Agenda and minutes

Former Middlesex University Campus Site, Planning Panel - Monday, 3rd December, 2012 7.30 pm

Venue: Swan Annexe, 219/221 High Street, Ponders End, Enfield, EN3 4DX

Contact: Metin Halil 

No. Item



i)                    Purpose of the meeting.


ii)                  Introduction of Applicant’s representatives and Officers of the Council.




  1. Councillor Hurer as Chairman welcomed all attendees to the meeting and introduced the Panel Members, the applicant’s representatives and Council Officers.


  1. The purpose of the meeting was to provide local residents and other interested parties the opportunity to ask questions about the application and for the applicants, officers and Panel Members to listen to all the comments.



  1. A decision on the application would be made by the full Planning Committee at a future date.






The Site


The application site comprises the former Middlesex University campus which was vacated by the University in 2008 and is now in private ownership, together with No’s 188-230 (even) High Street, excluding the mosque at No.228 High Street, the existing Ponders End Library and the parking area within College Court. The site extends to 5.21hectares in the heart of Ponders End. The Broadbent Building, together with the Gym and Caretakers House, within the former University campus are Grade II Listed Buildings.


To the north of the site lies the Queensway Industrial Estate, a Locally Significant Employment Area, which comprises a range of small scale industrial units. To the west and south,  the site bounds residential properties in Kingsway and Derby Road. To the east the site bounds the range of commercial and community uses that front the High Street.


Vehicle access to the site is from Queensway, with the exit via the existing multi-storey car park, also on to Queensway. A further pedestrian access exists to the High Street, just south of the Mosque.


The site lies within the Ponders End Regeneration Priority Area and within the area covered by the Ponders End Central Planning Brief.




The application proposes the demolition of all buildings on site (including the existing library) with the exception of the Listed Broadbent building and the associated gymnasium and caretakers cottage, Tara Kindergarten at 198 High Street and the existing multi-storey car park to the Queensway frontage and the redevelopment of the site for a mix of residential (Class C3), business (Class B1) and retail (Classes A1-A4). The application is in outline form with only access to be determined, with the exception of the Listed Building,  where no matters are reserved. Vehicle access to the site would be from Queensway, at existing points of access, and to the High Street, via College Court. The existing pedestrian link from the Middlesex University site to the High Street, adjacent to the Mosque, would be retained and enhanced.


In terms of detail the development comprises the following key elements:


?  The retention, refurbishment and conversion of the Tara Kindergarten building (198 High Street) to provide up to 491 sqm (GIA) of replacement library accommodation to replace the College Court Library.

?  The retention and refurbishment of the listed Broadbent building, caretaker’s cottage and gym to provide 4,503 sqm (GIA) of residential floorspace and up to 31 dwellings, 2141 sqm (GIA) of commercial/live work floorspace (Class B1) and 427 sqm (GIA) of community use (Class D1).

?  The retention and refurbishment of the existing multi-storey car park on Queensway to provide parking for up to 119 cars (89 residential and 30 replacement spaces for employees of Enfield Enterprise) and an energy centre.

?  The construction of up to 39,927sqm (GIA) of new residential floorspace to provide up to 377 new mixed tenure dwellings.

?  The construction of up to 567sqm (GIA) of new commercial (Class  ...  view the full agenda text for item 2.




  1. Aled Richards, Head of Development Control, gave a brief outline of the application.

·        The application had been submitted in mid November and consultations were still ongoing and would be expiring on 7 December 2012; The Planning Department would also accept late representations  up until 11 January 2013, for inclusion in the application report. After this date, any further representations can still be received up to 5:00pm on the day before the Planning Committee meeting on 29 January 2013, and these would be reported verbally to the Committee. To date the planning department has received three letters of objection to the application detailed below:

·        From: Enfield Enterprise Agency

                EPCO Holdings Ltd (230 High Street)

                Mr & Mrs Osman owners of No.s 200, 200A and 202 High



Enfield Enterprise Agency object on grounds that if the scheme proceeds the Centre will be unable to continue to function.


The other two objectors, whilst generally supportive of a large scale, mixed use regeneration of the area raise the following concerns.


·        Exclusion of the Mosque – which is not purpose built and not large enough. A larger purpose built mosque could be provided. It would allow for a better overall design solution rather than having to work around a fixed constraint.

·        Exclusion of properties in the area around the junction between High Street and Queensway (No.s 232-244 High Street) – these are located at an important intersection and would benefit from a well considered  regeneration scheme.

·        No justification why these properties are not included. Represents a missed opportunity and therefore proposals cannot be considered to be genuinely comprehensive in nature.

·        Part of Upper Lee Valley Opportunity Area therefore any redevelopment should be truly comprehensive in nature and should include the whole of the High Street. The development fails to accord with the emerging strategic policy by not being comprehensive.

·        The former Post Office site, High Street – should be included to provide additional development flexibility by providing potential relocation accommodation for displaced businesses.

