RECOMMENDATION: That subject to referral of the application to the Greater London Authority and the update of the drawing schedule to reflect minor amendments agreed, the Head of Development Management/Planning Decisions Manager in accordance with Regulation 4 of the Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1992 be authorised to Grant planning permission subject to conditions
WARD: Upper Edmonton
1. The introduction by Sharon Davidson, Planning Decisions Manager, clarifying the proposals and highlighting the key issues.
2. There are three applications on the agenda this evening and all are interrelated.
Firstly, by way of context it is important to set out what the development plan says about the role of and expectations for Meridian Water.
3. Meridian Water lies within the boundary of the Edmonton Leeside Area Action Plan (ELAAP) and is a priority area for regeneration, jobs and housing. It is a long-established opportunity area through Enfield’s Core Strategy, the London Plan and the Upper Lee Valley Opportunity Area Framework. The Core Strategy and ELAAP identify the site as being able to accommodate around 5000 homes and 1500 new jobs. So far planning permission has been granted for 725 homes on the Phase 1 site. The Phase 2 application before you, proposes up to a further 2300 and therefore well within the capacity identified through the plan process for this site.
4. It is recognised in the ELAAP that additional growth in housing, jobs and supporting services at Meridian Water will lead to higher densities and building heights. To achieve this change, the transport infrastructure of the area must be transformed with a focus on improved public transport accessibility and connectivity. The plan identifies the need for:
i) relocation of the station;
ii) a more frequent and comprehensive bus service
iii) a network of walking and cycling routes that enable better connectivity across MW;
iv) a transformed road network that includes a new route over the River Lee Navigation.
5. The ELAAP identifies a Central Spine Corridor within which a new east -west spine road will sit.
6. ELAAP recognises that at MW there are currently very limited areas of open space with poor public access to recreational spaces and waterways. The Plan therefore recognises that development here must deliver a network of open spaces that can provide visual and leisure amenity. Whilst it is clear that new housing and employment development must be supported by appropriate open space and play space, it is recognised that MW is constrained in terms of accommodating open and green spaces within the development boundary and meeting the housing and job targets, due to the limited availability of land. The development therefore needs to make provision in proportion to the quantum of development proposed and also look to improvements to the accessibility and quality of existing open space. An indicative green network is provided in the ELAAP and this included at p 54 of your report pack.
MW is crossed by two brooks, one canalised river and an overflow channel. Fluvial flood risk is therefore a key consideration to the development of the site – parts of the site are located in Flood Zone 2 and 3. In conjunction with the green infrastructure, waterways must be managed to ensure MW resilience to climate change, bringing benefits to immediate communities and the wider region. The plan requires that all developments must be safe from flooding and must not increase the flood risk elsewhere. Adequate flood risk mitigation measures must be in place for any development prior to the loss of any existing flood storage associated with the development. This may include the early provision of strategic area-wide flood compensation where appropriate, or compensation may be provided on a phased basis, providing no net reduction in flood volumes occurs during or after development.
7. The Strategic Infrastructure Works application proposes in summary:
· The construction of a new east-west spine road – the Central Spine Road. This sits within the Central Spine Corridor that is identified with ELAAP. It will deliver significant improvements to east-west connectivity across the site for buses, pedestrians and cyclists. The spine road will provide direct and visual connectivity to the new Meridian Water Station which is now operational and also through the centre of the site to the new Edmonton Marshes park included with this application;
· The construction of a new north south connection through the Phase 2 site connecting from Leeside Road through to the Central Spine Road – Leeside Link Road. This will provide improved north-south connectivity for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, accommodating facilities for buses to enter/exit the site using Leeside Road.
· The proposed new roads generate the need for the construction of 4 new bridges– B1 River Lee Navigation Bridge, B2 Pymmes Brook Bridge, B4 Salmons Brook Bridge and B5 Pymmes Brook Bridge South. The bridges have been designed in consultation with key statutory undertakers, the Environment Agency and Canals and Rivers Trust to ensure their requirements are met. The bridge across the River Lee Navigation (B1) also includes provision for cycle and pedestrian access down from bridge level to the towpath and down to the new riverside walk and riverside square that will be created through the Phase 2 application, Pymmes Brook Bridge South which connects to the Leeside Link Road makes provision for pedestrian connectivity beneath to facilitate access from Tottenham Marshes into Brooks Park and vice versa. The bridges therefore support improved access to existing and new open space provided through this application.
