Agenda and minutes

Environment Forum - Tuesday, 27th October, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting for Joining Instructions Please See Front Sheet of the Agenda

Contact: Email: 

No. Item


Welcome and Apologies


The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Anne Brown. 


Declaration of Interests

Members are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non pecuniary interests relating to items on the agenda. 


There were no declarations of interest. 


Change in the Order of Items on the Agenda


It was agreed to change the order in which items were considered at the meeting.  Item 6 on the agenda was taken as the next item.  The minutes reflect the order of the meeting. 


Discussion of Planning Applications and Other Planning Policies pdf icon PDF 10 KB

To note the details of how to raise an item for discussion on planning applications and other planning policies. 


To consider any applications put forward for discussion. 


1.            Planning Applications


Members noted the procedure for referring items for discussion at the forum, as attached to the agenda. 


2.            100 Church Street


The forum received a presentation from the applicants on the proposals for 100 Church Street.


2.1       Presentation


The following information was highlighted in the presentation:


·         There were significant pressures on land in Enfield to build more housing and it was important to make sensitive, efficient use of sites that were available. To regenerate the High Street, it was necessary to have more people living nearby. 


·         These proposals had been developed collaboratively, taking account of strategic frameworks and with input from planning and conservation officers. 


·         What was proposed would replace the not particularly attractive 1980’s office building, which had a poor relationship with its surroundings and did not add to the character of the area.


·         The site was situated in the middle of a swathe of green running through the middle of a built-up area, from Town Park, along the New River to Chase Green, within the Gentleman’s Row Conservation Area.  It was close to Enfield Town Centre and next to several landmark buildings, including the two grey stone churches. 


·         In London, between 1870 and 1912, there had been significant developments of mansion block type housing, which reflected the style of contemporary houses of the time, including bay windows and detailing on elevations, taken from domestic architecture. These buildings had used space more economically. They were able to hide their density with the use of interior courtyards, well planted green areas, that flowed into the public realm, clear front doors, integrated balconies, and crumbly massing. 


·         The new proposals for the site included two buildings: one of 5 stories another of 7 stories set-back with a roof garden.  There were to be two main entrances, in Church Street and off the New River Path behind so that the building could be seen in the round facing both ways.


·         Pale grey brick work with a white band around the top had been chosen to blend in with the surroundings and compliment the two stone churches nearby.  Traditional red brick had been considered but it had been felt that this would be too overpowering. 


·         The green areas would be managed by the block to ensure that they would merge with surroundings.  Vehicle access would be through the church car park. 


·         Views from neighbouring areas, including Gentleman’s Row, showed that the building would fit unobtrusively into its setting and would be further masked by existing mature trees, even in winter. 


2.2         Questions/Comments


·         Members were pleased that the buildings were not as high as some others recently proposed in the area. 


·         Concern about the environmental impact of flats with two bathrooms.  Members were assured that the proposals conformed to current regulations to ensure water usage was kept as low as possible. 


·         The building was divided up equally between one and two-bedroom flats.  Thirty five percent of these would be classed as affordable.  This was based on the needs of the area. 


·         Concern  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Enabling Active Travel Across Enfield

To receive a presentation for discussion on the range of initiatives that that are taking place across the Borough to create healthy streets, enabling more walking & cycling as part of the focus on the health of our communities and climate action.


The forum received a presentation from Richard Eason (Programme Director Healthy Streets) on enabling active travel in Enfield.


1.            Presentation


Richard Eason highlighted the following from his presentation: 


·         Enfield Council declared a climate emergency in 2019.


·         Thirty nine percent of Enfield’s carbon dioxide emissions came from transport.


·         Car travel was increasing and obesity is an issue.  Enfield has one of the highest obesity rates in London.  Everyone needs to be more physically active.


·         Recent local and national strategies have focussed on enabling people to use more active forms of transport especially walking and cycling.   Projects are being put in place across London as well as nationally and in Europe.  Paris has had a lot of success recently in introducing car free streets and bringing many more cyclists onto the streets. 


·         Enfield is slowly adding to its cycling network and putting in place pedestrian improvements.  Work had begun creating a pocket park in Little Park Gardens as start of the wider improvements planned for Enfield Town.  An online consultation on the proposals is taking place “Lets Talk Enfield Town”.  Cycle parking facilities are being installed at transport hubs and in residential streets with the aim of improving the  whole user journey across different modes better.


·         Quieter Neighbourhoods were one aspect of this work, closing off small residential streets to prevent rat running and enable people to access active travel networks more safely. 


·         Community events had also been held and events such as second-hand bike markets.


·         The school streets scheme had created safe spaces for children travelling to school on bike and foot. 


·         All this work should encourage more people of all ages to participate in active travel.


