Venue: Main Hall, Highlands Secondary School, Worlds End Lane, London N21 1QQ
i) Purpose of the meeting.
ii) Introduction of Applicant’s representatives and Officers of the Council.
1. Councillor Delman as Chair welcomed all attendees and introduced the Panel Members, the Council officers and the applicant’s representatives.
2. Due to illness, Councillor George Savva was replaced on the Panel by Councillor Jansev Jemal.
3. The purpose of the meeting was to receive a briefing on the proposals, 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 the reactions and comments. These views, and all the written representations made, would be taken into account when the application was determined by the Planning Committee.
4. This was not a decision-making meeting. A decision on the application would be made by the full Planning Committee in January/February 2017.
Andy Higham, (Enfield Council Head of Development Management) and Andy Bates (Planning Decisions Manager and case officer) introduced officers present and highlighted the following points:
1. This Planning Panel meeting was an important part of the consultation process. Notes were being taken and would be appended to the report to the Planning Committee.
2. The site was the former Middlesex University campus in Trent Park, which was acquired by Berkeley Homes in September 2015. The site comprised 21 hectares surrounding the Mansion House, and was embedded within 380 hectares of the wider park. It was a major developed site in the Green Belt and in Trent Park Conservation Area. Trent Park was a Registered Park and Garden. There were a number of Grade II listed structures on the site, as well as the Mansion.
3. There was one vehicular access via Snakes Lane, which would continue as the access. Pedestrians, as at present, would be able to access the site. The PTAL level was designated 0 ie. the poorest level of public transport accessibility, but Oakwood and Cockfosters Underground stations were in the vicinity, as were several bus routes.
4. The key planning issues included:
· The principle of the mix of uses and quantum of development.
· Car parking and traffic generation.
· Differences from previous university use.
· Phasing of development, and timescales and delivery, and considerations during construction.
· Impact of the development on the Green Belt and its openness.
· The landscape plan, including historic landscapes.
· Architecture and design quality of proposed buildings.
· Proposed community use of ground floor and basement of the Mansion Block, public access to parts of the building previously not possible, and consideration of sustainable future for the use.
· The mix of residential accommodation and level of affordable housing (advised as 5% of the total).
5. The formal consultation period would close on 25 November 2016 and the application would be presented to Planning Committee for determination early in 2017, then to the London Mayor for final confirmation. The London Mayor had indicated he was supportive, but that there were some areas of concern, including the affordable housing provision.
PRESENTATION BY THE APPLICANT / AGENT
Daniel Massie (Head of Development, Berkeley Homes) introduced representatives of the applicant and agent present and set out the proposals, with slides also projected for illustration, as follows:
1. Berkeley Group had a track record of over forty years for quality and delivery of developments of excellent design, sympathetic restoration and good sustainability. They had dealt with other sensitive heritage assets; for example Roehampton House.
2. There had been a large amount of consultation, with the goal of working with the local community to shape the proposals. There had been five exhibitions, visited by over 2,000 people, and consultation with over 20 stakeholder groups, including the hockey and running clubs as well as statutory bodies. Nine newsletters had been sent to 11,000 local residents, setting out progress.
3. The development would deliver 260 new homes, ranging from one to five bed properties including apartments and houses. A vision had been formed for the future of Trent Park and for a strong, integrated community.
4. Benefits of the proposal would include demolition of derelict former university buildings, restoration of heritage assets, and provision, with Trent Park Museum Trust, of a museum celebrating the history of Trent Park and the role it played during World War II. There would also be significant historical restoration of the landscape to the era of Sassoon and all would be open to the public. A shuttle bus would be run to Bramley Road, which would be free to the public too. A significant financial contribution, over £6m, would be given to the borough of Enfield and the Greater London Authority. Jobs would be provided in construction, with commitment to local employment and apprenticeships. There would be improvements to the hockey club and to the wildlife centre. Tennis courts and the Orangery swimming pool would be restored and would also be open to the public.
5. In respect of the landscape, a lot of research work had been done, and the aim was to restore the setting of the Mansion House in historic grounds. Thirty viewpoints around the site had been used to ensure the proposed development was sympathetic to the setting. Heritage assets to be restored would include Lime Tree Avenue and Wisteria Walk, Sassoon’s Long Garden and other formal gardens. The landscape led the masterplan. There would be a green grid of routes across the site, new publicly accessible footpaths, and planting of c.450 new trees.
6. The Mansion House and the Orangery would be fully restored. The landmark Rookery Lodge would also be restored and become a family home, and would be the entrance to the site. The Dower House would be returned to two cottages which it used to be. The historic wall of the walled garden would be restored. The Stable Block would be restored externally and have new apartments inside. Garden Cottage would become a residential family home again. Money had already been spent shoring up the Mansion House terrace. Working with the museum trust, restoration of internal finishes would ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
QUESTIONS BY PANEL MEMBERS
NOTED the following questions and observations from Members of the Panel.
1. Q. The application site was in the Green Belt – what measures would be implemented to minimise its impact?
A. Extensive measures would be taken to preserve openness. Thirty view- points around the site had been used to test the massing of the proposed development against the mansion, the topography and existing vegetation. There had been meetings with Historic England and care would be taken to ensure that the setting of the mansion and its openness would be restored to its former glory.
