A group of people drawn from the local stakeholder groups that have been involved in dialogue with Lateral, the firm which will be redeveloping the Fox pub and its car park, have released details of the objections that they will be submitting to Enfield Council.
They have issued two documents, one relating to the Fox's status as an Asset of Community Value and the future of its function room, the other to the architectural design of the housing blocks proposed for the car park area.
At Tuesday night's Enfield Conservation Advisory Group meeting there was support for the principle of refurbishing The Fox and for providing housing on the adjacent car park, but strong opposition to the revised plans (and disappointment that comments on the initial application had been ignored). The main opposition centres on the size, scale and design of the flats and their dominance of the space. The Fox is one of Palmers Green's most iconic buildings; the new block of flats dominates the pub and the surrounding townscape. There were also concerns about the lack of suitable community space. Led by Friends of Lakes Estate there was a call for a redesign which is commercially viable for the developer, refurbishes the pub, preserves community space and provides much needed housing.
The report was written before the application was discussed for a second time by the Conservation Advisory Group (CAG) earlier this week. As mentioned by Adrian Day in an earlier post, the CAG members expressed strong opposition to the revised application.
Apologies, re-read the letter and it does indeed say opposition only.
Will simply re-iterate my support for Neil's spot on comments below:
"We cannot object to this proposal on the basis of the size of a community room - not when it will provide genuinely needed affordable housing, genuinely needed residential housing, genuinely needed refurbishment of the local pub and genuinely needed investment and regeneration of the high street. As a combination, this redevelopment benefits vastly more people than can possibly be offended by its height or the dimensions of the community room.
We must also consider whether our objections to size and height and lack of trees is actually just because of a feeling that the Edwardian character of the area must be preserved at all costs - even though the immediate area surrounding the site is not actually Edwardian at all. You need to get over the bridge for that.
The Council will not approve an application that reduces the sunlight/daylight of the surrounding residences, especially those on Devonshire Close, so how does this application actually harm anyone?
I can't say the architectural style is the kind that sets my heart soaring, but I like it a whole lot more than that grotty car park and the dilapidated state of the Fox. Red brick is an expensive material and Im thrilled they design does not use ugly cladding of the kind used elsewhere and it's actually brick all the way round the development, not just the bits visible from the high street. Natural materials like the timber soffits do not go out of style. I daresay the perforated metal grills will look naff at some point but they can be easily replaced. And all that aside, my opinion of whether I like the building or not is way down the list of priorities of whether it is giving more to the community than it is taking away.
It's never going to be perfect, it's a question of whether it is good enough in exchange for all the other benefits. For me, it is. "
No one that I know of objects to a better pub, neglected by owners and tenants for years, nor for the additional housing, but why on earth should we be expected to accept a flawed design?
Many people have tried to get the developers to do better, but though they trumpet support (not actually that we were consulted on THIS design) they ignore any reservations as if they did not exist, and indeed have taken back ground on the size of the function room and height of the main block. Just as an indication, they claim that the additional floor lessens the massing of th bock because it's a light finish, so in their physics more makes less!
It reinforces the idea that consultation and publc engagement is a one way street.
Flawed in your opinion. Accept it or let the place rot, that's what opposition has to decide.
Save for personal taste the application has minimal fault, hence why it has been recommended by planning officers, hopefully Enfield don't mess another decision up at Committee and let the building crumble.
Developers aren't charities, can't expect them to build the build YOU want regardless of viability, needs to be sensible compromise and it is impossible to argue what's proposed isn't better than what's there now.