A delegation from Enfield Council attended global property conference MIPIM last week (14-17 March) in France, to illustrate the main development schemes and investment opportunities in the borough to global business leaders.
The £6 billion, 85-ha Meridian Water regeneration scheme (CGI above), in the south-east of the borough, was among the main topics discussed at the event in Cannes, with a dedicated stand at the London Pavilion at Palais des Festivals.
Representatives of the council joined the Local London delegation, organised by 3Fox International, the publisher of Opportunity Enfield magazine, and bringing together delegates from the east London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Greenwich, Havering, Newham and Waltham Forest.
On 14 March, Peter George, assistant director of regeneration and planning at the council, and John Baker, Meridian Water project director, illustrated the plans for the area.
Against the background of a CGI fly-through of the scheme, an international audience gathered to hear about the project, which will create 10,000 homes and a new station ready for Crossrail 2, along with 6,700 jobs, shops, schools, employment and community facilities, by 2036.
Also on 14 March, the council announced that it had completed the acquisition of a one-hectare site within the development area, meaning the local authority now controls almost 50% of the land for Meridian Water.
“We have been assembling the site ourselves for more than two years, completing multiple acquisitions,” said George. “This provides project certainty, enables the scheme to be delivered far faster than relying on a compulsory purchase order and purchasing land early ensures that the council is maximising returns ahead of selling land on to Barratt London on a phased basis.”
A new website for the development was also launched, giving details on the plans and the current stage of work.
On 16 March, a breakfast panel discussion was the occasion for the council to present its particular approach to regeneration. The event was chaired by Lisa Taylor, chief executive of Future of London, an independent policy network connecting the capital’s regeneration, housing, infrastructure and economic development professionals.
Enfield’s George and Baker took part in the discussion, which also included Simon Powell, assistant director of strategic projects and property at the Greater London Authority.
Explaining how the Meridian Water project came about, George said: “We saw here a site with enormous potential – next door to the amazing Lee Valley Regional Park, with water flowing through it, fantastic road connections and on the West Anglia Main Line. However the area was in multiple site ownerships, with low land values and a requirement for new infrastructure.
“The first thing we have done is to accept that we will take risk to unlock regeneration. We have organised the delivery of the new rail station on the development site itself.
“We have commissioned a Meridian Water Placebook which will clearly articulate what will define Meridian Water in the years to come. We have also appointed our own design team to prepare a masterplan for the entire site and to prepare the detailed design for phase one, the first 725 homes around the new station. We have undertaken the site preparation works ourselves in advance of handing the site over to our development partners later in 2017.”
He pledged that in the coming months a development agreement will be signed between the council and Barratt London, construction work on the station will start and in two years from now 700 homes will be under construction.
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