Colosseum Retail Park: Enfield Society’s joint submission to the Planning Application

What follows is the joint submission of The Enfield Society, Enfield RoadWatch and the CPRE on planning application reference number 20/00788/OUT.

Enfield RoadWatch, The Enfield Society and CPRE-London jointly present the following comments on the above planning application submitted by NEAT Developments Ltd. for their site at the Colosseum Retail Park. Our organisations are in favour generally of developing previously-used brownfield land in the borough to meet Enfield’s challenging housing target.

As laid out in our Space to Build, Enfield report, we believe that the A10 corridor is an area that could generate thousands of new homes in a vibrant new mixed-use community that will also bring regeneration to nearby deprived areas. We consider that the A10 retail parks and adjacent and nearby land tracts offer one of the best opportunities in the borough for sustainable development.

We are pleased to see that the development team have also taken a wider-area view to highlight the potential for the whole A10 corridor and hope that the Council is taking this account in their forward planning.

  • With regard to the specific proposals for the Collosseum Retail Park (CRP) site, we make the following comments.
  • We support densification in this area on the basis that it is more sustainable than building in the Green Belt.
  • We are pleased that there is a build-to-rent component and suggest that this could be increased to create more diversity in the housing market for good quality homes available in Enfield
  • We understand the need for some high-rise buildings to create the necessary density while allowing for open public spaces, but would note that there are members of all our organisations who do not support such tall buildings as are proposed for this site, particularly in relation to Block A. However, if the Council is minded to permit high-rise then there should be a clear zoning policy for tall buildings in Enfield, including how tall they can be and where they can be built. While tall buildings on the A10 may not have a particularly negative visual impact on the wider borough, current proposals for tall buildings elsewhere in the borough where they would have a definite negative visual impact and be out of scale with the surrounding area are creating a lot of public opposition to high-rise buildings in general. The public needs reassurance that the Council is in control of this matter and is able to moderate proposals for high-rise developments in inappropriate places.
  • That said, we would advocate mid-rise development wherever and whenever possible. Most people are comfortable with mid-rise because it is more appropriate for human-scale living—whether in an urban or suburban setting.
  • We support the intention to re-open east-west connections and to link the development to the green-space across the A10.
  • We support the several strategies to move towards car-free with interim parking that can be re-purposed at a future date.
  • We are pleased that the developer is also providing a vision for reorganising and intensifying the adjacent SIL land. However, we urge the Council to think beyond that vision to possible removal of some of the SIL function to another location so that current SIL land close to Southbury Station can be redeveloped as mixed-use.
  • We also urge the Council to continue the wider-area planning to the east of the rail line to link with Ponders End and not confine it to the A10 corridor alone.

Our organisations have had separate discussions with TfL about the need for a more frequent train service on the Southbury Overground line and the potential for regeneration that a more frequent service could unlock. We have been disappointed with TfL’s response [shared separately with the Planning Department] and urge the Council and NEAT to continue to bring pressure to bear on TfL in this matter.

We understand that the Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s sites may be next in line to be offered for redevelopment and urge the Council to have a clear idea of an overall masterplan before that process starts. We also urge the Council to contact other adjacent landowners to make sure they know about the redevelopment potential of their holdings so that the area can be planned as a whole rather than piecemeal.

In summary, we support the planning application as proposed by NEAT developers with some caveats as stated.

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