Down by the water
Mon 18 July 2016, 9:48 am
The master developer for the transformative £3.5 billion Meridian Water development has been announced. Lucy Purdy unpicks the details of what is one of the country’s largest housing projects
The appointment of Barratt London as the master developer for Meridian Water made headlines when it was announced in May.
“The boundary between inner and outer London is blurring,” declared the Evening Standard, placing the scheme top of a list of north London hotspots. “Live there and you could happily work north of London as well as in the West End and City,” the reporter noted.
In June, the Standard returned to Meridian Water, under the headline: “Time to take the suburbs seriously”.
But the huge scheme’s game-changing potential has long been known by those with a finger on the capital’s pulse. The project will provide 10,000 homes, 6,700 permanent jobs and 10,000 jobs in the construction industry as it takes shape in the London Borough of Enfield, alongside the tranquil Lee Valley Regional Park.
Supporting infrastructure will include a rail station, shops, schools and a host of community facilities, in a beautiful waterfront setting. Such is the scale of the development that it will play a leading role in easing the capital’s housing crisis.
As well as being master developer, Barratt London will work with Segro as a development partner. The announcement was accompanied by a tangible sense of excitement among the core team, with Enfield Council’s cabinet member for housing and housing regeneration, Councillor Ahmet Oykener, remarking: “Now we can start getting boots on the ground.”
“It is incredibly exciting that we have appointed Barratt London and Segro as their development partner to make Meridian Water a reality,” he says.
“Now we can proceed with this transformational project and create a world class development which will improve the quality of life for tens of thousands of people. Meridian Water will play a huge part in helping to ease the housing crisis in London and will provide fantastic quality accommodation to thousands of families. It is a truly huge project.”
Its full scale will take shape in stages. In March, the council submitted an outline planning application for phase one: 725 homes, supporting community facilities, a new Meridian Water rail station and utilities and infrastructure for the site. The first set of homes and the new station are scheduled to be available in 2018.
Councillor Alan Sitkin, the council’s cabinet member for economic regeneration and business development, says: “Meridian Water will give an enormous boost to the construction industry both in London and the United Kingdom, creating thousands of specialist jobs as we create a legacy of opportunity, investment and employment in London.”
Meridian Water has already been given housing zone status by the Greater London Authority, easing and speeding the delivery of new housing. The council hopes to class at least 30% as affordable, which would be family homes and flats.
But the development is not just about housing. The scheme will also see signifi cant investment in the area’s community facilities and transport links, boosting connectivity between north London and the Lee Valley corridor. It will act as a catalyst for adding an estimated £3 billion to the UK economy by 2036, stimulating growth in the region.
Schools, a medical centre, shops and sporting facilities will also be created, and by 2030, Meridian Water could be connected to the Crossrail 2 route, which is currently being proposed by Transport for London and Network Rail – it is supported by Enfield Council.
A longer version of this article appears in the latest issue of Opportunity Enfield.