Southgate District Civic Trust – Past, Present & Future By Jane Maggs

18th January 2015

Southgate District Civic Trust – Past, Present & Future By Jane Maggs 

In 1962, a group of local residents banded together to fight a plan to demolish the Georgian cottages on Southgate Green. Their campaign saved the cottages and led to the formation of Southgate District Civic Trust.

Over the next few years, the Trust widened its area of interest to cover the old Southgate Municipal Borough (abolished in 1965). The area includes Southgate, Southgate Green, Palmers Green, Winchmore Hill and out as far as Oakwood, Cockfosters and Hadley Wood.

So, after 50 years what is there in our past, present and future!

The Past – to develop the future you have to understand the past. The Trust has an active Local History Group, which meets regularly, usually with a speaker on a local subject. We have an extensive catalogue of local history publications written by members including our periodic bulletin Oakleaves. Excitingly, the latest edition, Oakleaves 5, received an award for Best Journal 2014 from LAMAS (London and Middlesex Archaeological Society). The group initiated four local blue plaques for distinguished former residents.

The Present - we tackle the present trying to conserve and protect the best aspects of the area. Clearly everywhere has to develop and grow, but The Trust wants to ensure that changes are appropriate, sympathetic and what people want. The Planning Group meets monthly to review planning applications, particularly for conservation areas, but also for any large developments or where members are directly concerned.

As part of this, members are reviewing the council Local Heritage List, to be sure anything important to the community is included. Listing may not give these places full legal protection, but it has to be taken into account when considering any development. It’s about what is important to us as a community.

The Future – the Trust actively works with council officers, local politicians, residents groups and businesses to keep improving our area. However, we know that national changes, like planning laws have a huge impact on our community rights. So the Trust is also a member of Civic Voice, the national charity for the civic movement. In fact through Civic Voice, our member’s views were included in the first ever ‘Civic Society Manifesto’. As we get closer to the General Election, we have something tangible to discuss with those politicians knocking on our doors.

The Trust has campaigned in the past for major developments like the restoration of Grovelands House, plus smaller things like the flower-bed at the top of Chase Road in Southgate. Our members are involved with major developments in the area like the North Circular Action Plan, Salmon’s Brook Improvements and Cycle Enfield.

This area has a fascinating past and we intend to ensure a great future.

So how do you get involved? Come to one of our ‘open meetings’, which include a speaker on anything from environmental matters, bee keeping to council development plans. Or come to a history group meeting, or a social event. Full details are in our regular members Newsletter, or on the website ( and Facebook (, or contact Jane Maggs on 020 8882 4253.


Better still, join us and make a difference.