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proposed buildings replacing intimate theatreThe proposed new buildings on the site of St Monica's Large Hall/the Intimate Theatre. Top: new parish centre; bottom: block of flats in Stonard Road

A planning application has been submitted for the demolition of St Monica's Hall (the Intimate Theatre) and its replacement by a new-build parish centre for St Monica's church and a block of six apartments.

19/01988/FUL. Redevelopment of site involving demolition of existing building and ancillary structures and erection of part 2, part 3 storey building with basement level to provide new church hall with parish community facilities and 6 x 2 bed self contained flats with associated landscaping.

The Design and Access Statement for the application includes discussion of the alternative proposals put forward by the Save the Intimate campaign, which would retain the existing hall/theatre building.  In view of this campaign and other appeals to retain the existing buidling, the council planners required the commissioning of a Heritage Statement.  It findings are summarised in the Design and Access Statement:

The report considered the existing hall to be a modest and architecturally unremarkable building with few architectural features of quality. While they accepted that the hall has some local interest, as recognised by its inclusion on Enfield Council's local asset register, they conclude that the hall is not of sufficient special interest to meet the high threshold required to merit statutory designation in the national context.

The Save the Intimate campaign is calling on supporters to submit objections to the demolition plans.  The following is taken from a post on its Facebook page.

help save the intimate theatre

Hello everyone,

A lot of you have asked how you can help try and save the Intimate Theatre, well now we need your help. Please feel free to share this with anyone you think may be able to help, it only takes 5 minutes to do.

The plans have been submitted to the council to demolish the Intimate and replace with 6 flats and a new parish centre. This means we can now object to the plans, but for it to count you must do so before Monday 08 Jul 2019.

In order to make a comment on a planning application you must register yourself with an account

Once signed in you can comment on the plans.

You can find the plans here:

19/01988/FUL | Redevelopment of site involving demolition of existing building and ancillary structures and erection of part 2, part 3 storey building with basement level to provide new church hall with parish community facilities and 6 x 2 bed self contained flats with associated landscaping. | St Monicas Hall 521 Green Lanes London N13 4DH

Click on the button to make a comment.

Fill in the details and make your comments.

Once done hit submit.

Thank you! Hopefully with enough objections we can save the Theatre.

You can add your own concerns of feel free to cut and paste any or all of the following information below:

I would like to object to the following planning as I do not feel that the Intimate Theatre should be demolished and should be preserved as part of Enfield’s Cultural Heritage.

The building has been listed as an ACV which indicates its local significance. It is on Enfield’s Local Heritage list – entry 113 – on the basis of its rarity, historic association, landmark status, social value and creative association.

I disagree with the information provided in the Heritage Statement. I believe it seeks to undermine the building’s importance as a theatre – its history tells a different story and it has played a huge part in our cultural history being the first theatre to reopen in London during the war, the first to broadcast a live play on the BBC as well as giving many renowned actors the opportunity to start their careers. It survives today as one of the few examples of a repertory theatre left in the country.

Further, at section 1.16 of the Heritage statement (page 8), it is stated that potential refurbishment of the existing building was considered. This seems misleading, as a worked proposal was shared with the church and indeed made public by a group looking to assist and all attempts to discuss these proposals were dismissed.

That the building’s current lawful use under TP/87/2047 includes theatre use (Change of use of premises from theatre to parish community centre incorporating smaller theatre and facilities for arts crafts discussion groups and social centre activities) there is no provision under the new plans to include a stage or performing area. Paragraph 92 of the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) seeks decisions to guard against the loss of valued facilities.

Paragraph 8 of the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) outlines that sustainable development has a social objective which should support social and cultural wellbeing. Yet local community groups have been told that they will not be able to book the venue so the impression of it being open for the community is misleading.

Both the Twentieth Century Society and the Theatres Trust considered the building to be of significant merit to support the listing proposal and applying for National Heritage Status. It is considered a rare survivor of a repertory theatre from the interwar period. The Theatre is included on the Theatres Trust Theatre’s At Risk Register because of its cultural significance.

As well as the professional shows the Intimate Theatre has provided many local people with the chance to perform over the years. This opportunity will be lost if the Theatre is closed down.

The church says it has no bookings for 2019 but they have refused to take any bookings since the beginning of the year leaving groups without anywhere to perform. The options suggested such as the Millfield and Dugdale are too expensive and mean groups are forced to close leaving children and adults without the opportunity to perform in a real theatre with real history. Local charities will also miss out as these shows raise money for local causes.

The building has been described as not fit for purpose however it is currently being used for parish activities and with some improvements and renovations the building could serve both the parish, the community and still operate as a theatre. It can be made more energy efficient and more accessible easily. It should be celebrated for what it has brought to Enfield over the years and can still offer not demolished.

The proposals also list 6 new two bedroom flats in the development. Given the drawings show that parking facilities in the new development will be limited to 10 spaces, and using a ratio of one car per bedroom (one car per couple it is assumed) - we can see that the new development over develops the area. There are insufficient parking spaces for the flats planned. In current usage, the current site had a car park in the front as well as 2-3 car parking spaces at the rear that were used by the congregation during services. Where will they park now? This will pose a strain on community facilities, as bus routes pass by the frontage - with the inevitable traffic chaos come church services - these public services will experience considerable delays. On street parking in the area is already at breaking point in terms of capacity. These plans make this situation worse by an order of magnitude and the plans offer no solution to it.

A petition to save the theatre has gained approximately 4,500 signatures.

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David Eden's Avatar
David Eden posted a reply #4662 04 Jul 2019 09:10
Heritage statement seems pretty spot on. Best of luck with the Parish fighting against the NIMBY hoards.
Basil Clarke's Avatar
Basil Clarke posted a reply #4676 04 Jul 2019 21:31

David Eden wrote: Heritage statement seems pretty spot on. Best of luck with the Parish fighting against the NIMBY hoards.

The expression NIMBY is hereby banned from all future posts. Please confine your arguments to the merits or otherwise of the proposals, not to the merits or otherwise of other contributors to this website or of anyone else (I'll make an honourable exception for criticism of both candidates to be prime minister).

If you agree with the heritage statement, that's fine, it's a matter of opinion, but you haven't really explained why you think so. The concern that some people have about the planning application is not primarily about what is proposed to replace the Intimate, it's about the demolition of a local landmark that many people consider to have a special significance, either for PG or for the world of theatre.

On the other side of the equation are the needs of the parish and the fact that they own the building. Both very weighty points, especially the first. I personally don't consider that ownership confers absolute rights, for reasons too complicated to go into here (you and I are at opposite ends of the political spectrum, I know). Someone - in this case the planning committee - has to make the judgement, but before doing so it needs to listen to the arguments from both sides.
Linda Fullick's Avatar
Linda Fullick posted a reply #4677 05 Jul 2019 08:58
I and my husband have both had difficulty registering for an account with the Enfield Online Planning Register (you have to register in order to comment on planning applications). Clearly this is the best way to comment on the application as the comments get automatically logged, but I have found a page on the Enfield Council website suggesting that you can email instead if you have trouble signing up. I thought it important to share this as there is urgency if you want to comment as comments have to be submitted by Monday 8 July. The information is on this page . The email address is Don't forget to ask for an acknowledgement. Incidentally, there seems very little publicity about this application. We have visited the site and there are no public notices about the application and we personally have not seen anything in a local newspaper. We only became aware of the application a couple of days ago. The consultation period is normally 21 days.