a. Update on the NPPF and London Plan Green Belt Policies (5 minutes)
b. Update on Enfield’s Local Plan (5 minutes)
c. Workshop on the character of Enfield’s Green Belt (40 minutes)
RECEIVED an update from Neeru Kareer, Head of Strategic Planning and Design on Green Belt Policies in the National Planning Policy Framework and draft new London Plan.
i) Enfield Council is working together with consultants AECOM and land Use Consultants (LUC) to build a comprehensive evidence base for the Borough’s new Local Plan. The aim of this session is to generate some discussion and thoughts on the function of the Borough’s Green Belt, how we use it, and how it can be improved.
ii) Matt Parkhill and Josh Allen from LUC and Stephanie Brewer from AECOM introduced themselves and provided a brief session overview including the purpose of the planned workshop.
iii) Further information was provided on the Green Belt Policy Context, Enfield Local Plan Context and Borough Context – Enfield’s Natural, Built and Historic Environment.
iv) The evidence base being prepared includes an assessment of the borough’s future housing needs to determine how many new homes we need over the next 15 years, an assessment of flood risk and assessing future burial needs which will help write policy and inform our perspective.
v) Further pieces of work will include a transport study, a townscape and landscape study, an assessment of retail needs and future of town centres and an infrastructure delivery plan. This list is not exhaustive.
vi) The key stages of the plan will be as follows: Consultation on draft plan 2020, submission to Planning Inspectorate 2021, examination and main modifications 2021, adoption 2022.
vii) Residents were advised that the workshop isn’t focused on the Local Plan but is about hearing views and input from the audience on how they access, use and value the borough’s s Green Belt, and how and where things can be improved.
viii) The Green Belt in Enfield is full of amazing assets, nature conservation and heritage value.
ix) The meeting then broke into the workshop session and the audience were asked to consider the following questions and feedback accordingly:
· How do you access, use and value the Borough’s Green Belt?
· What improvements can be made and how?
Following the workshop session which lasted approximately thirty minutes, the meeting reconvened. Neeru said the session had been most helpful and thanked the audience for their participation. All comments and suggestions had been noted and these would be written up by the Consultants and fed back via the minutes of this meeting.
The audience then made some further comments. These included:
· It was felt that people would treasure the Green Belt if more information was made available locally and in schools. There should be more emphasis on the Green Belt especially in light of the Climate Emergency. It was recognised however that it was a tricky way forward as, although we need to encourage interest in the Green Belt, there needs to be a fine balance so as not to endanger and ruin wildlife.
· There was major concern from residents regarding Green Belt land at Crews Hill which was now essentially an industrial site. Conversations have been ongoing in relation to this problem for two to three years, yet the situation was getting worse. It was felt that this issue should be top of the agenda as Enfield Council needed to get a handle on this. Neeru acknowledged this comment and said that the Council fully accept the issues at Crews Hill. A holistic response is required as Crews Hill is an area that is very much valued.
The Chair thank the Officers and Consultants for their update and the audience for their participation in this item which had proved most helpful. It was agreed that this item would come back to a future meeting of the Green Belt Forum as and when further information became available.
The notes of the workshop are included at the end of the minutes.