Hawkins\Brown and HTA Design have been appointed as the design team for the first homes on Enfield Council’s £6 billion development of Meridian Water in north London
The architects are part of Galliford Try’s winning bid to deliver the first 725 homes on the high-profile scheme, a development partnership approved by Enfield’s cabinet yesterday evening (Wednesday 24).
The Willoughby Lane site is the first to come through in the wider development of 10,000 homes on the 82ha brownfield site, which is being masterplanned by Karakusevic Carson Architects (KCA).
With outline planning already in place, Hawkins\Brown and HTA will now collaborate on a reserved matters application for a first batch of 300 homes.
According to the council, the design team will then aim to draw up a new fully detailed planning application which will aim to increase the amount of housing on the site to around 1,000 homes.
The site is next to the new Meridian Water train station, due to open next month, which will serve up to four million rail passengers a year.
In 2017, 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 opted for the ‘unprecedented’ approach of taking lead responsibility for setting strategies, working up the masterplan and selecting development partners to bring forward specific parts.
Enfield Council leader Nesil Caliskan said the previous master developer model would have seen £350 million worth of public land handed over to one developer with no guarantees it would deliver affordable homes.
On Willoughby Lane, the council said it asked for 35-50 per cent affordable and is currently in negotiations with Galliford Try to secure 50 per cent.
‘I wasn’t willing to hand over that level of public land to the private sector,’ said Caliskan, adding that delivering homes on a site-by-site basis meant the council could keep control over the overall project.
Retaining control also meant the homes were less likely to be sold to overseas investors on completion and that the council could start thinking about placemaking from the start. Caliskan added: ‘With a master developer approach, we hand over the land and it’s boarded up for 20 years.’
The council used the GLA’s London Development Panel to procure a delivery partner for the Willoughby Lane site, for which it received 17 expressions of interest.
The search for a new developer for a second site within Meridian’s first phase, at Leeside Road has also started. The scheme will deliver around 250 affordable homes with workspace on the lower floors, earmarked to bring makers and creators to the area.
Talking about the appointment of the developer/architect team, Colin Ainger, partner at HTA Design, said: ‘This was a genuinely collaborative effort and we are over the moon with the result.
’The opportunity to work with Galliford Try in shaping the first phase of Meridian Water is a significant milestone for the practice.’
Enfield said it hoped to have the reserved matters application for Willoughby Lane submitted by end of the year and the following full application by early 2020.
KCA’s masterplan of Meridian Water in Enfield
Sites in Meridian Water phase 1
- 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 (0.8-1.2ha) alongside the North Circular where Harbet Road meets Argon Road, which would be suitable for a new employment hub, creating about 900 new jobs.