Share this article share on facebook icon share on twitter icon

Broomfield House Scaffolding

Things have moved on and below is an important statement from Enfield Council on the future of Broomfield House and the stableyard, and comments from the Broomfield House Trust and Friends of Broomfield Park representatives who have been invoved in the discussions.

The Council, working in partnership with the Broomfield House Partnership Board, aims to resolve the future of Broomfield House which is currently unsafe and a blight on the Park.

In March 2019 the Executive Director of Place, Sarah Cary in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Property & Assets, Cllr Ahmet Oykener, approved further feasibility work be undertaken into the viability of delivering a shell reconstruction of Broomfield House. This would be cost neutral to the Council with funding arising from the disposal of the redundant fire damaged stable block / yard which was formerly used for staff accommodation for repair and development and without reliance upon obtaining grant aid.

Feasibility work will include pre application planning advice from Historic England and the Local Planning Authority and further market testing of the stable block / yard for a residential development.

The approval noted that the Council-led shell reconstruction envisages repair and reconstruction of the exterior shell of the building and reinstatement of essential interior structure that may be necessary to provide structural integrity. The interior will not be fitted out other than as a café on the ground floor and other suitable income generating uses will be investigated.

It is further noted that the outcome of the feasibility work will be reported to Cabinet for approval of the way forward. If the shell option is not viable, an application to the Secretary of State to review the listing and dismantling of the remaining structure would be the only remaining viable and deliverable alternative.

It was approved that the Partnership Board continue as a consultation body to oversee the development of the option.

A capital budget was approved to enable the shell option to be progressed and to enable the ongoing protection and maintenance of the house and related heritage assets over the next year.

Contact officer: Mark Bradbury, LBE Director of Property and Economy

The reactions of The Broomfield House Trust and Friends of Broomfield Park are as follows:

Over recent months the Council-led Broomfield House Partnership Board has examined a range of options for the reconstruction of Broomfield House. The Broomfield House Trust, the Friends of Broomfield Park and Historic England are represented on the Partnership Board.

These options range from a full heritage-standard repair and reconstruction of the House, partial reconstruction through to demolition. The funding implications of each option were examined. Although we would have wished to develop the stable yard for community use, the only combination of options and funding which approached the main aim of reconstructing and reopening the House relies on housing development in the stable yard.

We believe that if the House is reconstructed as proposed in the LBE statement it will be possible to attract further funding to complete the full reconstruction of the House and eventually, the restoration of the Lanscroon Murals. Attempting to attract full funding from commercial or charitable sources in one go has proved impossible, and partial reconstruction of the House would be inappropriate in both historic building and landscape terms. We found our views were consistent with the Conservation Architect who attended the last meeting of the Partnership Board and we look forward to seeing his ideas developed.

The Council’s statement makes it clear that there are issues which need to be explored, but clearly if we are unsuccessful in resolving them the House is likely to be demolished. In the interim the Council sees the merit of ongoing funding for stabilising the house and protecting it (hoarding and surveillance) both on safety grounds and to meet Historic England requirements."

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

Log in to comment

Colin Younger's Avatar
Colin Younger posted a reply #4690 11 Jul 2019 00:22
Good to see a security van in the park in the light of recent problems with travellers. I didn’t notice the index number “DOG” when I went to find out why the van was there, but furious barking from the back of the van soon explained things. The van was positioned to take advantage of shade from trees and rear doors were open to help keep the dog from overheaing.

It was also encouraging to see surveyors at work using a laser to produce three dimensional studies of the House and Stableyard. Another team are due next week to produce a levels’ survey and plan of underground services.

This work is part of the Stage 1 Feasibility Study Report / Cost Plan which will feed in to decisions about the viability of rebuilding the external structure of the House as it was in 1903. This will only be possible if there is a sufficient financial surplus from developing housing in the stableyard. Proposals for residential development of the stableyard are being worked on as another part of the overall feasibility study.

Given a need for this to be cost neutral for the council, the likelihood is that the rebuilt structure will initially only be able to include a café. Further fitting out of the interior, including reinstating the main oak staircase, and eventually the Lanscroon murals, will need further funding from heritage/charitable sources. The representatives of the Broomfield House Trust and Friends of Broomfield Park who have been involved in long running exploration of the options with the Council believe that such a phased programme is more likely to succeed than further attempts to raise the huge sums for a single all-embracing reconstruction, which in spite of all our joint efforts have not succeeded.

If this goes ahead, it will replace the current ruin with a restored centre piece of the park capable of further development. The only other option on the cards seems to be some sort of demolition and “memorialisation” which will hardly do justice to the history of the house, the visual attraction of the park, or offer a significant community benefit.