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Southgate Town Hall

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People who were in the vicinity of the former Southgate Town Hall early this morning have mentioned that something unusual seemed to be happening - there was a distinct buzz of activity.  One of our sources was told that when demolishing an internal wall workers came across some sort of old manuscript and that a Mr Goole got in contact with the Council to report the find.  However, when we tried later this morning to talk to the people working on the building, they seemed very reluctant to say anything at all, and enquiries with the Council have yielded no information.

More information if and when we have it.

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Tony Elliott's Avatar
Tony Elliott posted a reply #1118 02 Apr 2015 09:28
This sounds really exciting, and I wonder how much it will change the traditional view of Broomfield Park's history - which you can study in the park leaflet, available to pick up free from the Conservatory, when it's open. Can't wait for further info !
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PGC Webmaster posted a reply #1141 09 Apr 2015 00:55
We can confirm that an interesting old document has indeed been discovered in the former Town Hall.

We hope to be able to find out more about the document, particularly about exactly what it says. Information at this stage indicates it does refer to Broomfield Park and may even give some detail about an earlier fire in Broomfield House unknown to the Broomfield House Trust

As soon as we find anything out, we'll let you know - so keep checking the website..

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A Resident's Questions about Car Parking for the new Flats
behind the Town Hall

Why are there only six parking spaces allocated to the 19 “Affordable Housing” properties at the rear of Southgate Town Hall?  As a resident also living in an “Affordable Housing” development, I know that everyone owns at least one vehicle. So it is inevitable, there will be more cars than parking spaces for properties at the rear of STH. 

15 spaces which are council owned are "offered" these residents after the hours of 9:30am to 6pm, when they are not used for the public using either the library or the proposed doctor’s surgery.  But where are these cars meant to go between the hours of 9:30am and 6pm?

Non-residents are strictly forbidden to use the bays in Davey Close or in Shapland Way as they will be trespassing on private land. 

The only available parking on Shapland Way is either near the Library or near the junction of Davey Close.  There are approximately 5 street parking spaces which are usually taken up by local residents. 

Despite all the parking measures that will be in place in response to the Southgate Town Hall development,  it is likely that people will ignore the warning signs and park illegally in bays which belong to local residents. The general consensus from residents is no one can fathom where the overspill will be absorbed.

Despite contacting the local Palmers Green councillors about these concerns over a week ago, all have failed to respond.  Their silence speaks volumes.

According to residents living in streets close to Southgate Town Hall, the planned construction of a new block of flats behind the former municipal building, which was approved by Enfield's Planning Committee this spring, does not provide for anything remotely like the amount of car parking space which the new flats will require.  However, they complain that protests to local councillors about this have been ignored (see the inset document outlining their concerns).

The new block (see the drawing and artist's impression below) will comprise 18 "affordable" flats - six one-bed, nine two-bed and three three-bed.  However, only six parking spaces within the Town Hall/Library complex will be allocated to these new flats.  In contrast, there will be a parking space allocated to each of the new flats (not classified as "affordable") that will be created within the former Town Hall building.

Though some additional Council-owned car parking will be available on site outside of working hours, the residents point out that there will inevitably be immense pressure on already stretched street parking space in the vicinity.

new flats near town hall

town hall building at rear

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townhallBetty Wright was born in Southgate Town Hall in 1927 and grew up there.  She would love to see its interior again before the developers get to work turning it into flats.  Someone trying to help her achieve that ambition is Suzanne Beard of Palmers Green Jewel in the North, who recently wrote an open letter to a number of Enfield councillors asking them to try to arrange this, pointing out that she had earlier written to the then Mayor making the same request, but after a promising initial reaction, nothing had come of this.

You can read Suzanne's open letter on her website, which also has an earlier article recounting Betty's memories of living in the basement of the town hall and playing in the Mayor's Parlour as a small girl.

new flats near town hall

artist's impression of new apartment block behind Southgate Town HallAs for the future of the Town Hall, the planning application submitted by Hollybrook Homes was approved by the Planning Committee earlier this month.  The developers will create 19 flats within the existing building (10 two-bedroom and 9 one-bedroom).  The appearance of the sides of the building facing Green Lanes and the New River should be unaffected, but some extensions will be built at the rear.  The developers have undertaken to retain "as much of the internal features as possible".  Solar panels will be incorporated into the roof of the rear extension and parking spaces will be provided for 19 cars.

The same Planning Committee meeting also approved an application by Hollybrook Home to build a new apartment block on the former car parking area at the rear of the Town Hall, comprising 18 "affordable" flats - six one-bed, nine two-bed and three three-bed.  The flat-roofed L-shaped building will be partly three-storey and partly four-storey.  Enfield planners considered that the exterior materials envisaged by the developers - red brick cladding, secondary brown brick and fibre composite weatherboard - create a "successful blend and contrast with Southgate Town Hall".

The Council received twelve letters objecting to the new block.  There were objections to its "uninspired design", to the flat roof, which would not blend with the surroundings, to the fact that existing properties would be overlooked, to the reduction in light that would occur, to the additional pressure on services and on various other grounds.

Links to planning application documents:

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The sale of the former Southgate Town Hall is proceeding.  Contracts have now been exchanged for the transfer of the building in Green Lanes, Palmers Green, to the property developer Hollybrook Homes.

Hollybrook are planning to build between 30 and 40 one-, two- and three-bedroom flats within the shell of the Town Hall and in a new-build block to the rear.  At least some of the flats will be "affordable".

The exterior of the building will not be altered, but the interior will be completely refashioned.  Building work is likely to be carried out between mid-2014 and late 2015.

It appears that Hollybrook have not yet applied for planning permission for the new flats, so details of their plans are not yet available.

Although the announcement on Enfield Council's website links the sale to the refurbishment of Palmers Green Library and the possible provision of a new doctors' surgery, both these projects are in fact separate, as the Library building is being retained by the Council and its refurbishment will be carried out independently of the Town Hall conversion.  However, the proceeds of the sale will provide funds for the library refurbishment project.

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Enfield Council's plans to sell off the former Southgate Town Hall are progressing.  Negotiations with a development company are ongoing and work to "segregate" the Town Hall from the adjacent Palmers Green Library is due to start in November.

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