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TOPIC: Ward forum briefed on local plan progress and increased requirements for new housing

Ward forum briefed on local plan progress and increased requirements for new housing 21 Jul 2017 17:27 #3110

Colin Younger Colin Younger's Avatar Topic Author
[Original article]

Colin Younger reports on the highlights of the Southgate Green ward forum held on 20th July.

Summary points

  • Dinah Barry is the new Associate Cabinet Member for Enfield West
  • Proposals for Quieter Neighbourhoods are being worked up by council officers
  • A revised London Plan will probably include a doubling of the housing target for Enfield
  • Enfield Council is working on a Social Infrastructure Study
  • Pressures on parks/green spaces/green belt are likely to increase

These are some points from last night’s forum which might be of interest. It doesn’t pretend to be a full account, which will be provided in the official minutes.

After his election to Parliament, Bambos Charalambous will no longer be the Associate Cabinet Member for Enfield West, and the role goes to Dinah Barry, Winchmore Hill Councillor.

Council officers are “working up” proposals on Quieter Neighbourhoods, which are said to include views expressed in the workshops, and which will be open for comment.

I thought that the most interesting item was a presentation by Peter George, Assistant Director, Regeneration and Planning. This initially focussed on the Southgate Green area – the North Circular area Action Plan, New Southgate Masterplan, Ritz Parade, and Crossrail 2.  I’m not going to attempt to report on all these, but he covered a strategic development which is worth noting.

Enfield Council began a major round of reviews of its planning policies for 2017-32 in 2016, beginning with consultation on the Local Plan, which covers all aspects of development in Enfield. However, it seems that the Greater London Authority (GLA) thinking about the London Plan’s housing requirements is going to present severe challenges to the Local Plan. The most startling of the changes, which frankly left us all open mouthed, is the probable doubling in the requirement for Enfield’s annual housing provision. Under current GLA plans Enfield has to enable provision for 798 homes a year in the 2015-25 period. It has been achieving about 500, but with the Meridian Water development, it would be likely to reach the higher target. However, the overall GLA target is likely to increase from 42,385 a year (in the same period) to 75,000 a year from 2018 as the London Plan is revised. The knock-on effect on Enfield could lead to the doubling of its annual target.

The next step in Enfield’s Local Plan is an “Issues and Options” report. This report will provide detailed options on the planning choices noted in the Local Plan. Consultation is likely to begin in September when selected representatives will be invited to attend workshops intended to help scope and shape the draft. Enfield has engaged a consultancy to provide professional advice on how this can be done with maximum engagement of traditional hard to reach groups and areas of the Borough where response rates are low. The report will be issued for general comment around May 2018.

LBE are also developing Opportunity Area Planning Frameworks which will be used across boroughs, (this approach is already in use between Haringey and Barnet) to address the wider implications of specific planning proposals. An example given was that of the potential for new housing on or around any new Crossrail 2 station in New Southgate and along the extended route.

Further, LBE are developing a Social Infrastructure Study to provide an evidence base for the needs for health, education, transport, community facilities etc when major developments are being proposed. These needs cannot be provided by local government, so the evidence base will be used to lobby the relevant authorities for their provision.

LBE have to respond to GLA plans, and it’s clear to me that pressure on parks and open spaces/green belt will ramp up hugely as the new housing targets work through. If the population projections for London change for example following population declines post-Brexit or general economic decline, then there is a review process which can adjust the plan, but as things stand, the planning assumption is for continued increased housing demand.

There is more the Local Plan etc at

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Ward forum briefed on local plan progress and increased requirements for new housing 24 Jul 2017 11:38 #3111

I wouldn’t be too shocked on such a step-change likelihood in London’s / Enfield’s housing requirements. The last London Plan, and its targets, acknowledged a housing shortfall but was written before the awareness and resulting political pressures emerging from generation rent, plus the subsequent informing work of the London 2050 reports. For north London, that considered a huge out of town “banana” shape of development well north of the capital – Milton Keynes sort of distance – else the option of densification of the current city to cope with the expected population growth. It concluded the latter with all its implications for housing, transport, waste and so forth.
This population driven greater aggression (Londoners currently breed at a much more significant rate than we die), while staying on the same route of the previous plan, can be seen in the Mayors Draft Transport Strategy, currently out for consultation. Taking London as a green belt protected finite space, no popular desire to loose homes and parks to new road build, a medium term 20+% rise in population and cars calculated as far and away the most space-expensive means of travel, they are now under stated pressure to yield to public transport, walking and cycling. Indeed, doing the simple maths behind some charts, indicates London overall has now reached peak car travel and the plan is for markedly fewer car journeys than is seen today, despite all the extra people. Take a moment to let that one sink in.
And that merely highlights why three years ago the local Mini Holland discussions should have been of (strategic) understanding and assessing the future impacts of such change on many dimensions for all stakeholders, not where it quickly ended up – the denial of a future that was so clear from the data for a narrow, often personal, and certainly short term focus.

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Ward forum briefed on local plan progress and increased requirements for new housing 24 Jul 2017 12:09 #3115

Let's get building! They won't hit the new targets same as they didn't the old but better to set the aspirations higher. People deserve the right to somewhere to live, despite incumbent NIMBYs intent on denying them, and I say that as someone who has no doubt benefitted from BANANA-restricted supply inflating the house prices of properties I've owned.

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