Following the Planning Committee held on 23 June to decide if re-development of the Southgate Office Village (SOV) site in Chase Road, London N14 6HF should go forward, residents of Enfield Southgate and myself were pleased to hear that the vote unanimously rejected the plans. Viewpoint Estates have since appealed this decision and an inquiry is currently underway with the Planning Inspectorate.
During my evidence session yesterday, I supported that a town must evolve, however this must be done in a manner that is in the interests of residents now and in the future, and should not take away more than it contributes.
Following on from many conversations with constituents over the last two years, I raised the following concerns with the Inquiry:
- The proposed 17-storey height is excessive, an overdevelopment and out of character for the area, especially as this would be on a hill top in an area where no other developments are higher than six-storeys.
- This proposal would result in overdevelopment and local infrastructure would not be able to keep pace with the added pressure likely to be placed on for example, schools and GPs surgeries.
- The development is close to a conservation area and the proximity would adversely impact on views and light for surrounding properties;
- There is a lack of genuinely affordable accommodation and much of the development will comprise one-bedroom flats, which does not meet the need in the area for housing for local families.
Following on from the Council organised Planning panel meeting, constituents of Enfield Southgate have made the strength of their objections clear since that time, and I fully support them in their objections on the above grounds.
The Inquiry Inspector brought attention to the housing crisis and a need to build new homes. Whilst I agreed that there is a severe shortage of housing, the development does not meet the need for housing with three or more bedrooms to assist families. Southgate Office Village comprises 206 housing units with only 16 of those proposed to be 3 bedrooms, with 190 1-2 bed units. With over 3000 homeless families in the borough, this proposal does not contribute to our community or provide an affordable solution to the housing crisis.
I hoped to amplify the voice of constituents and to safeguard the needs of residents in response to this proposal; I asked that the Inquiry listens to my constituents and our community.