3Fox hosts Meridian Water roundtable discussion

By James Renoux-Wood - Tue 1 October 2013, 12:18 pm

Plans for Enfield's key development opportunity, the £3 billion, 85-ha Meridian Water site, were discussed at a round table in central London, organised by 3Fox International.

Senior developers and investors met Neil Rousell, Enfield’s director of regeneration, leisure and culture, and Del Goddard, cabinet member for business and regeneration, on 30 September at the BNP Paribas Real Estate UK headquarters. 

Discussion on the sustainable neighbourhood of up to 5,000 homes aimed for the site by 2026 focused on the challenges of meeting the council’s ambitions for combining residential, industrial and commercial uses for the scheme, with developers offering suggestions on how to meet projected targets.

Goddard also explained how the ambition behind Meridian Water was to benefit and change the perception of the surrounding area.

"One of the issues is that you can’t just put Meridian Water in the middle of Edmonton without wider considerations," he said. "It has got to have a catalytic effect.

"The key is not just how we develop Meridian Water but also to ensure it has an impact for the rest of Edmonton. We don’t want it to be an oasis stuck in the middle of nowhere. It has to have an impact on wider social-economic aspects of the area."

Rousell spoke of the support the Greater London Authority was giving to Enfield for its development projects, backed with news of a £74 million investment with Network Rail for the borough’s railway system, to improve the borough’s connectivity.

He said: "This whole development sits within the mayor’s opportunity area planning framework, and therefore the mayor is very keen to work with us on developing this site."

Developers called for the infrastructure to be put in place, with private sector delegates saying more certainty about delivery would enable the council to speed up the process of securing development partners for residential parts of the site.

Paul Lemar, development manager at Fairview Homes, said: "The infrastructure is important and the first developer to dip their toe into the market here is going to have to be fairly brave.

"It’s important to get a developer in there and key to this is the council giving certainty that the infrastructure is going to be put in place."

Stephen Hockaday, director of business development at Laing O’Rourke added: "If you put everything there up front, it’s obviously a much more cost-effective way of doing things and serves to minimise the disruption."

More content from the discussion will be posted soon on www.opportunityenfield.com and in the next issue of Opportunity Enfield magazine. Receive updates by email  and get your free copy of the magazine.