·        Extinguishment of a number of viable and long standing local businesses and provision needs to be made for relocation of these to other appropriate locations.



  1. It was intended to present the application to Planning Committee at its meeting on Tuesday 29 January 2013 and the Committee would also receive the notes from the Planning Panel meeting. The agenda for that meeting would be published on the Council’s web site on Friday 18 January 2013.







1.      Paul Karakusevic of Karakusevic Carson Lead Architects, gave an introduction of the proposals:

·        Karakusevic Carson Lead Architects were appointed four months ago to provide an holistic master plan for regenerating and improving the Former Middlesex University Campus Site, 188-230 (even) (excluding No.228), Ponders End High Street and Ponders End Library & Associated parking area, College Court.

·        The key aspects are to regenerate the High Street and the rear of the university, leading back to the wider site. The approach for re-development would be family orientated and the economic regeneration of the area. The key objectives of this integrated development would be:

a.      Re-location of the  College Court Library.

b.      Retain and refurbish the listed Broadbent building, caretaker’s cottage and gymnasium to provide residential floorspace, commercial floorspace and floorspace for community use.

c.      Retain and refurbish the Queensway multi-storey car park to provide 119 parking spaces (89 residential & 30 for Enfield Enterprise employees).

d.      To provide up to 408 new mixed tenure residential units, 567 sqm of commercial floorspace, 776sqm of new mixed retail floorspace and 156sqm of new community floorspace.

e.      Parking spaces for 252 cars.

f.        Introduction of a new public open space, high quality public realm and private amenity space.

·                    In terms of the wider context, the site lies within the Ponders End Regeneration Priority Area and within the area covered by the Ponders End Central Planning Brief. There have already been improved transport links in the area due to the new school academy in South Street, encouraging parents from the development to walk or to use public transport.

·                    The High Street shop frontages to be straightened and restored with new shop fronts. Pavements along the High Street would be improved and bought back to life with a quality surface to walk on.

·                    At present, the University site is disconnected from the High Street. Passage ways into court yards to be created  for mixed use retail & commercial use. Enhancements to be made to the ecology garden and a green route, with enhanced landscaping,  to be created to connect the High Street to the Broadbent building at the rear of the site.

·                    The proposed development would follow an established east-west street pattern with two main streets and pedestrian friendly home zones. The street design would allow for pedestrian and cycle priority over vehicles. The speed limit for the site would be 20mph. The streets have been designed for people, with emphasis on play areas and growing space.

·                    One of the new streets would house 4-5 storey apartment buildings and the remaining street would house lower level apartments. Terraced houses and maisonettes would be situated centrally to the development.

·                    The proposed illustrative housing mix can be viewed on the agenda and is in line with the maximum number of units that can be provided for the site as stated in the Ponders End Planning Brief. The viability assessment confirms that the maximum number of affordable housing units that can be delivered by the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.




NOTED the following questions and observations from Members of the Panel.


  1. Councillor Cranfield asked questions in respect of improvements to the retail element of the development, how this would be achieved, about play spaces for the ‘family friendly’ development and the size of proposed houses to the south of the development. It was advised that the middle section of the High Street was vibrant on both sides but declined after the University moved away. The developer was looking at increasing residential use to support shops on the High Street and create an environment for business to flourish in. In reality, general improvements of this middle section of the High Street would depend on approximately 400 new homes of the development as well as additional people moving into the area. Bringing the High Street back to life and allowing the street to work would be integral to the scheme. In response to play spaces, it was advised that, integral to the scheme, every house would have a garden, the re-location of the nursery into the Broadbent Building, creation of mature and grown up play spaces and play spaces within each home zone. Play areas would be generous in size and would contribute to a family orientated environment. The houses to the south of the development would be either 2,3 or 4 bedroom houses.
  2. Councillor Ekechi asked about street parking and if there were enough parking spaces. It was confirmed that there would be some street parking, that the multi storey car park would provide parking and that the developers had enough parking allocation for the scheme as measured against London Plan and the Enfield Core Strategy.
  3. Councillor Hasan asked questions about the difference between the current application and application No. P12-00732PLA, traffic issues and security measures for the residential units. It was advised that the difference between this application and application No. P12-00732PLA is the density of the scheme, as it was based around family homes and not flats. The current application offers low rise housing with the biggest difference being family focussed high quality housing, a quantum of affordable housing, completely integrated housing which has exceeded the London Plan housing standard and numerous play spaces including the possible enhancement of Ponders End Park. Housing units had been brought down to a sustainable level , offering and creating housing that people would want to live in. The application addressed  sustainable transport by  including the:

·        Correct amount of parking;

·        Pedestrian links;

·        By promoting a walking orientated environment/pedestrian friendly

·        Two entrances into the site.

           The security aspect of the development would be self surveillance.The

           developer would be making every street overlooked, by lining streets

            with property front doors increasing the perception of personal safety.

  1. Councillor Delman commented that he was pleased about the family orientated housing units, but this would mean an increase in children. He asked questions regarding children’s play areas, inclusion and re-development of the Mosque, the number of integrated work/home units and amenity space. It was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.




