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Green light given for 162 homes at Arnos Grove station UK News

Permission has been granted for a development in the car parks of Arnos Grove station after a town planning inspector overturned the decision to reject it.

The plan to build 162 flats in blocks up to seven storeys at the Grade 2 listed station, which will result in the loss of 292 parking spaces, was backed by the government-appointed inspector in a decision published on Wednesday March 30 . .

Enfield Council’s planning committee rejected the proposal for Connected Living London (CLL) – a partnership between Transport for London (TfL) and property company Grainger – in January last year.

The committee decided that it would not provide enough married quarters, that it would not compensate for the loss of parking, and that it would not preserve or improve the setting of the station building.

But after CLL appealed the decision, the council decided not to defend the reasons for the denial at a public inquiry in early March – in part following later changes to planning policy.

Resident groups Cockfosters Local Area Residents Association (Clara) and the Friends of Arnos Park testified against the scheme during the inquiry, but the council’s official position was that permission should be granted.

In the decision report, town planning inspector David Prentis wrote that the proposal “is in accordance with the development plan [the council’s Local Plan] in its entirety”.

The inspector said the area is ‘well served by public transport’ and that by giving priority to pedestrians and cyclists the scheme would be in line with policies to ‘reduce the dominance of vehicles on London’s streets ” and to improve access to metro stations.

The development is expected to provide 40% affordable housing, although only 9% of homes will be three-bedroom “family” units.

The notice of decision refers to the fact that Enfield Council has failed to meet its housing targets in recent years, meaning that additional weight should be given to new housing projects.

Labor MP for Enfield Southgate, Bambos Charalambous, said he was ‘very disappointed’ with the inspector’s decision, adding: ‘The strength of sentiment was clear as there was genuine concern that this development was an overdevelopment of the area, puts significant pressure on local infrastructure, and reduces the accessibility of the metro station for people with disabilities and the elderly. I continue to share these concerns today.”

Daniel Anderson, a local independent ward councilor whose petition against the scheme has garnered more than 3,000 signatures, said he was “extremely disappointed” with the ruling and said even affordable homes would be out of reach for those who have median earnings in Enfield.

He added: “This is a development that will not help residents of the borough or neighboring boroughs […] effectively, the development will bring more people to the area on short-term rentals and will not improve the borough in any way. »

In a statement, the Federation of Enfield Residents and Allied Associations described the loss of parking spaces and the lack of a drop-off area as “a purge of car use which benefits no one”, saying that the scheme “would degrade transport links for many of the thousands living in the catchment area”.

He added: “We find it inexplicable that TfL, charged with providing the best possible service, is pushing for an asset sale that conflicts with its primary duty.

“Relay parking is an established national policy, helping many people use public transport more and reduce car miles. But the mayor thinks London is different – ​​he should explain why, then how he will return to strengthening public transport instead of degrading it.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-31 11:36:00

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