Conservation Areas

There are 22 designated Conservation Areas within the London Borough of Enfield, several of which are located in or adjacent to Palmers Green - in particular, the Lakes Estate Conservation Area, located on both sides of Alderman's Hill

Conservation: Related websites

For more conservation-related resources, see the groups and websites listed in the Conservation Groups category of our Community Directory

Share this article share on facebook icon share on twitter icon

Save Trent Park campaigners are warning that delay by Enfield Council in registering the Park's historic mansion as an Asset of Community Value is jeopardising its future.  They fear that the former university campus might be sold to an  private developer at any moment, before registration is complete.

trent park mansionRegistration as an ACV would give the campaign a six-month breathing space, during which time it could seek a buyer for the campus who would be willing to guarantee the conditions voted for unanimously by the full Council in March:  public access, protection of the heritage, and promotion of the history of the former Middlesex University Campus.  However, according to Councillor Jason Charalambous, Coordinator of the Save Trent Park Campaign, time is running out - there is only one week before the deadline for registration expires and no sign yet of the working party of Labour and Conservative councillors that is due to be set up.

In a campaign update posted on its Facebook page, Councillor Charalambous says that, while it is unlikely to attract another university or be a suitable location for a school, his discussions with cultural heritage experts from around the world suggest that the site could well house a cultural and historical institute.  He highlights the important role it played for British intelligence during World War 2, when "Secret Listeners" were employed to listen in to the conversations between German officers held there as prisoners of war.  Trent Park would, he says, be a perfect location for a memorial and museum dedicated to this vital work, which some experts claim was a key element to winning the War.

Councillor Charalambous' latest update is reproduced below.

UPDATE ON Save Trent Park - the Campaign to Protect & Enhance our Nation’s Heritage


Rumours abound that a sale is imminent of the former Middlesex University campus in Trent Park to property developers. In the meantime Enfield Council has yet to announce its decision on the Community Asset application submitted nearly two months ago. It appears the Council is leaving the announcement to the last possible moment – the deadline is a week away.

To me this is completely irresponsible. The purpose of the Community Asset application is to grant the Campaign time to find the right sort of buyer for the heritage assets in Trent Park. If it is granted too late, i.e. after a sale takes place, then it is of little use. If it is rejected, then that would be a clear statement by the Labour run Council that any commercial enterprise has carte blanche to do with Trent Park what they like at the expense of the public interest.

At the Full Council meeting on 25 March cross-party support was reached in support of the Save Trent Park Campaign. Councillors unanimously voted for a motion supporting public access, protection of the heritage, and promotion of the history of the former Middlesex University Campus; and decided to establish a working group of Labour and Conservative councillors to consider how best the Council can act to ensure these aims are met. Despite subsequent conversations and a meeting between myself and the Leader of the Council, I am still waiting for details of when this group will be established, despite me chasing and highlighting the importance and urgency of it.

From a campaign perspective things are very much alive and progressing. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has taken an active interest, and post-election I am confident they will step up their involvement. The Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture Munira Mirza have also taken an active interest in Trent Park and a GLA cultural officer undertook a productive site visit last week. English Heritage has now completed its comprehensive site visit and survey regarding the fabric and condition of the building and will be reporting back to the Council and myself imminently with a list of necessary remedial works that are required. Trusts, museums and heritage institutions from across the world are now taking a close look at the potential opportunities this important historic site can offer.

Tribute has to be paid to David Burrowes, Cllrs Terry Neville and Joanne Laban, Dr Helen Fry, Peter Gibbs and the Friends of Trent Country Park, Christ Church Cockfosters and the Trent Park Conservation Committee and many others for all the hard work they have done to support this Campaign to date.

I have been speaking to cultural and heritage institutions and trusts, all of which have taken a key interest. What they need is time – the money is out there to create a heritage institution at Trent Park and I believe that if the Council granted the heritage assets the status of a Community Asset it is entirely foreseeable that such an outcome would be reached. Last week at Yale University's Culture in Crisis Conference at the V & A I raised the Save Trent Park Campaign with some of the world's leading museum directors and cultural academics and experts, all of whom took an interest with some offering tangible support. We simply need time to make this vision a reality.

The fact is, however, that commerce moves quicker than government or charities – what the Council must do, as soon as possible, is to grant the site the status it deserves to provide the Community 6 months to freeze any potential sale to enable benevolent purchasers to make a bid.

The purpose of the listed mansion and grounds in Trent Park since WWII has been and should remain educational. The sad truth is that it seems universities and schools appear not to be interested for a number of reasons – the costs involved and the location make it a less than attractive proposition. The Council should be reaching out to educational institutions nevertheless. If however a school or university is not foreseeable, I feel that a cultural institute or centre to promote the critical role Trent Park played in WWII would satisfy the educational requirement – the educational value of such an institution in Enfield would inspire young and old alike, pay tribute to all those who served our Country at Trent Park, and put the Borough on the map – for all the right reasons.

The 103 Secret Listeners of WWII – the young men and women who were recruited by MI9 and listened to the conversations of the most senior German Officer PoW's at Trent Park must be honoured. These individuals received no medals or honours and there is no memorial to their work. Why? Because until quite recently they did not officially exist – such was the secrecy surrounding their work. There are just two survivors – one of whom, 96 year old Fritz Lustig, is backing the Campaign and spoke at our Public Meeting on 10 March.

Trent Park is the only sensible place where a memorial and museum can be established – out of the three sites where the Secret Listeners operated from only Trent Park is available – Wilton Park was demolished and Latimer House in now a private hotel, and at both sites the WWII PoW buildings have gone. Indeed it is widely held that Trent Park was the most important site from an intelligence gathering perspective - with historians now claim WWII could not have been won without the information gathered at Trent Park. We are 70 years from the end of that war – this is the year to act.

I have to make one thing clear – in the event the Community Asset status is rejected and a commercial buyer takes on the site I would nevertheless be willing to work with any new owner and negotiate to ensure our aims our met. I am confident that any right minded business would see the historic value of the site and seek to protect it as a minimum – the challenge will be convincing them that a public heritage centre would also be in their interest. However it may not come to this, rumours are inevitable with something of this nature, and if the Council acts today to declare the site as a Community Asset then all hope remains. If it does not, then all hope is certainly not lost.

The Council must support the Save Trent Park campaign and grant the heritage assets the protection they deserve – the public and common sense demand it. It would simply be a short-sighted insult to the hugely important heritage on our doorstep if they refuse it this simple status.

For the sake of the critical role Trent Park played in winning the war, to Fritz Lustig and all the men and women who served our country and deserve recognition, and for the sake of future generations of children and local residents, Enfield Council must act immediately to protect and enhance this invaluable place.

Log in to comment