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The ruins of Broomfield House swathed in scaffolding and surrounded by a high fence

The saga of Broomfield House rolls slowly on, but what kind of ending it is heading towards remains as obscure as ever.

Enfield Dispatch has reported this week that Enfield Council has confirmed that it has submitted an "expression of interest" bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for obtaining grant funding for work related to the remains of the Grade 2 listed building, but without giving any clue as to what it would spend the money on. The council says that "there will be a form of engagement and/or consultation later this year" and that, if it gets through to the next stage of the bidding process, the cabinet will consider proposals some time next year.

It's clear from comments in the report by Colin Younger of the Broomfield House Trust that the council has, not for the first time, failed to keep the Trust and the Friends of Broomfield Park in the loop, despite the decades of hard work that these community organisations have put into trying to find a satisfactory solution to the problem of the fire-ravaged mansion.

Colin is quoted as speculating that the council might be planning to submit a proposal that the lottery fund would find unacceptable and thus provide a justification for demolishing the remaining structures. For him, the Broomfield House Trust and many local people, this would be a bitter disappointment after the continuing presence of the ruins in Broomfield Park have kept alive some hope of at least partial restoration for all these years - though, it has to be said, not for everyone, since some people just regard the unsightly remains as a continuing blight on the park.

The new Dispatch report is best read together with Colin's August update for Palmers Green Community - links are below

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PGC Webmaster's Avatar
PGC Webmaster posted a reply #6586 21 Sep 2022 22:39
Since writing the article, I've been informed that yesterday the council invited the Broomfield House Trustees and Friends of Broomfield Park to a meeting on Monday to hear about the council's approach to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and their response. Historic England - also key players - have also been invited to the meeting.

So by this time next week the mists shrouding the future of Broomfield House may have cleared away somewhat...

It looks like the power of the press (ie Enfield Dispatch) may have played a part...
Jan-Willem Jonker's Avatar
Jan-Willem Jonker posted a reply #6587 22 Sep 2022 08:41
Broomfield House Trust chair Colin Younger says in Enfield Dispatch: “The last fire [in 2019] left it with nothing left to restore – it is non-existent.” If that is the case, then why on earth would the National Lottery Heritage Fund be willing to fund a rebuild? There are so many other buildings at risk in Britain where the money could be used to preserve actual historical artefacts, rather than building an ersatz memory. Surely, the Council, the Trust and the Friends are just flogging a dead horse here?

And if it were to be rebuild, then we still need to find a use for it that justifies the expenditure and pays for the building's upkeep and running costs, or else it will be just another financial millstone around the Council's neck.

It is tragic that a much loved local building was lost to fire and the administrative impotence of local politics over decades to find a solution is galling, but is it time to just give up and move on?