NOTED the following questions and observations from Local Ward Councillors.


  1. Councillor Doug Taylor, Leader of the Council and Ponders End Ward Councillor, asked the following questions:

·        The planning panel had made reference to a previous application for the site. Explain the number of units on the previous application and the present one?

·        There is a transport constraint to the site from Queensway and Kingsway. What may happen to transport to Kingsway and certain increased traffic?

·        What is the current traffic proposal for the southern element of the site and in terms of the traffic impact report on the site, what was the impact on the university site?

·        Amenity space – are all the green areas and designations, open to change or use?


           Aled Richards advised that there were two applications that were to be            determined. The other application was from Inpath Limited, which had a smaller development site with 471 proposed residential units and the present Council application, which is a larger development site that proposes 408 residential units.


It was advised that there would be no proposed connections from Derby Road to the southern end of the development and no radical alterations proposed for alleviating any increased traffic generation.

           The traffic impact on the site had been surveyed by looking at oldtraffic data for the university site.

           It was further advised that the developer would be building to the London Plan standard with a high level of green spaces and sustainable homes.


       2. Councillor Ayfer Orhan, Ponders End Ward Councillor, asked questions about green energy for the site, including solar power; and cycling provision, especially for children on the development. It was advised that the development would have a green energy station, housing gas boilers which will provide heating and hot water generation for the development. The new homes would have 4-5 times the insulation that had previously been used in new homes, with excellent new window systems, which have all been factored into the scheme. The development’s centralised energy plan will also include solar energy. There would also be approximately 600 bicycle spaces within the development. Some of these will be located in communal areas and others in bike stores in gardens. This would be a cycle friendly scheme. The multi storey car park will be used primarily for car parking, reducing parking on roads. The scheme had been designed for slow traffic (10mph) so that kids can cycle and play on roads. There would be traffic calming measures in place, stopping short cuts and rat runs through the development, thus putting pedestrians first.

       3. Councillor Del Goddard, Cabinet Member for Business and Regeneration, said that the application would have to be assessed on its own merits as an application, but that a number of wider issues had been raised about the future of the wider area and how it operates, and these would be looked at separately as part of the normal business of the Council.







NOTED the following questions and observations from attendees:


  1. A resident commented that she had lived and ran a business in the area in excess of 50 years. She had walked and cycled, in the area, when she was younger. There was now serious  transport  issues on the High Road, making it very difficult to get onto the High Road and sometimes 30 minutes to travel out of Ponders End. Referring to the current application, businesses will have cars and vans coming in and out of the development which will not be environmentally friendly. The maisonette where she lived suffered from anti social behaviour with an abundance of rubbish accumulation. With more people coming to live in the development, this intense site will look unsightly. It was advised that it was difficult to curtail the buy to let market, but the developer could make houses more attractive so that new residents could take pride in their homes. Studio’s and smaller apartmens formed a smaller percentage of the housing mix of the scheme. Three bedroom properties and above accounted for 65% of the scheme, encouraging family based accommodation so residents would stay longer in these properties and be part of the community.
  2. A resident raised concern about businesses and transport issues surrounding lorry deliveries to the industrial area of the development. It was advised that this issue would be part of a traffic management programme to stop businesses suffering.
  3. An attendee commented that as there was no provision for a day nursery within the development and only one day nursery in the area, was there any provision for a childcare facility within the Master Plan? It was advised that there was a possibility that a childcare facility could be accommodated in the Broadbent Building. Paul Walker, Assistant Director of Regeneration, Planning & Programme Management  said that he would be pleased to discuss this property matter after the meeting.
  4. A resident commented that their garden currently backs onto the student accommodation block. The development plans show that the accommodation block would be replaced with two blocks of apartments imposing her property and that the proposed new road seems very close to her property. She was also very concerned about security, overlooking & privacy and the proposed new road accessing college Court and the High Street.  It was advised that it was very important that residents had gardens. The developer would be creating rear gardens backing onto garden walls and fences. Some properties may benefit from a more typical garden backing onto a garden, by the creation of a green corridor through the development. The resident was further advised that her garden would be backed up to a high quality wall, trees and planting. The proposed new road behind her property would be 4-5 metres from her home. The two apartment blocks behind her property (shown on plan) would not be facing her home. The rear of her home will be facing the new residential street instead. The Master Plan will address overlooking when window  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.




NOTED the closing points, including:


  1. The Chairman thanked everyone for attending and contributing to the meeting.
  2. Notes taken at this meeting would be appended to the Planning Officers’ report to be considered by the Planning Committee when the application was presented for decision.
  3. There was a deputation procedure whereby involved parties could request to address the Planning Committee meeting (details on the Council website or via the Planning Committee Secretary 020 8379 4093/4091 or and residents could also ask ward councillors to speak on their behalf.
  4. Full details of the application were available to view and download from the Council’s website  (Application Ref: P12-02677PLA).