The Mayor of London sent a detailed response to Enfield’s recent consultation, applauding some of the proposed policies but totally rejecting proposals to release Green Belt, including Crews Hill. The full response to the 2018-19 Reg 18 Issues and Options Local Plan Consultation covers many issues in addition to the Green Belt and can be read here. Mayor’s response to Enfield’s draft plan
Here are some highlights:
Whilst the Mayor supports the majority of the draft Local Plan’s objectives he does not support the release of the Green Belt as set out in Draft New London Plan Policy G2. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) does not require a review of the Green Belt. The fundamental aim of Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open; the essential characteristics of Green Belts are their openness and their permanence. The retention of the Green Belt is also to assist in urban regeneration by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land.
Once established, Green Belt boundaries should only be altered where exceptional circumstances are fully evidenced and justified, through the preparation or updating of plans. The Mayor, in his draft new London Plan has set out a strategy for London to meet its housing need within its boundaries without encroaching on the Green Belt or the loss of industrial capacity and therefore there are no exceptional circumstances to warrant a Green Belt review.
Paragraph 2.12.2 of the Draft Local Plan describes Crews Hill station as a sustainable location for growth. The settlement is highly constrained by Green Belt and is served by a train station with three trains an hour at peak time, giving the area public transport accessibility levels ranging between 0 and 1b. In addition, the nearest substantial town centre, Enfield Town, is not within reasonable walking distance and there are no bus services serving the area. On all three counts the Mayor, including Transport for London, does not consider Crews Hill to be a sustainable location for growth as stated in Enfield’s Draft Local Plan. Echoing Transport for London’s response (Annex 1), it is considered that with such a low level of public transport connectivity, either current or planned, the development of this area would be likely to be car dependent.
Annex 1 – Transport for London Comments
The draft local plan states Crews Hill has strong sustainability arguments in favour of developing some green belt land. The area around Crews Hill station has a Public Transport Accessibility Level ranging from only 1a to1b (on a scale of 1a – 6b, with 6b being the highest), with the wider area recording PTAL 0. Crews Hill station is currently served by Great Northern services between Hertford North and Moorgate, with a maximum of three trains per hour in the peak. There are no bus services serving this area. With such a low level of public transport connectivity either current or planned, the development of this area would be likely to be car dependent. For London to grow sustainably an integrated approach to land use and transport would be necessary to achieve a 75% mode share for walking cycling and public transport in outer London (to achieve a city-wide target of 80%). The focus for large scale mixed use development should be on growth corridors, town centres and ‘opportunity’ areas, where there is planned investment in the public transport network. TfL recommends the Council look at stations with higher public accessibility levels, for example those near retail parks.