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The company that owns the former university campus in Trent Park is hoping to create 245 new homes on the site.  It is willing for part of the historic mansion to be used as a museum, but campaigners are disappointed with the amount of space the company is willing to allocate to this purpose.  There will be a public meeting about the campaign for a museum on 16th June.

The Emerging Masterplan

Berkeley Homes revealed details of how their ideas for development of the former campus are evolving at the third public consultation event, held earlier this month.  The display boards used for the consultation provided considerably more detail about Berkeley's plans than previously.  The "Emerging Masterplan" has taken account of feedback from two previous public consultation events and discussions with more than a dozen "local stakeholder groups".

Berkeley has summarised its current thinking as follows:

  1. A long term solution that restores and refurbishes the Mansion House to its former glory by removing the 1960's/70s former university buildings, reinstating the terrace and the Union Jack forecourt and associated landscaping.
  2. Residential uses in the Mansion House at part-ground and upper floors to ensure its long term viability and public access for the first time at part basement and part-ground floor.
  3. A landscape-led masterplan that removes the former university buildings to open up and transform the setting of the Green Belt and Mansion House, reinstates the sites historic landscape including Lime Tree Avenue and Wisteria Walk and integrates the site into the wider Trent Country Park.
  4. To provide long term public access across the site.
  5. To restore and re-use the majority of buildings which are identified as making a positive contribution to the Trent Park Conservation Area.
  6. To secure the long term viable future of the site through the delivery of new homes that are sensitively located, of a high quality design and contextually appropriate to the setting of the historic buildings and landscape.

trent park emerging master plan may 2016 "Emerging Masterplan" for Trent Park mansion and former university campus
(Click on the image to see larger version in a new window)

 The masterplan currently envisages creating 245 houses and flats, as shown below;

trent park housing numbers

31 of the flats would be located either in the mansion itself or in other existing buildings that are considered worthy of retention.

Vehicular access to the site would be via Snakes Lane and Berkeley plan to provide a frequent shuttle-bus service linking the new housing with Bramley Road.  They predict that the daily number of vehicles using Snakes Lane would be smaller than was the case when Middlesex University had its campus in Trent Park.

A further public event is planned for the summer and Berkeley hope to submit planning applications this autumn.

trent park key dates

The above is a short summary - for much more detail see the display boards used at the consultation.

Museum proposals "unacceptable"

Save Trent Park, the organisation that is campaigning for a museum in the mansion to memorialise its "secret listeners" role in World War 2, has expressed satisfaction that some of the points listed in its online petition will be met.  However, they consider that Berkeley's initial proposals for the musem are "unacceptable in their current form".  Berkeley is offering half of the ground floor and a third of the basement, with access to the museum via a side entrance.  Save Trent Park consider want a museum and associated cafe and gift shop occupying the entire ground floor and basement "as a minimum" and insist that "nothing less than public access through the mansion's grand front entrance will do".

Save Trent Park will be holding a public meeting at Christ Church, Cockfosters, on Thursday 16 June from 7pm to discuss the museum proposal. Speakers include the CEO of the Bletchley Park Trust, Iain Standen, WW2 veteran and secret listener Fritz Lustig, Jason Charlambous and Dr Helen Fry. The meeting will be chaired by David Burrowes MP, and representatives from Berkeley Homes and Enfield Council will attend to update the public on their positions.

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Basil Clarke's Avatar
Basil Clarke posted a reply #2163 20 Jun 2016 00:38
I wasn't able to attend last week's Save Trent Park meeting in Cockfosters, but there are write-ups of it elsewhere:

Save Trent Park Facebook page

Enfield Independent

Adam Bowie's blog

The Save Trent Park campaign continue to push for more of the mansion to be open to the public and in particular for a rather larger museum than the Berkeley Group are offering.

Well, my initial thoughts were along the lines of "the Berkeley Group must have paid a lot for the site and didn't factor such a large museum into their calculations. They'll need the additional flats in the mansion for their investment to pay off."

But then, quite by coincidence, I came across an article in last week's Guardian which included the following:

"Few people have heard of Tony Pidgley, the founder and chairman of the property giant Berkeley Group. But his latest pay rise puts him in the same pay bracket as Ronaldo and Adele.

"In 2015, Pidgeley’s pay soared from just under £4m to £23.3m in a single year, thanks to a performance-related share option scheme."

( www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/13/executive-pay-obscene-restructure-economy-berkeley-persimmon )

...which led me to change my mind.

If the Berkeley Group is making so much money that it can afford to pay its chairman such an obscenely large amount, then it can easily afford to donate the whole of the ground floor and basement to museum use AND let museum visitors use the grand entrance.

So if you haven't already signed the petition, do so now:

www.change.org/p/berkeley-group-save-trent-park-the-campaign-to-protect-enhance-our-nation-s-heritage

Another online article that I came across this week is relevant both to Trent Park and to some of the trouble brewing in the UK's political scene. It's an article that was written by Fritz Lustig a couple of years ago:

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jan/30/hitler-80-years-warning

Mr Lustig is one of only two surviving "secret listeners" who worked in the basement of Trent Park Mansion during the War, collecting intelligence from unwitting German generals and colonels, and he was one of the speakers at last week's meeting. In the article he describes how Hitler came to power in Germany and he ends with the following warning, very relevant to the current situation here and elsewhere in Europe:

"I no longer believe that totalitarian tendencies are a uniquely German problem, as people did at the time: genocides have happened since, and all over the world. The events of 30th January 1933 to me still serve as a warning of how quickly a conservative government can lose control of the situation when it starts to engage with political party further to their right – and there's a lesson in that for British politicians too. Eighty years are a long time, but the events of that day are still relevant now: if we forget what happened, it may happen again.


In the photo, taken at the Cockfosters meeting, Fritz Lustig is second from the left. The other people are Professor Helen Fry, Iain Standen, CEO of the Bletchley Park Trust, and Councillor Jason Charalambous.
Diana Bradford's Avatar
Diana Bradford posted a reply #2170 23 Jun 2016 10:53
London for sale as usual. Will there be any public land left for future generations
Adrian Day's Avatar
Adrian Day posted a reply #2176 30 Jun 2016 09:51
Diane. I don't think this area of Trent Park has been public land for hundreds of years. Middlesex University allowed public access to some areas, and it looks as if the developer is also allowing some access. The land that is currently public in Trent Park is not being sold off.
PGC Webmaster's Avatar
PGC Webmaster posted a reply #2177 30 Jun 2016 17:09
Berkeley Homes have announced the dates of the fourth and final consultation event - 8th to 10 July at the West Lodge Park Hotel. More information available at www.palmersgreencommunity.org.uk/pgc/event?consultation-on-future-of-trent-park&event_id=3242

PGC Webmaster's Avatar
PGC Webmaster posted a reply #2182 03 Jul 2016 00:14
There's a write-up of last month's Save Trent Park meeting with a couple of interesting photos on the High Living Barnet website:

www.highlivingbarnet.com/trent-park-world-war-two-museum/

At the meeting Councillor Jason Charalambous summed up developments over the past year:



The historian Dr Helen Fry's talk is not to be missed:



The other speakers at the meeting were also recorded - see www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFFCofeznyIwcXAvdyCQHkzygGuk8oA7b
David Eden's Avatar
David Eden posted a reply #2588 09 Jan 2017 15:50
Trent Park constitutes almost 1,000 acres of public land. The site formerly occupied by Middlesex University and now owned by Berkeley is a 50 acre (5%) sub-section that has been in private hands for 100 years+, including the time occupied by Middlesex Uni when people weren't running around complaining about London being for sale.