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Topic: Local plan consultation drop-in sessions

Towards a new local plan and heritage strategy for the borough
21 Nov 2018 18:53 #4278

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[Original article]

towards a new local plan issues and options cover

 The new Local Plan will determine the future of housing construction, town centres, transport infrastructure, employment, leisure facilities and green space in our borough

Enfield Council will shortly begin a new consultation phase as part of the process of developing a Local Plan for the period up to 2036.  The consultation will be launched at special combined ward forums, which will also consult on a new Heritage Strategy for the borough. However, the draft Issues and Options document produced by the Council has already drawn strong criticism from the opposition Conservative Group.

Planning for the future while respecting our heritage

The new Local Plan will determine the future of housing construction, town centres, transport infrastructure, employment, leisure facilities and green space in our borough.

But it is vital that positive aspects of Enfield's rich and varied heritage are preserved, which is why it is appropriate to develop a heritage strategy alongside the Local Plan.

The strategy describes the borough's existing built, natural and cultural heritage and sets out how it will be conserved and enhanced and how high standards of new design will allow the borough to grow sustainably. It shows how cultural heritage practices can be integrated into the Council’s priority of reducing inequality and how heritage can be used to contribute to the wellbeing of the borough’s residents and visitors.

The document is a readable and informative. Naturally, Broomfield House, Stableyard and Park are all mentioned, though not discussed in any great detail. It's good to see such emphasis on the Museum of Enfield, which only a couple of years ago was threatened with closure, but has now been reinvigorated.  It recently opened its own shop, which will hopefully both spread awareness of the borough's history and make a profit.

Gauging residents' priorities

Work on the Local Plan review commenced in 2015 with an issues and options public consultation. The generic options provided covered where growth could be directed i.e. Lee Valley Corridor, Green Belt, town centres, the A10 Corridor, council estates, the feedback received was used to gauge the priorities of residents for future growth in the borough.

enfield heritage strategy draft

Special combined ward forum meetings will inform and consult on both the wider Local Plan 2036 and a new Heritage Strategy

In 2017 the Council undertook a further initiative called the Enfield Conversation (Pilot Project Scheme), which consisted of five detailed workshops again with a view to understand residents' priorities.

Restarting the process

However, two external developments mean that it is now necessary for Enfield Council to restart the process - a new National Planning Policy Framework, and a new draft London Plan.  Enfield's Local Plan is subordinate to both, and thus will need to accommodate significant changes made at both national and London-wide levels.  In particular, both set requirements for new housebuilding at significantly higher levels than envisaged by the current Enfield Local Plan. The London Plan calls for just under 1900 new homes per year, as against the current target of 798.  The government's requirement for housebuilding in Enfield could be as high as 3500 a year. Additionally, the London Plan introduces several new concepts, such as "good growth" and "healthy streets", and requires a shift away from private cars towards public transport, cycling and walking.

A new Issues and Options document

The Local Plan will consist of a number of documents. The relaunch will commence with consultation on a new "Issues and Options" document entitled Enfield: Towards a New Local Plan 2036.  An interim version was included in the paperwork for a meeting of the Enfield Cabinet's Local Plan Subcommittee on 24th October.  An idea of the scope of its 200+ pages can be obtained by listing its chapter headings:

  1. This Consultation
  2. Promoting good growth options in Enfield
  3. Enhancing heritage
  4. Design and tall buildings
  5. Meeting Enfield’s housing needs
  6. Promoting a competitive economy
  7. Planning for vibrant town centres
  8. Community Infrastructure
  9. Enfield’s green and blue spaces
  10. Sustainable movement and transport
  11. Sustainable infrastructure and environmental impact

One of the combined ward forums set up to discuss the Local Plan and Heritage Strategy will take place on 27th November at Southgate Methodist Church.  Residents of Southgate, Southgate Green and Cockfosters wards will be consulted.

Conservatives criticise the draft plan

At the full council meeting held on 21st November the Conservative Group tabled a document criticising the "alarming thrust" of the draft plan and the Council's housebuilding record over the past ten years.

To summarise, the Conservatives say that the draft plan would lead to housebuilding in Green Belt areas, such as Crews Hill, and denser and higher construction in town centres, which would overwhelm the capacity of transport links, schools and hospitals. It would "quite quickly transform Enfield into one of the largest conurbations in the UK"

They question the population forecasts that the housebuilding targets are based on, suggesting that leaving the EU and Single Market will reduce the pressure on housing in Enfield.

They criticise delays in council regeneration schemes, particularly the slow progress of Meridian Water, which they say should be in the hands of a private developer rather than the council.  They say that if regeneration of council estates had happened more quickly, there would be less pressure to "develop every conceivable site in our urban areas and Green Belt" (a trifle exaggerated, perhaps?)

This article was amended on 9 December 2018.  The link to the Towards a New Local Plan now goes to the version that is being consulted on - it originally went to the version included in the paperwork for the October meeting of the Local Plan Sub-Committee.  The image of the document's cover has also been updated.

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Towards a new local plan and heritage strategy for the borough
09 Dec 2018 23:31 #4279

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The consultation on the new Local Plan and draft Heritage Strategy began formally on 5th December and continues until 5pm on 28th February 2019 - see the article at the start of this thread for some introductory comments.

