There are encouraging signs emanating from the Civic Centre, Enfield, that the 10,000 home development at Meridian Water could finally be progressing.
At Cabinet on 25th July it was agreed that the Council will no longer pursue a single master developer approach and it is going to procure development partners for the first developments sites.
The purpose is to bring forward three sites quickly and deliver 925 homes alongside 300,000 sq ft of employment space.
Site 1 at Willoughby Lane already has an outline planning consent in place and is being remediated. Crucially, the site is adjacent to the new Meridian Water train station that is set to open in May 2019. This site will provide circa 725 homes.
Site 2, the Leeside Road Gas Holder, is on Council owned land and there are no restrictions on development. An outline planning consent is being pursued by the Council in relation to their upcoming HIF bid (more on this below) and the intention is to include this site in that process. This site will provide circa 200 homes.
For both of the residential sites, a developer will be procured through the GLA’s LDP Framework. It is my understanding that this will begin in September.
Site 3 will consist of an employment hub alongside the North Circular of around 2-3 acres. Further work on the options will be undertaken to ascertain the likely investment and returns and then a soft marketing campaign to ascertain the market appetite for a pre-let will be undertaken before the Council decides on the optimal route.
It is also important to note that, with the GLA, the Council is undertaking a £120m + HIF bid which will be submitted in September 2018. The bid is split into two:
- £87.3m for a Central Spine road, providing a new East-West link alongside associated work such as flood alleviation
- £40m for improvements around Meridian Water that will enable the current proposed service of 2 trains per hour to increase to 4 trains per hour.
All of this activity is encouraging but it is understandable that there may be some cynicism given that this has taken so long to get going. However, with a new Leader in Cllr Nesil Caliskan and a new Director of Place, Sarah Cary, there are legitimate reasons for optimism moving forward.
With increased housing targets from the GLA to contend with, Meridian Water provides the best opportunity for Enfield to meet its housing targets. The Council is now in ownership of 87 hectares of the land I am hopeful that this long-talked about project will finally get going.