Enfield bids for housing zone status for £1.5bn Meridian Water scheme

Out-Law News | 11 Jul 2014 | 4:21 pm | 1 min. read

Enfield Council has submitted a bid to the Greater London Authority (GLA) for its £1.5 billion Meridian Water regeneration scheme to be designated as a housing zone under an initiative launched by the mayor of London and the chancellor of the exchequer in June.

The Meridian Water scheme proposes to transform 85 hectares of underused and vacant industrial sites in north London's Upper Edmonton into a 5,000 home eco-development bordering the Lee Valley Regional Park.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson launched the government's housing zones initiative from the Meridian Water site in June and the scheme was earmarked as one of five 'frontrunners' for housing zone designation in the bid prospectus (34-page / 1.2 MB PDF). The initiative will seek to designate 20 housing zones with relaxed planning restrictions across London. Each housing zone will receive a share of £400m in loans from the GLA and central government towards cleaning up brownfield sites and delivering infrastructure to allow rapid development.

In its bid, the Council said that housing zone designation would speed up development, increase the potential number of homes that could be supplied at Meridian Water and help co-ordinate infrastructure and large-scale housing construction.

"Making Meridian Water a housing zone would make a real difference to making our aspirations a reality and help us build homes and vital enabling infrastructure that we need more quickly; which is why we are the first council in London to have made a housing zone bid," said leader of Enfield Council councillor Doug Taylor in a statement.

"A housing zone would also help to stimulate the construction of additional homes in areas adjoining Meridian water, potentially increasing total supply in both areas from around 5,000 homes to approximately 8,500 homes," said Taylor.

"If we receive funding support from the GLA to make Meridian Water a housing zone we could start work on key infrastructure later this year, which would be brilliant news for Enfield and good news for Londoners generally."

The deadline for local authorities to submit bids for housing zone designation is 30 September 2014.