Claim new Ponders End housing estate suffering ‘neglect’ two years after opening

Electric Quarter has provided 167 new homes but is suffering numerous maintenance issues, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Maintenance issues at Electric Quarter
Maintenance issues at Electric Quarter

Poor maintenance and “neglect” are blighting a new £50million housing scheme said to be key to regenerating Ponders End.

The Electric Quarter scheme – developed by Enfield Council and housebuilder Lovell and completed in 2021 – has provided 167 homes, a library, medical centre and community space to create a “heart” for Ponders End High Street.

But local resident Henry Jacobs criticised a “lack of upkeep” of the site and claimed the scheme had not lived up to its promise. Photos taken by Henry show empty plant boxes, weeds, litter and a broken step outside the medical centre.

Henry said: “I live close by, and I go up to the library several times a week. I’ve lived in the area for a long time, and it is really disappointing that there was a vision for a plan for the centre which has not come about.

“The idea was to regenerate – not just housing, but landscaping and the high street to make it more of a destination.”

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Henry said the development was suffering from poor maintenance and added: “I never see anybody doing anything on the estate.

“There are weeds not only in the landscaping areas, but just growing up through the pavements. There’s just a general air of neglect.”

He warned that loose stones from the broken step outside the medical centre were a health and safety issue and had been there for “weeks”.

Henry also criticised the failure to “develop the high street” following the launch of Electric Quarter. One of the new blocks is now home to East Enfield Medical Practice, but Henry said it is only taking up part of the building’s ground floor and the rest is “completely empty”.

New commercial and retail tenants were intended to arrive at Electric Quarter and create a stretch of road that was “exciting and vibrant”, but occupiers have not yet been found.

“Previously, there were shops there,” Henry explained. “They were a bit ramshackle, but there were shops there. What is there for people to go to? There is a medical centre, and we got a library, which is to my mind a poor replacement for what we had before.”

A play area at Electric Quarter has also been criticised for only comprising a few stepping stones and balance logs.

Enfield Council did not respond to a request for comment.

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