Farmland in Crews Hill earmarked for housing in the draft Local Plan last year, despite being Green Belt, has caused a storm. Enfield Council who on one hand praise and promote the Conservation Areas around the town are happy to support destroying Green Belt, although Labour and Conservative councillors in Enfield have agreed to hold a cross-party review of the borough’s draft Local Plan and examine the merit of proposals to allow development on the Green Belt.
A petition signed by more than 4,000 residents calling for a renewed discussion on the document, which will shape development in Enfield up to 2039, also won the backing of councillors from both parties during a full council meeting on Wednesday. Carol Fisk, a representative of the coalition, presented the petition to Wednesday’s council meeting saying "The Local Plan will influence Enfield for decades to come and an open and public debate about a plan of such significance is vital". It was highly opposed last year.
The Tories are opposing Green Belt development although development is backed by councillors from both sides.
When it was first published last year, the draft Local Plan sparked controversy over proposals to allow more than 6,000 homes to be built on what is currently Green Belt land to help meet housing targets. Feedback from a twelve-week public consultation will now inform a revised version of the document that will be examined by a government planning inspector.
In this year’s local election, the Green Belt became a key dividing line, with the Conservatives making their opposition to development a focus of their campaign. Labour ultimately lost eight seats to the Tories but retain control of the council and a coalition made up of a range of local organisations, has called for a further debate to allow councillors, including the 29 newly elected counsellors to have their say on the plan’s proposals. The Council is also resisting the debate to be followed by a roll-call vote in which each councillor’s vote is recorded.
Labour's Council leader Nesil Caliskan has previously made commitments to hold another debate on the plan and ppposition leader Alessandro Georgiou said the proposals tabled by his group were a “serious attempt to find a way forward on the Local Plan deadlock, but the Conservatives will never vote to build on our beautiful Green Belt” and that the group’s policies on tower blocks had not changed.
Cllr Georgiou said the Conservatives position is that they are willing to work with the administration to find sites that were “ripe for development" and acceptable to both the council and the residents but Cllr Caliskan has repeatedly insisted that she "did not recognise that there was a deadlock over the Local Plan" or that (bizarrely) there is "not enough brownfield sites to accommodate the 25,000 homes the council needed to deliver over the Local Plan period".
Residents did not want skyscrapers across the borough, and equally don't want essential car parks built upon and if it is the case that there is not enough brownfield sites to accommodate the 25,000 homes the council needed to deliver over the Local Plan period, as Cllr Caliskan suggests, then it is time for London Council's to stand up to Central Goverment and say there's no room left for housing in Enfield....look elsewhere! The 25,000 homes over the Local Plan period in Enfield are less than the homes needed just to house the illegal immigrants crossing the English Channel in a single year.