Enfield Town Consultative Group: April update

This update was sent to The Society (as one of those on the Group) on the 24th April.

As you can appreciate, the COVID-19 situation will impact some of our work, however we endeavour to keep to the planned programme as much as possible. We will continue to provide email updates to you as the programme progresses. At this stage we are adhering to the UK Government’s advice for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and will not be hosting in-person meetings. Depending on how the situation progresses, we may look into online meeting options if restrictions continue.

Please note that the purpose of the Enfield Town Consultative Group (ETCG) is to act as a conjugate between the project team and the community on the Enfield Town project and is not a decision-making body.

Request for original Liveable Neighbourhood bid

We have received a request for the original bid document to be shared with the ETCG. We have previously taken the decision not to share this document, as although it was successful in securing the investment, it is the detailed engagement and design phase that will shape the final proposals. The Mayor is looking for final schemes that meet the Liveable Neighbourhood objectives and these projects are not intended to be defined by any specifics in the original bid. To try and do so would de-value the community engagement that has already taken place and of which more is planned. Therefore, sharing a historic document has the potential to create confusion, which would be unhelpful as we work towards the delivery of a successful project that delivers on the Liveable Neighbourhood objectives and brings benefits across the community.

Phase 2 Community Engagement and EQIA

We are committed to delivering a high-quality engagement programme which is open and accessible to anyone who would like to participate. We are currently reviewing the timing of further community engagement due to the current climate. We were due to deliver co-design workshops for public spaces in May, however this will now be rescheduled to a later date. We are also looking into digital-only options for community engagement if we are not able to deliver face to face events such as workshops.

The Enfield Town Liveable Neighbourhood project is subject to its own Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA). EQIA is an iterative process and will continue to develop as the scheme progresses. This work has started with the Phase 1 period of community engagement and as part of this we have had an independent assessment of our approach to date. We will share a copy of this assessment and publish it along the Phase 1 Engagement Findings Report.

Condition of buildings

We are aware that some members have concerns around the conditions of some of the buildings within the Town Centre. As you’ll appreciate much of this is not Council owned and is not within the specific scope of the Liveable Neighbourhood project. We are considering ways in which we can work in collaboration with a range of partners to encourage improvements to buildings.

Traffic Data Collection and Modelling

All traffic modelling that has a potential impact on one or more signalised junctions, the Strategic Road Network and/or bus journey times is required to be assessed through Transport for London’s (TfL’s) Model Audit Process (MAP).

The TfL Modelling Guidelines provides guidance on the type of surveys required to accurately build base models of a network, such as Enfield Town, and this includes Origin and Destination surveys as referenced in a number of sections such as 2.4.3, 3.6.2, 4.2 etc. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras provide the most accurate way of measuring Origin & Destination surveys, which is why they are used, as recommended in the TfL Modelling Guidelines (2.4.3).

The map below illustrates the area for data collection. To develop an accurate local modelling, Origin and Destination surveys were carried out for the extent of the network shown above. The surveys were captured on the public highway, with the exception of off-street loading accesses on Cecil Road and Sarnesfield Road and the Palace Exchange, Palace Gardens and New River Loop car parks and the Market Square, where third party consent was granted, where needed.

Note that the Origin and Destination surveys did include Silver Street but did not capture people parking in their own street/CPZ or loading/unloading on street. At the off-street loading sites vehicles were only captured entering or exiting the site and not in the act of loading/unloading. On-street parking and loading surveys were carried out to understand the parking and loading demand in Enfield Town but ANPR cameras were not used for these surveys. In the context of traffic modelling it is bad practice to develop a proposed scheme in detail, without understanding the base conditions in detail first, which could result in abortive work in developing a scheme that is not viable.

Little Park Gardens Biodiversity

Some further concerns have been raised about the removal of a tree at this location. The Lime tree removed at LPG was officially considered a poor specimen. Below is an excerpt from LBE Principle arboriculture officer which highlights how a balanced decision on tree removal or retention is reached, a decision which looks at the tree issues in a wider relevant context.

‘…during a recent survey 1 Lime tree in the line of 5 was also found to have lost its main leader to decay with further crown deadwood and pockets of decay identified in the lower trunk. The removal of this individual poor specimen Lime tree is likely to be advantageous to the remaining trees and new shrubs and help increase light levels making this corner feel safer at night.’

In relation to the Little Park Gardens project, we have also received some concerns around the suggested significant loss of habitat both at this location and around the ponds in Town Park. The scheme at Town Park has delivered a significant net gain in biodiversity. We constructed habitat rich swales which bring water through the entire park, restored and filled up the empty dilapidated boating ponds with water which now are full of life and overflow in to the new wetlands which has received praise from ecologists who have recommended designating the site a SINCs (Site of Borough Importance for Nature Conservation, London’s most valuable and special places for wildlife are recognised by the Mayor and London borough councils as Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation). The designation is now a realistic target for us to achieve in the coming years. The only vegetation removed during the entire scheme were dead or dying trees which posed a risk to the public and a strip of bramble infested verge along the eastern side of the boating pond, removed to open access and better connect to the wider park.

At Little Park Gardens, we welcome the interest in ecologically beneficial planting. The shrubs removed were poor quality. A range of plants were selected to fulfil both ecological, aesthetic and practical criteria. There are several species of useful nectar rich perennial and shrub plants which will be beneficial to birds and insects. Please note that the scheme has dramatically increased the number of plants (approximately 600 new plants). The planting list is attached. No bulbs have been planted due to the time of year (Autumn is best). We may be able to arrange bulb planting in Autumn through our contractor. On that note, if there is an interest from any local
groups who wish to be involved in the on-going development and management of the planting and any additional wildlife features at Little Park Gardens, then we will look to facilitate this.

We also received suggestions for bird boxes which we will explore further and hope to provide.

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.