Help save Enfield’s green belt by Councillor Joanne Laban
19th January 2019
19th January 2019
You might be thinking what is a local plan? Local Plans set out the big decisions on planning for the future of communities. They outline the long-term strategy for each planning authority in our case Enfield Council.
Every local planning authority must create a Local Plan to guide the future development of their area. Future planning decisions must then be made in accordance with that plan. Consultation with neighbourhood organisations and business is a key part of creating Local Plans making sure that they reflect the future needs of the whole community. Engaging in that consultation process is the best way to help shape the future development.
Local Plans set out the strategic priorities for development of an area and cover housing, commercial, public and private development, including transport infrastructure, along with protection for the local environment.
Enfield Council is currently working on a new Local Plan to shape how our borough is developed in the future. The key challenges it needs to address are:
•ensuring there is enough housing to meet everyone’s needs;
•creating better employment opportunities and promoting economic growth;
•reviewing infrastructure and community facilities;
•the future role of our town centres;
•creating places that promote health and wellbeing;
•ensuring development is high quality and protects the environment.
A draft Local Plan document has already been created. I do not think anyone can argue that Enfield and indeed London requires more homes. However, this draft document floats the idea of potentially allowing development on Enfield’s green belt by re-designating the use of the land. Enfield’s green belt is therefore under threat. For many residents, Enfield’s unique selling point and charm is its mix between town and country within one borough. The mix of housing, town centres, businesses, high streets, parks, open spaces and countryside make Enfield what it is. The green belt benefits London’s air quality, supports our agricultural industry, helps reduce the risk and impact of flooding and provides habitats for London’s wildlife.
Enfield does have brownfield land. The council has been working on a 10,000-home scheme in Edmonton called Meridian Water for a decade, yet it has not produced a single home. A development project on several very small sites, has been going on for eight years. Enfield needs to get on with completing these schemes and developing new ones on brownfield land before taking the easy way out through building on green belt. Our neighbouring boroughs have been more successful in building new homes than Enfield, so it is time that we caught up.
The consultation on the draft document will run from 5 December 2018 to 28 February 2019. This is your chance to save Enfield’s green belt and help develop a vision by telling Enfield Council what you think the borough should be like in the future.