8. The new roads deliver the infrastructure on which to run/extend new and existing bus routes. Transport for London have identified that contributions will need to be secured to deliver both bus re-routing along the new infrastructure, and additional capacity. It has also been clarified, as set out in the update report circulated on Friday, that the bus re-routing contribution may be required in advance of any residential units being provided on site. A mechanism for securing this prior to the application being referred back to the Mayor and the issue of any planning permission has been agreed with them.
· The creation of a new park – known as Brooks Park linked to the naturalisation of part of the Pymmes Brook channel – central to the site. This park is approximately 2ha in extent and would sit at the heart of the Phase 2 development. The park will contribute to the flood alleviation strategy and the naturalisation of this channel would deliver significant ecological benefits.
· The creation of a new park – known as Edmonton Marshes, approximately 6.4ha in extent following the re-levelling and remediation to form part of the strategic flood alleviation strategy. The land on which this park would be accommodated is designated as Green Belt. Policy supports the use of such land for open recreational uses and the proposals would also bring benefits in terms of the ecological and visual quality of the site.
9. For clarity, it is the SIW application that proposes the creation of the new parks and not the Phase 2 application, but Brooks part lies within the red line site for that application. This is because it is the intention to deliver these parks at the outset, linked to the flood alleviation strategy and possibly before there is a significant amount of new housing on the site. However, the parks are needed to support the new housing and provide recreational opportunities for future residents. They are not double counted but the applications are intrinsically linked, and the Phase 2 application will include obligations within the S106 agreement to ensure that the infrastructure proposed within this application is delivered up front.
10.Both parks are designed to support the flood alleviation strategy and it is recognised that they will flood during extreme events. The parks and the landscaping have been designed with this in mind. It is accepted that in such events the parks would not be available for use as ‘open space’ where residents can walk, play, exercise etc. However, this is normal practice when seeking to balance a number of competing demands including an expectation to deliver new homes and jobs whilst building a safe and sustainable community – the least vulnerable parts of a site are capable of dealing with extreme flood events. The approach proposed is supported.
11.One of the issues raised as an objection to these applications relates to the failure of the development to provide open space at a standard of 2.37 hectares per 1000 people.
The figure of 2.37 ha per 1000 population for public parks is a local standard arrived at through the 2010 Open Space Assessment and 2011 update which informed the Core Strategy and DMD respectively. These studies were undertaken in line with PPG17 and Assessing Needs and Opportunities, the Companion Guide to PPG17, which encouraged local authorities to establish local standards.
This guidance has subsequently been superseded by NPPF 2019. Para 96.
12.These studies concluded Enfield has a relatively high quantity of public park provision for an outer London Borough, with some 2.42 ha of public parks per 1,000 / population, (this based on 2026 population projections). However, as we know the distribution of public park provision and accessibility to green spaces varies significantly, with areas in the eastern corridor showing deficiency.
13.The local standard of 2.37ha per 1000 population is a borough-wide standard (as set out in para 10.1.4) and is not a policy requirement of DMD72 to be applied to each development proposal. However, where development is within areas of deficiency schemes should be contributing to increased and enhanced provision.
The provision for both new and enhanced open spaces should be considered in the context of the borough’s rising population, growth and land use challenges. The emerging policy approach will be looking at a combination of improving quantity, quality and improved accessibility of both green and blue infrastructure.
The application also includes:
· Access works – third party access works to provide new and altered accessed to the IKEA store, north-south link between Argon Road and Glover Drive, the creation of a link between the Central Spine Road and Anthony Way and other improvements to maintain access, along with other ancillary works to Glover Drive, Leeside Road and Meridian Way.
14.These are the works necessary to ensure that existing occupiers on adjacent land can continue to operate once the Central Spine Road is in place. The CSR will sever the existing access to the Arriva Bus Depot for example, which is served from Towpath Road. The new access arrangements proposed with in this application deliver an alternative access and a condition is recommended to ensure these new arrangements are in place prior to the existing point of access being altered to ensure there is no interruption to their operation.
15.The provision of the Central Spine Road results in the existing IKEA northern car park being separated from the store entrance by the new road, it also prevents access to the car parking spaces under the building. IKEA therefore raised at pre-application stage concerns about this and the implications for the operation of their store.