Links to the drafts for comment are below:

Towards a new Local Plan 2036 - Issues and Options

Making Enfield - Enfield Heritage Strategy 2019-2024

The introductory page on the council website lists key challenges:

  • ensuring there is enough housing to meet everyone’s needs
  • creating better employment opportunities and promoting economic
  • reviewing infrastructure and community facilities
  • the future role of our town centres
  • creating places that promote health and wellbeing
  • ensuring development is high quality and protects the environment

The council will be organising workshops and drop-in sessions where residents can learn about and comment on the draft Local Plan and draft Heritage Strategy. Dates and times will appear on this website as soon as they are available.

There will also be special ward forums covering three wards at a time. One has already been held, for Southgate, Southgate Green and Cockfosters residents.

There's a huge amount of information to absorb and think about, so please help the process by posting to this forum thread. You could, for instance, highlight particular points in the drafts which might otherwise be missed, or discuss the merits or otherwise of some of the proposals.

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Towards a new local plan and heritage strategy for the borough
10 Dec 2018 14:12 #4280

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I’m not seeing too many surprises, which certainly doesn’t underestimate the challenge and changes we are all going to be experiencing, but picking up the theme of a large number of recent posts under both “Fox Lane QN” and “View form the Saddle”, it’s worth lifting a few comments from the draft plan which very clearly indicate the direction of travel:

10.3.1 The Mayor has set an ambitious aim to reduce dependency on car-based transport in favour of increased walking, cycling and public transport use and sets a target of 80% of all trips in London to be made by foot, cycle or public transport

10.3.3 The environmental impacts of motorised transport have significant implications on the health and wellbeing of people.

10.3.4 … a need to tackle this rising trend (of motorised travel)…… Of the 13 biggest causes of illness and early death, seven have links with the way people travel, including obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, kidney disease, low physical activity and poor air quality.

10.3.5 With 30% of the number of trips made by car in Enfield less than 2km and 60% less than 5km, there is substantial scope to reduce the number of journeys made by private motor vehicle

10.3.6 The Council wants to apply the healthy streets approach by putting people, and their health, at the heart of decision making. This results in a healthier, more inclusive city where people choose to walk, cycle and use public transport. The best way to get more people out walking, cycling and using public transport is to improve the quality of the experience of being on streets. The Healthy Streets Approach focuses on creating streets that are pleasant, safe and attractive, where noise, air pollution, accessibility and lack of seating and shelter are not barriers that prevent people - particularly our most vulnerable people - from getting out and about.

This Enfield plan needs to align with the London Plan, itself aligned with the national plan (the NPPF) so this is not a “Enfield Council assault on motorists” before it's said. The unsustainable space demands, and health / societal impacts of too much motorised travel have been well evidenced, flagged and more recently being tackled. Dedicated cycle lanes, planters and such recent items are merely the start of a much more fundamental change I would forecast.

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Towards a new local plan and heritage strategy for the borough
10 Dec 2018 19:24 #4283

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Several other points worthy of note:

Broomfield Park (and House) get significant profile in the Heritage Strategy, which ideally will turn into investment.

New housing and where to put it is perhaps the biggest impact issue in the plan. The options are:
1. Main roads’ side (A406 and A10;
2. Retail parks (where a theme is to consider moving such retail to town centres);
3. Industrial Land (eastern corridor);
4. Green Belt (partly developed and around Crews Hill); and
5. Within about 20 minutes’ walk of Town Centres and rail / tube hubs, ie PG, amongst others.
Realistically any one alone would be unable to take the total weight so most likely we will be looking at a balance of all the above.

The implications to the PG area are significant, with the implication of new developments, infill, and “height”, all on a scale well beyond what has been the norm.

Town Centres, as with the London Plan, get a large mention. As the London Plan has already pointed out, expect less retail, more mixed use to include residential in town centres, and a move to culture, entertainment and a night time economy, rather than expecting the size of the retail landscape set some decades ago still has any sense in being the perfect fit for high street life this century. Unit classification is flagged with the intent to ease, again reflecting that the retail world is very different now and is going to be different still going forward.

Transport is basically less cars, more active travel and a focus on people rather than cars when assessing streets.

Enfield have picked up on the Mayor’s possible add on to a Crossrail extension to New Southgate and the Opportunity Area that ensues, including tunnelling from the Colney Hatch Lane (Tesco) junction and show it going as far as the A1010. There are several “ifs” before this one, and even then it has to be classed long term, or even a not-in-my-lifetime intent.

It’s very strong on “green”, right down to trees, and like in so much else within the plan, focuses heavily on the east of the borough and seeks to draw back the gap that area suffers on so many dimensions compared to the west.

So as I said earlier, overall there are no surprises versus previous documents and stated intent. Key now will be input from Enfield residents and businesses to the consultation and ultimately, as with any plan, making it more than merely words on a page.

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Area forum to discuss the draft new Local Plan for Enfield
21 Dec 2018 01:30 #4323

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There will be an area forum covering Bowes, Palmers Green, Winchmore Hill and Grange Wards on 16th January at the Friends Meeting House in Winchmore Hill - see the event listing .

The event time is shown everywhere on the council website as 7.30pm except under Palmers Green Ward Forum, where it shows 5.10pm - which is clearly a typo.

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