2. Q. Could there be assurances that the proposed museum would be running for the next 25 years?
A. Work had been undertaken in collaboration with the museum trust in respect of the business case to ensure it was sustainable for the long term. A café was envisaged as part of the offer, and rental of space for events to help generate revenue. The purpose first and foremost was as a museum, but some of the rooms may work for hosting functions to help the museum be sustainable. The business case envisaged entrance charges to the museum comparable to those at other similar attractions. It was envisaged that schools would pay a very low entrance fee per child.
3. Q. Had there been further consideration of the amount of affordable housing in the scheme?
A. Affordable housing was a technical area, but Berkeley Homes had sought a balance in discussions. All the benefits which were being put forward would cost over £30m. Developers had to abide by planning policy guidance, and the company had brought forward a scheme regarding vacant buildings, but they were aware that the Council and the GLA were keen to have further discussions around affordable housing.
4. Q. Would the shuttle bus run 24 hours, seven days a week? Given that the Piccadilly Line now had a night service, had there also been dialogue with Transport for London (TfL)?
A. The hours of operation envisaged were the main daytime hours of the Piccadilly Line – on week days from 05:00am to 01:00am and at weekends from 06:00am to 01:00am. At peak hours, there would be a shuttle bus every 10 minutes, and at other times every 15 minutes. If there was demand overnight, a service could be considered.
5. Q. For people who chose to walk or cycle, would there be a cycle lane or improved lighting on Snakes Lane?
A. Snakes Lane would be resurfaced and made good, and the lighting would be improved. The road width was restricted at 5.5m so a segregated cycle lane could not be accommodated, but cycle parking would be provided.
6. Q. Would the project affect the wildlife centre?
A. There had been discussions between the parties for the last four months and Berkeley Group were aware of what was needed. They would be able to assist with marketing the centre, and educational visits would be encouraged.
QUESTIONS BY WARD COUNCILLORS
NOTED the following comments from Councillor Jason Charalambous, Cockfosters Ward Councillor:
He was also Chair of the Trent Park Museum Trust, and was excited by the proposals and that the development would lead to the museum taking place, and commended Berkeley Homes on a very thorough consultation. Trent Park was of historical importance and the museum would be a centrepiece of the borough. This potential development would also give the opportunity to improve the wider park.
He acknowledged other concerns raised and in particular around affordable housing and sought reassurance this would not jeopardise the museum offer. At the moment, the proposals put forward included some affordable housing, a museum and other community benefits. Dan Massie from Berkeley Homes responded by saying if the percentage of affordable housing changed, there might be a need to look at the balance of the benefits but said that the museum space offered would not be affected.
OPEN SESSION - QUESTIONS AND VIEWS FROM THE FLOOR
NOTED the following questions and observations from attendees:
1. Q. As a local resident, an attendee expressed the wish for the park to stay as much as possible as it was. Also, for environmental protection he would prefer the shuttle bus to be electric powered. He had concerns about Snakes Lane coping with the traffic.
A. It was confirmed that the only vehicle access would be via Snakes Lane. As now, there will not be any public access for vehicles from Cockfosters into the site.
2. Q. What timeframe was anticipated for the development, including the viability of the museum element?
A. The museum was anticipated to open in 2020, and would be likely to require some external grant such as from the Heritage Lottery Fund and match funding. That would be for a period of five years and would enable the museum to set up. The Trust would ensure the museum was viable.
The timescale for the whole development, providing planning permission was successfully obtained, would be commencement in Autumn/Winter 2017 with the programme taking approximately four years.
3. Q. The consultation documents should all be made public on the internet. The environmental statement was not complete in terms of ecology and transport.
How would public access to the site be ensured over time? Would there be car and cycle parking on the site for those who were not residents? Would the tennis courts be predominantly for use by residents rather than the public? Would there be building on the daffodil lawn? Would there be ecological impacts on badger setts and other protected species?
A. Public access was envisaged in perpetuity, and would be dealt with by the local planning authority during the consent process. There were no proposals to develop into the daffodil lawn, and it would be managed with care and attention. The applicant’s team included an environmental expert, and baseline surveys had been done. A protected species licence would be submitted. Bat roosts would be retained in buildings if feasible. There would be an ecology management plan in respect of habitat mitigation.
4. Q. Would any of the S106 financial contributions be able to be donated towards local traffic problems and gridlocks, and towards improvements to Trent Park country park?
A. The applicants were currently in dialogue with Trent country park, and wished to see it removed from Historic England’s ‘At Risk’ register. A lot of what was suggested regarding opening up the mansion and works on the north side of the lake would also affect and improve the park.
S106 payments to mitigate the effects of developments were administered by the local planning authority. Planning officers confirmed that S106 contributions and conditions would relate to planning policies and supplementary planning documents. Where direct mitigation was required, this would be identified and would be covered by the S106 agreement.
5. Q. Noting current traffic problems around Prince George Avenue and Chase Road and exacerbation if there were issues on the M25, what calculations had been done ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
CLOSE OF MEETING
NOTED the closing points, including:
1. The Chair 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. It was intended to present this application to Planning Committee in January/February 2017.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com ) and residents could also ask ward councillors to speak on their behalf.
4. Full details of the applications were available to view and download from the Council’s website www.enfield.gov.uk (Application Ref: 16/04324/FUL and 16/04375/LBD).