Parliamentary Comment by David Burrowes MP
21st November 2014
21st November 2014
Keeping the public informed of local development plans in our local area including Southgate, Palmers Green and Winchmore Hill. As featured in our December 2014 Palmers Green & Southgate LIFE magazine
What buildings or land do we value in our local area? Maybe it's the park or library or perhaps a pub. The problem comes when there are plans to sell and the public are the last to hear about it -usually only when a planning application has been submitted. Under the Localism Act 2011 there is a 'community asset register' which allows groups like residents associations to apply to the Council for a building or land to be registered. You will probably not have heard about this register because until I prompted Enfield Council last year there was no process published on their website. In fact there are no community assets registered across the whole borough. This needs to change so that the community is told first about the sale of much loved buildings or land, and has a right to bid. It does not need to be owned by the council but can't be a residential property. You just need to demonstrate that the land or building is much loved by the community and has a social value. Once the asset is registered the nominating group will be notified as soon as there is a plan to sell. Residents would then have 6 months to come up with an alternative plan.
Already ideas are coming forward such as The Palmers Green Triangle , the Minchenden site at Southgate College and The Fox Pub. Let me know which you think should be registered as community assets.
Another valued community asset is of course our local hospital. I saw that for myself when last month I had a planned operation to my hand at North Mid. I had a similar operation 7 years ago but the hospital has now been transformed through the new building. Where orthopaedics was previously in a portacabin it's now in modern facilities.
Chase Farm Hospital can also now look to a brighter future with the redevelopment due to start in January. £29 million of the £120 million is being spent from next month to get all existing services in modern buildings. There will also be a new school and housing on the surplus land, with the proceeds of sale being ploughed back into the hospital and primary care. After years of empty promises, it's good that due to our long term economic plan the Government has been able to invest in both our Enfield hospitals to secure their future.
Image shows a well loved community centre Ruth Winston House, in Palmers Green serving the over 50's