Enfield Dispatch | Setback for Meridian Water as industrial sites remain protected

Enfield Dispatch | Setback for Meridian Water as industrial sites remain protected

The target of 10,000 homes remains unattainable for Enfield Council, reports Local Democracy Reporter Simon Allin

Herbert Road is designated as a Strategic Industrial Land (SIL).

New doubts have been raised about plans to release protected industrial land at Meridian Water to help meet the program’s goal of 10,000 homes.

Council leaders said plans to swap an area of ​​industrial land on the eastern edge of the site for an area to the north to make way for housing were not within the guidelines of the London plan.

This represents yet another setback for the £6bn scheme, which currently only has capacity for 5,000 homes, as council has so far failed to persuade the Greater London Authority to rescind areas of land protected for commercial use and classified as strategically known are industrial land (Sil).

Council officials presented a report on Sil at a meeting of the Examination Board for Renewal and Economic Development yesterday (Wednesday). Despite the centrality of the issue to the Council’s draft regional plan, the session was over in 45 minutes.

The report notes that the “push” of new local plan policies on Sil “aims to increase the supply of jobs” and meet the council’s goals of an “expanded business base” including “growth sectors” such as film and TV.

Enfield Council’s plans to set aside an area of ​​Sil on the eastern part of the Meridian Water site near Harbet Road were rejected by a planning inspector in 2019. The plan calls for most of the Sil on Harbet Road to be dedesignated and in a Land immediately south of the A406 being reallocated which would free up land for housing development.

During the meeting, Conservative panel member Edward Smith said the de-designation of this Sil would allow the Council to increase the number of units at Meridian Water, even doubling them, to meet the 10,000 home goal. He added that “stepping up” existing Sil locations could make de-designation more likely.

A computer generated image of what Meridian Water might look like when finished (Credit Karakusevic Carson Architects)

May Hope, the council’s plan preparation manager, responded that the strip of land south of the A406 would provide “good access to the strategic road network” but the uses outlined in the Meridian Water local plan submission were not “aligned”. the uses described in [London Plan] Politics”.

She continued, “We have shared this with the Meridian Water team and are also working with officials in this area.”

May told the meeting that the council “couldn’t afford to lose Sil within the district.”

Cllr Smith branded the response “disappointing” and said the council appeared to have “given up” on lifting the Harbet Road Sil.

In response, Brett Leahy, the council’s director of planning and growth, said it was important to come up with “solid” proposals that would be “closely scrutinized” as part of the local plan’s review process.

Joanne Laban, another member of the Conservative panel, asked whether the council could have used the supplemental guidance published by the Greater London Authority in 2015, which would have allowed for greater flexibility in using Sil if it had been “a little quicker”. would.

Brett said he could not comment on the remark, but added that policy changes over time and the London Plan represents the current position in which the council must operate.

Tories also quizzed officials on how the council’s plan to build 25,000 homes in the community by 2039, as set out in the draft local plan, had been influenced by the government’s recent announcement that the housing targets would be advisory rather than mandatory .

Controversially, the local plan proposes dedicating some areas of the green belt to meet the housing target, with the administration claiming there is not enough brownfield land to meet demand. The council recently announced plans to raise £800million through the sale of greenbelt land.

However, civic center chiefs gave no indication that the target of 25,000 homes would be revised. They claimed that the “Standard Method,” a government formula for determining an area’s housing needs, would still form the basis for the local plan, regardless of proposed changes to the policy’s wording.

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