Enfield Council has said it will need a raft of new architects for its £6 billion Meridian Water project after deciding to take over the delivery of the 10,000-home scheme
The AJ has learned that Karakusevic Carson Architects, which has been working with the local authority on a masterplan for the 82ha brownfield site in north London for more than three years, will be retained on the project, along with 5th Studio and CGL Architects.
However, the council, which described its decision not to appoint a new, single master developer on the massive scheme as a ‘watershed moment’, said it would will begin a search for extra architects after the summer.
In October last year Enfield Council terminated a Barratt/Segro joint venture as the preferred master developer bidder for the project, branding the housebuilder’s terms ‘unacceptable’.
Instead the local authority said it would be taking the lead responsibility for setting strategies, working up the masterplan and deciding the optimal phasing for delivery.
Enfield Council leader Nesil Caliskan said the role being adopted by the council was ’genuinely new for a local authority’.
’We will be in control and we will be the custodians of the place Meridian Water will become,’ she said. ‘We will select development and other partners to work with the council to bring forward specific parts of the regeneration, whether that is for housing delivery, new employment spaces or [other] uses, and we will hold the vision for Meridian Water and oversee its delivery.’
Speaking to the AJ about what that would mean for the existing masterplanning team, a spokesperson added: ’Karakusevic Carson Architects has done some excellent work on Meridian Water and will continue to form part of the Meridian Water design team alongside 5th Studio and CGL Architects.
’However, now that the council is taking control of the entirety of the project we will need to grow our design team and the council will be starting a process to appoint additional architecture firms in the autumn.’
The council said that architects wanting more information or to express an interest should contact the director of Meridian Water, Peter George (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Lee Valley Reservoirs. Image by Thomas Nugent
Source: Thomas Nugent
Originally masterplanned by LDA Design (see AJ 29.03.10), the site next to Banbury Reservoir in the Lea Valley had been earmarked to receive relaxed planning restrictions and a share of £400 million-worth of funding as part of the London mayor’s ‘housing zones’ initiative.
The project is being billed as a mixed-use, mixed-tenure masterplan which will create around 10,000 homes and 6,700 new jobs and is currently one of the country’s largest live regeneration projects.
Following Enfield Council’s decision, three development sites within the wider masterplan will be brought forward, the first site being offered via the GLA’s London Development Panel immediately after the summer.
According to the council, these sites will be offered on the basis of a ’development agreement rather than a sale of the land, allowing [us] to retain control, for example, to ensure the quality of design and build, and prioritise sales of new homes to local people first’.
The first three sites to be launched
- Site 1 is at Willoughby Lane, which has an outline planning consent in place for 725 homes. The site is currently being remediated by the council and is next to the new Meridian Water Station, which opens in May 2019.
- Site 2 is the Leeside Road Gas Holder site. This site will be included in an outline planning application for the wider area, which the council is bringing forward, linked with the authority’s bid to the Housing Infrastructure Fund, which will see workspace on the lower floors with around 200 affordable homes above.
- Site 3 is about 2-3 acres alongside the North Circular where Harbet Road meets Argon Road, which would be suitable for a new employment hub, creating about 900 new jobs.