16.Following discussions with the applicant team, the planning application included the provision of alternative points of access to land in IKEA’s control to the south and west of their store to facilitate replacement car parking provision on this land. A separate planning application has been submitted that provides for the laying out of this land for parking purposes and the engineering works necessary to make it fit for purpose. That planning application is currently under consideration as the Environment Agency have sought further explanation and justification from the applicant that the risk of contamination posed to controlled waters in this area has been considered, assessed, and adequately mitigated. Further information has been submitted by the applicant, which they are in the process of reviewing. If sufficient they would expect to raise no objection but will likely request a series of conditions to ensure that the development takes appropriate measures to protect controlled waters.
17.With respect to this planning application, a condition is recommended that would essentially prevent the access to the existing northern car park being altered until such time as the new points of access to the IKEA land, as included within this application, are available. These points of access are on land within IKEA’s control and therefore, whilst there is the fallback position of a CPO process, the applicant team would be continuing to work with IKEA to ensure any commercial terms were agreed to enable these access points to be delivered. Those discussions are likely to extend to commercial discussions around the replacement car parking provision. However, they are commercial discussions are not part of the planning considerations. The planning application demonstrates that there is an acceptable way to deliver access to land capable of accommodating replacement car parking.
18.Finally, the application includes:
Earth works – remediation utilities and other ancillary works – earthworks, retaining structures and remediation within the Phase 2 site, installation of main utility network and ancillary works including the demolition of existing building and structures.
Excavation will occur primarily in three areas of the site, within Brooks Park for naturalisation, within Edmonton Marshes for flood alleviation and shallow excavations within Stonehill Business Park for the flood relief channel. Excavated material will be segregated, treated (where possible and required) and stockpiles on site before being placed within the west of the Orbital Business Park and IKEA clear to raise levels ready for plot developers to implement the development proposed within the Phase 2 application. The site will be remediated and condition 27 requires the remediation strategy for each phase of the delivery to be agreed prior to works commencing on that phase. This is a condition required by the EA
19. The SIW includes the provision of utility corridors within the road infrastructure proposed to accommodate all normal utilities and to allow for the provision of the decentralised energy network to which the Phase 2 development would be connected.
20. Additional Matters to report. Members were reminded that written deputations had been submitted and circulated from 2 residents, IKEA and Thames Water for this application. The applicant has provided a consolidated response to concerns related to all applications which I will read at the end:
· Amendment to condition 7 to ensure Saturday working hours are 0800 to 1300 in accordance with normal practice.
· Amendment to condition 12 – Archaeology in accordance with Fridays update note plus the additional conditions GLAAS have requested.
· Amendment to condition 18 - details of the treatment, including landscaping, street furniture and surface treatments of the southern pedestrian and cycle route and associated landscape tie in to the IKEA forecourt
· Amendment to condition 22 and an additional SUDS condition as referenced in Fridays update report
· Amendment to condition 25 as required by the EA and referenced on Fridays update report.
· Additional condition bus re-routing as per the update note in Friday’s update report.
21.Members were advised that this application contains a significant amount of detail and officers have been working with the applicant to address a number of minor non- material issues relating to detailed elements of the construction. The drawings to reflect the minor changes agreed are still in preparation but will be available before the application is referred to the Mayor. All the final drawing numbers would be entered into the table in condition 1 before a decision is issued.
22. Deputations were circulated ahead of the meeting to Members of the Committee and tabled.
23.A response from Peter George (Programme Director – Meridian water) was reported.
24. Members’ debate and questions responded to by officers.
20.Councillor Rye raised several points including the remediation and extent of contamination of the site, future remediation and protection of workers, building on a flood plain and the strategy for flood risk mitigation, contaminants on the site, River Lea bio-diversity, temporary access to the site, nesting birds on the site, the objection by Ikea, number of trees on the site and tree planting numbers, lighting illuminations, the 3-form entry school, Edmonton bus garage access issues, the Thames Water objection, any objections from the canal & Rivers Trust, CPO regarding Thames Water land and if there was enough open space. Councillor Boztas enquired about the number of residential units and if there was enough open space.
21. The support of the Committee for the officers’ recommendation: 4 votes for and 1 abstention.
AGREED that subject to referral of the application to the Greater London Authority and the update of the drawing schedule to reflect minor amendments agreed, the Head of Development Management/Planning Decisions Manager in accordance with Regulation 4 of the Town & Country Planning General Regulations 1992 be authorised to Grant planning permission subject to conditions, additional conditions and amendments to existing conditions.