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In a bid to "force the local plan process into the daylight", civic sector societies and community organisations in the borough have joined forces to launch a petition calling on Enfield Council to provide for thorough discussion of the revised draft local plan before it is submitted to the official government inspector.

The organisations involved are the Enfield Society, Enfield RoadWatch, Better Homes for Enfield, Enfield Climate Action Forum and Friends of Whitewebbs, all of which have serious reservations about several aspects of the draft plan that was consulted on last year and in particular are opposed to the proposal to encourage housebuilding on large areas of Green Belt land.

green belt land on the former enfield chaseSome of the Green Belt land that the draft local plan allocates for housebuilding (Photo: Enfield Society)

The petition requests the council's leadership to submit the revised draft for full debate and approval by full council before sending it on to the National Planning Inspectorate. This would allow "this new, young, diverse council to take the lead in making the forthcoming legislation fit for purpose: open, transparent and consultative when it holds the wellbeing of future generations in its hands". It makes the point that nearly half of councillors elected this year are new and reminds the council that in June 2021 it passed a motion, submitted by council leader Nesil Caliskan, which committed it to debating the revised plan in full council.

The petition also calls for publication of the revised plan at least 12 week before the council debate, to give councillors an opportunity to properly consider it and engage their constituents in a meaningful and productive consultation about their aspirations, their homes and their environment.

The local plan will play a key part in future decisions relating to such issues as where housing and other types of building are located, the quality of new buildings and their heights, the future of town centres, responses to climate change, measures to improve air quality and other environmental factors, employment opportunities, protection of wildlife and biodiversity, protection and enhancement of Enfield's character and heritage

You must be a resident, work or study in the London Borough of Enfield to be eligible to add your name to the petition. A total of 3,124 signatures are needed in order for the council to be obliged to consider the petition. Registration on the council website is not needed to sign a petition.

The petition closes on 31st July 2022.

Text of the petition to Enfield Council

Councillors: We voted for you. Please speak up for us. #Debate Enfield's Local Plan

We the undersigned welcome our 63 councillors (of whom 29 are newly elected) and petition the council to:

  1. Bring the revised Local Plan to a Full Council meeting, as promised by a majority vote of councillors at an Extraordinary Council Meeting held on 9 June 2021.
  2. Allow sufficient time for councillors to debate the merits of the Local Plan for the first, and only, time at Full Council before it is submitted to the National Planning Inspectorate for consultation as part of the Regulation 19 process.
  3. Ensure that each councillor has the chance to vote either for or against the plan and, in the interest of transparency and public accountability, subject this vote to a “Roll Call” so that there is a public record of how each councillor voted.
  4. Publish the revised Local Plan, in fully accessible form for residents (length, format, physical copies) at least 12 weeks before the date of the proposed Full Council meeting to enable councillors, especially those who are new, to properly consider the contents of the plan and to engage their constituents in a meaningful and productive consultation about their aspirations, their homes and their environment before the debate at Full Council at which councillors can decide whether to submit the plan to the National Inspectorate and proceed to a formal public consultation.

This petition seeks an opportunity for councillors to participate in a debate about Enfield's Local Plan, the most significant and important policy choice that can be made by local governments.

Enfield Councillors have never voted on the merits of the Local Plan 2019 – 2039 but did agree to bring the final version of the Local Plan back to a Full Council meeting.

  • On 9 June 2021, the then council debated whether to consult on the "DRAFT REGULATION 18 ENFIELD LOCAL PLAN: 2019-2039“.
  • They decided to do so and the consultation took place; councillors should examine, publicly, the revisions resulting from the consultation.
  • Councillor Nesil Caliskan moved the report with two minor amendments
  1. to have a twelve week consultation period on the Local Plan, and
  2. following the consultation, to bring the final version of the Local Plan to back to a Full Council meeting.

We are asking that the council fulfils this commitment.

The Local Plan affects

  • What gets built where.
  • How brownfield sites are identified, prioritised and used.
  • Whether the countryside is protected for future generations.
  • The health and well-being of Enfield's residents.
  • The quality of the air we breathe.
  • Employment opportunities.
  • How Enfield responds to the challenges of climate change.
  • The number and type of homes built as well as the design and quality of new buildings.
  • The size of tower blocks that would be permissible and where these could be built.
  • What happens to Enfield’s parks, greenspaces, allotments, sports facilities and playing pitches.
  • What happens to Enfield’s town centres, high streets, shops and supermarkets and transport.
  • Where industrial sites are located.
  • How wildlife and biodiversity are protected and enhanced.
  • How Enfield's character and heritage are protected and enhanced.

Committing to a debate supports the “Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill” outlined in the recent Queen’s Speech to parliament which seeks to strengthen neighbourhood planning and community engagement with the Local Plan.

We feel this is an opportunity for Enfield. We urge this new, young, diverse Council to take the lead in making the forthcoming legislation fit for purpose: open, transparent and consultative when it holds the well being of future generations in its hands.

Thank you.

This Petition runs from 03/06/2022 to 31/07/2022.

Links

Sign the petition on the Enfield Council website

Read more on the Enfield Society website

Read more on the Enfield RoadWatch website

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