VILLIERS WELCOMES DECISION BY ENFIELD PLANNING COMMITTEE TO TURN DOWN CAT HILL DEVELOPMENT PLANS

The planning meeting took place on Wednesday evening at Ashmole School in front of a packed audience of local residents. Theresa, Barnet’s London Assembly Member, Councillor Brian Coleman, East Barnet Ward Councillor, Joanna Tambourides and Kim Coleman, who led the residents’ campaign, all spoke out against the plans at the meeting.

L & Q had hoped to build 260 dwellings on the site in the form of three and four story blocks of flats, but their plans were unanimously turned down by the Enfield Planning Committee who agreed with local residents that the development was too dense, too high and out of character with the surrounding suburban landscape.

Increased volumes of traffic on local roads and parking at the site was also a major source of concern, as the plans failed to provide enough parking spaces for all potential new residents, sparking fears that they would clog up surrounding quiet residential roads such as Vernon Crescent and Mansfield Avenue. The Committee Members similarly expressed concerns about the ability of local infrastructure to cope with an influx of new residents, as well as damage to the environment and local wildlife habitats.

In her speech, Theresa highlighted the importance of protecting North London’s remaining green spaces, citing them as one of the reasons so many people are drawn to settle in Barnet and Enfield in the first place. She also expressed her support for proposals that the Cat Hill Campus should be retained as an educational site, given the lottery money that has been invested by Middlesex University in creating an up-to-date educational establishment and the number of oversubscribed schools in the area.

Speaking after the meeting, Theresa said, “I am thrilled that Enfield Planning Committee has listened to residents and decided to vote down this wholly inappropriate development. There have been few local issues that have pushed so many of my constituents to write to me as this one has, so I am delighted that I was able to speak on their behalf and that together we got the right result.”

“All credit should go to Kim Coleman and her committee who have campaigned tirelessly against the plans and publicised the issue so successfully to local residents.”

Barnet’s London Assembly Member, Councillor Brian Coleman, said, “Residents have fought an excellent campaign in highlighting why this development should never be built. It would have been a blot on the landscape and the traffic and parking problems a source of endless frustration to residents. I am delighted that Enfield’s Planning Committee voted to turn it down.”

East Barnet Ward Councillor, Robert Rams, added, "This is great news for the residents of East Barnet. But I do not believe that this will be the end of the fight. I am sure that L & Q will appeal the decision and we must double our efforts to ensure that they are not successful."