·         Encouraging other sustainable journeys via buses and trains is also fundamental to help encourage people to avoid using cars.  There were challenges ahead and schemes would take time to bed in.  The impact of all schemes would be continually monitored.


·         Members were encouraged to access the “Let’s Talk Website”, a tool to find out what residents think about schemes, to feed their views into the various consultations. 


2.            Questions/Comments


2.1       Concern that the Quieter Neighbourhoods Schemes were causing a build-up of traffic on main roads such as Alderman’s Hill, and that this would increase carbon dioxide emissions.  The response that the situation was being monitored and the Council would shortly be repeating speed and volume counts to judge impact. 


2.2       The need to acknowledge that it would take time for the schemes to settle in and for traffic volumes to stabilise.  The overall aim was to reduce car journeys, not to divert traffic to other roads, but to encourage people to use other more sustainable modes of transport.  Traffic jams in themselves were a deterrent.  Officers would continue to work with local communities to improve the schemes. Government funding restrictions had meant that these had had to be introduced more quickly and with less advance consultation, than would have been preferred. 


2.2       Concern about changes to the Highway Code to ensure that pedestrians had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Housing Needs - Capacity and Design of Buildings

To receive a presentation for discussion on housing needs and the design of buildings. 


The forum received a presentation from Christine White (Heritage and Urban Design Manager) on housing needs: capacity and design of buildings. 


1.            Presentation


Christine White highlighted the following from her presentation: 


·         Over the next 10-15 years Enfield’s population was due to rise by 50,000 creating a total of 170,000 households.


·         Currently we are only delivering 77% of the houses that the London Plan requires.  There is a need to close this gap and to create approximately 20,000 new homes over the next ten years. 


·         In developing new areas of housing, Enfield would need to consider quantum, location, options of density and different typologies.


·         Enfield would have to evolve and retrofit suburban places, increase density introduce new typologies, create additional uses, provide connections to public transport and enhance the landscape. 


·         The Council would be taking a design led approach to balancing growth against the local character and heritage of the borough. 


·         A characterisation study, undertaken in 2011, had identified most of the housing in the borough as of suburban or quasi suburban typology.  Although this varied.  There was some high density housing in the East, as well as numbers of Victorian terraces, larger scale developments, older lower density suburban housing and flats around metroland centres. 


·         The GLA had recently produced London Plan Module D:  Good Quality Housing for all Londoners.  This guidance contained lots of examples of good practice and can be found on the London.Gov.UK website.  It referenced 7 different housing design typologies.   


·         Residential conversions and extensions which could increase housing provision through the sub-division of existing housing and building new units on existing sites.  Larger properties and larger commercial buildings could also be converted into flats. 


·         There were opportunities to build more single houses on infill sites and on underused back land.  Typical density 150-200 hrph.


·         A cluster of houses was a small selection of housing built in one block, optimising site capacity.  Typical density 100-200 hrph


·         A terrace was a row of individual houses with private gardens or courtyards suitable for family housing.  Typical density 200-250 hrph.


·         Linear blocks had a higher density than terraces 400-600 hrph, often with maisonettes on the ground floor as well as above. 


·         The villa block had a central core with efficient circulation with three to five dwellings per floor and an indicative density of 400-600 hrph.


·         Tower blocks, which are defined as buildings with ten or more stories, could have indicative densities of more than 1000 hrph. With a central core, efficient circulation and 4-5 dwellings per floor. 


·         Tower blocks take up less land and provide more housing.  Suburban housing takes up the most land and provides the least housing. 


·         It was important to take account of policy constraints on land use including conservation areas, green belt and strategic industrial land. 


·         Enfield would need to allow the building of a mixture of all the different building typologies to meet housing need.  This will inevitably change the character of the borough. 


2.            Questions/Comments


2.1         Concern that any new  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Minutes from the Meeting held on 1 October 2020 pdf icon PDF 155 KB

To receive and agree the minutes of the meeting held on 1 October 2020. 


The minutes of the meeting held on 1 October 2020 were received and agreed as a correct record. 


Review of Work programme 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 60 KB

To note the revised work programme for 2020/21.


The Forum noted the following changes to the work programme;


·         The item on Community initiatives promoting environmental sustainability which was to have been discussed at this meeting would now be considered at the meeting to be held on 10 December 2020. 


Dates of Future Meetings

To note the dates agreed for future meetings of the Forum: 


·         Wednesday 25 November 2020

·         Thursday10 December 2020

·         Wednesday 13 January 2021

·         Tuesday 16 February 2021

·         Tuesday 30 March 2021

·         Wednesday 28 April 2021




The forum noted the dates agreed for future meetings: 


·         Wednesday 25 November 2020

·         Thursday 10 December 2020

·         Wednesday 13 January 2021

·         Tuesday 16 February 2021

·         Tuesday 30 March 2021

·         Wednesday 28 April 2021