F. must deliver/contribute towards streetscape improvements along Green Lanes (identified as a Green Link in the Policies Map).
G. should enhance the public realm fronting at the gateways into the site from Green Lanes.
H. must create active frontages along Green Lanes, the green space edge and internal pedestrian and cycle connections.
I. should provide a mix of typologies. Courtyard blocks, perimeter blocks and mansion blocks are considered the most appropriate.
J. must decrease building heights towards the north-east of the site to address the sensitivity of the existing Grade II listed building. Tall buildings are not
considered acceptable on this site.
K. should locate non-residential uses along Green Lanes to create a connection to the existing Local Centre (Winchmore Hill Broadway).
L. should minimise parking to promote active travel. Where required, on-street parking is preferred and should be integrated into the public realm, interspersed with tree planting. Podium parking for non-residential uses must avoid the creation of long stretches of inactive frontage.
M. should locate areas to  enable adequate servicing of residential and non-residential uses within the site boundary, with access for servicing and other larger vehicles from Green Lanes

So, the draft plan not only does not threaten the green assets and pedestrian access, but actually calls for both to be improved.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the council's draft plan doesn't threaten any green assets - it certainly does, because it calls for a large expanse of Green Belt to be declassified and built on, and I don't think that there is sufficient justification for such a drastic action.

Building flats on top of supermarkets and other large shops is, in my opinion, one of the best options for new housing, especially when they are well served by public transport. Sainsbury's is on a frequent bus route and is ten minutes walk from Winchmore Hill station - it's an ideal spot.

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The draft Local Plan and Sainsbury's Winchmore Hill

Karl Brown

08 Feb 2024 09:17 #7072

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The draft Local Plan and Sainsbury's Winchmore Hill

Darren Edgar

08 Feb 2024 11:52 #7078

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[This comment has been deleted. Just calling people names doesn't advance debate.]

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