Faster delivery of homes promised at Meridian Water

Progress made at one of the sites earmarked for development, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Orbital Business Park, which includes most of the development sites earmarked for phase two of Meridian Water
Orbital Business Park, which includes most of the development sites earmarked for phase two of Meridian Water

Enfield Council will “accelerate” the delivery of homes on the Meridian Water regeneration scheme by expanding an area earmarked for development.

The number of homes planned for Meridian Four – one of the development sites making up the 85-hectare scheme – has been upped from 800 to 846 by increasing the size of the “developable area”.

A report presented to cabinet on Wednesday claims this will “accelerate the delivery of homes”, “appeal to the broadest range of potential investors” and “offer the council a developer’s profit”. It will also “create critical density and optimal placemaking opportunities”.

Work on Meridian Four, which will contain five blocks made up of build-to-rent and affordable homes, is due to begin towards the end of 2023. It forms part of phase two of the regeneration scheme, which aims to provide 2,300 of the 10,000 planned homes. Work on the 960-home Meridian One site began earlier this year.

Council leader Nesil Caliskan told the meeting that appealing to the broadest range of potential investors and partners was “crucial so we can maximise the opportunity for the borough and for residents here”.

The previously-approved 800-home Meridian Four plan featured 280 affordable homes – 35% of the total. Under the latest plans, around 260 units (30%) of the homes will be classed ‘affordable’. Some 40% of the homes on phase two – 950 units – are planned to be affordable in total.

An “indicative housing mix” set out in the cabinet papers reveals 41% of homes on Meridian Four are expected to be studio or one-bedroom units, and 34% two-bedroom. The remaining 25% are planned to be family-sized three or four-bedroom homes.

Cabinet members also approved an “estate management and place-keeping framework” for the Meridian Water scheme, which is designed to ensure it is “well run and maintained to a good standard”.

It will see the council retain overall control of estate management through an internal governance board. A stakeholder group will also be set up to give residents and landlords a voice. 

Sarah Cary, the council’s executive director for place, told the meeting: “We are saying we want to adopt most of the public realm across Meridian Water, which is quite a big decision, but it gives us more control and means that we have to run that as we do with all council services, with good value for money and KPIs [key performance indicators] and monitoring.”

A company will be established by the council to run Meridian One and Meridian Two, which Sarah claimed would “give more transparency about running the estate to residents and taxpayers across Enfield”.

The housing increase on Meridian Four and the estate management framework were unanimously approved by cabinet members.