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Broomfield House Scaffolding 600pxBroomfield House: The mansion has been shrouded in scaffolding and its future in mystery for decades

There have been signs this week that Enfield Council has moved the question of the future of Broomfield House out of the Pending  (or Too Difficult) tray, where it had been gathering dust for many months, and into the For Action tray.

Having been seriously damaged by a series of fires, the first in 1984, the historic mansion that was once Broomfield Park's centrepiece has been swathed in scaffolding for decades, awaiting a viable scheme to secure its future.

In an email sent today to Southgate Green councillor Daniel Anderson, the borough's director of property, Mark Bradbury, revealed that the council has appointed a specialist heritage consultant to liaise with Historic England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and other stakeholders and to advise the council on next steps. They will be meeting with the Broomfield House Trust "shortly".

Mark Bradbury's email came in response to a message from Councillor Anderson sent on Monday, asking for an update and complaining about failure to keep ward councillors in the loop and to convene the Broomfield House Partnership Board.

Daniel Anderson's enquiry followed the publication in the October issue of Enfield Dispatch of a letter from the Broomfield House Trust complaining about the council's failure to answer letters sent in January and June asking about its strategy regarding the future of the mansion. In the letter Bill Yates writes:

"As guardians of this once handsome historic house, our feelings towards this silence are hard to summarise in a brief sentence. We have been angry, frustrated, sad and resigned by turns. Where do we go now? Is it the council's unstated plan to ignore the building until it finally falls down, so that it can be demolished; something which legally they are prevented from doing at present?"

After receiving this letter, Dispatch editor James Cracknell wrote an article, published in the same edition, summarising the history of attempts to resolve the question of Broomfield House's future and the current frustrations felt by Broomfield Trust members.

When James contacted the council for comment, he was sent a response by a "spokesperson" that contained the same wording as the message sent by Mark Bradbury to Councillor Anderson today.

The fact that the council are again doing something is encouraging, but it's unacceptable that the Broomfield House Trust's letters to the council went unanswered, that ward councillors weren't briefed and that it took a letter to a newspaper before the shrouds surrounding the house and its future were lifted a little.

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