1777 Enfield Chase divided. Field goes to church as Tithe Lands
1934 Included in the ‘green girdle’ proposed by Middlesex County Council.
[Note: this is referenced in Middlesex: Old and New by Briggs 1934 as “a large tract of farmland SW of The Ridgeway”.]
1938 Green Belt [London & Home Counties] Act.
This empowered Local Authorities to buy land to keep it open as Green Belt. Some of the Green Belt we know today is land acquired under the 1938 Act. An important feature of the Act is the provision that Local Authorities may not sell land acquired under the Act without permission of the Secretary of State. The 1938 Act also made provision for landowners to enter into covenants that their land would be treated as part of the Green Belt. Compensatory payment or other arrangements may be made.
1944 The church submitted plans for a development on the fields consisting of 1373 houses, 12 shops and 1 church. On 9/10/44 the plans were discussed [no details in the Council Minutes] and the Engineer was authorised to negotiate ‘along the lines indicated.’ On 24/10/44 an amendment was proposed to buy some of the land for ‘working class housing’. This was defeated.
1945 Planning permission was evidently granted on 27/3/45 but the application # 2881 is not in the archives and probably no longer exists in the planning department. For some reason [aftermath of WW2? the pending legislation?] nothing happened for 2 years, then …
1947 [i] The Town & Country Planning Act came into effect, leaving the 1938 Green Belt Act unchanged.
[ii] The Development Plan created by Enfield Local Planning Authority that year designated all open land north and west of Enfield as ‘Metropolitan Green Belt’. They ignored the alternative Local Green Belt category.
[iii] At some point that year, however, Enfield applied to the Minister of Health [responsible for housing issues] for permission to purchase the field compulsorily for housing. The Minister refused because the field was shown as open space on the Enfield Development Plan and therefore already protected.
[iv] Planning permission for the church development was revoked on 12/5/47.
1948 [i] The Vicar of Enfield went after compensation, there was a public enquiry and the case rumbled on into 1951.
[ii] Tree Preservation Orders were instituted in accordance with the 1947 Town & Country Planning Act. In the Council Minutes, the Engineer refers to a map of affected trees but that no longer exists.
1950 The Engineer stated that the approximately 34.25 acres had always been considered by the Council for use as open space. He suggested that the new Development Plan should so designate it. The Council recommended so considering.
1951 [i] In a written statement, Enfield voiced strong support of the Green Belt concept and its intention to preclude any development incompatible with the overall principles.
[ii] The official Development Plan lists the 34 acres of agricultural land South of Enfield Road as a Proposed Acquisition between 1952 and 1956. [No reason found why it did not happen.]
1962 Enfield reiterated its strong support of the Green Belt. The Enfield plan was approved by the Minister in March 1965.
1975 Enfield’s Development Plan targets the field as an area that does ‘not contribute to the Green Belt and where the issue is whether it should remain in the Green Belt’. It is described as grazing land, isolated from the rest of the Green Belt by Enfield Road and by the slope of the land. A decision was required on its future use. However, this opinion did not hold sway and the borough continued to value and protect the field within the Green Belt.
The field remains an important part of the Green Belt. Even as recently as November 2014, when the borough’s current Development Management Document was adopted, the field was included in the Merryhills Brook Valley section of Enfield’s Green Belt which was described as “an important area of high quality open landscape with a special character which is highly valued.”
Enfield Characterisation Study | Final Report | February 2011 15
Green Space (Plan by Urban Practitioners 2010)
The Green Belt to the north and west provides a strong green landscape base in this part of the borough, as does the Lee Valley corridor in the east. Access to both of these assets is limited, however, as footpaths only provide entry to certain areas, and connection to these footpaths is limited by physical barriers such as the river and industrial areas.
Throughout the developed areas of the borough there is a very strong and well
distributed network of green spaces. Large formal parks such as Grovelands Park and
Enfield Town Park provide residents with access to significant green spaces, while smaller local and pocket parks are dotted across the borough’s neighbourhoods. The borough is also home to a number of private and public golf courses, which are generally located around the urban/rural fringe.