Gerry Ansell gave a presentation on the Local Plan, giving an idea of the challenges faced such as housing and health and sustainable ways of dealing with the population growth covering the period of 2017 to 2032. Consultation events had taken place, as the Council wanted to engage with as many people as possible, but to date there had been little response. He emphasised that the consultation was at an early stage and that, if residents wished to have a paper copy rather than comment through the Council website, this would be sent out on request.
Mr. Ansell explained that in 2001 the population of Enfield was 274,000 By 2032 this is expected to reach 400,000 plus, much higher than previously anticipated. Planning has to start now to deal with the space available and the housing need. The Lee Valley corridor is expected to play an important part, this being part of the larger Stansted / Cambridge corridor.
As per the London plan town centres need to be developed. The large Meridien Water development of 8000 homes will go ahead and there will be more trains along the Eastern corridor, encouraging growth in that area. Industrial land in that area could be utilised and the controversial option of building on Green Belt land might be considered.
Attendees expressed concern that the health services would not be able to cope with the increase in population. The hospitals were not coping now and the loss of Chase Farm A&E had made the situation even more difficult. Residents were also upset at the proposal to build on Edmonton Green car park, reducing parking spaces.
Cycle Enfield - Liam Mulrooney showed a promotional video. He advised that the total cost would be £42 million (including a £30 million grant from The Mayor of London). He confirmed that 8,000 letters had been delivered to houses along the A1010 and 53,000 booklets handed out in the surrounding area, transport hubs and shopping areas having been visited and community groups contacted. These groups had not responded. Posters had also been placed on buses etc. The consultation on this part of the scheme had been extended until 20th March. An attendee suggested that The Council should go to schools to consult at pick up time.
Following Mr. Mulrooney’s statement that the Palmers Green scheme had been amended following concerns re loss of parking, a resident asked if these changes would be replicated for this scheme. Mr. Mulrooney advised that in Fore Street most of the parking would be retained. He explained that there would be a buffer strip between the cycle lane and parking bays to protect the cyclist and traffic lights would have a cycle/pedestrian phase. Mobility scooters will be able to use the cycle lanes.
There was general concern as to how the scheme would work and a resident asked if the use of the cycle lanes would be monitored before and after the scheme to see if it was worthwhile. Another stated that there was already a problem with the barrier by Asda - this scheme would make the situation even worse. An attendee commented that, although the scheme was supposed to promote a more healthy life style, there ere too many unhealthy food shops in the area.