Former care home to make way for housing scheme

Nearly all of the 45 new homes will be classed as ‘affordable’, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

A computer-generated image of the proposed scheme in Grove Road, New Southgate
A computer-generated image of the proposed scheme in Grove Road, New Southgate

A housing association has won permission to build 45 new homes on the site of a former Enfield care home.

Newlon Housing Trust’s plan to redevelop the disused Coppice Wood Lodge Care Home in Grove Road, New Southgate, was approved during a meeting of Enfield Council’s planning committee on Tuesday.

The housing association bought the site from the council in 2016. The existing buildings, deemed to be in a “poor condition” and in need of “substantial refurbishment”, will be knocked down to make way for the new scheme.

The development will provide 40 affordable homes; twelve for affordable rent and 28 for shared ownership, which involves buying a share in a property and paying rent on the rest. The remaining five homes will be for market sale.

In their report, planning officers wrote that the scheme would “greatly assist a range of residents find much-needed homes”. But committee member Derek Levy, from the Community First group, criticised the proposed mix of affordable homes, saying he doubted that shared ownership properties would be affordable for residents on the borough’s housing waiting list.

Speaking during the meeting, Cllr Levy said: “I don’t think it makes any inroads whatsoever into the true housing crisis that we have in the borough”. Despite this, he added that the application was “in the main, an acceptable development”.

Members of the planning committee also raised concerns over the loss of 16 trees. Labour’s Hass Yusuf, along with Conservatives Mike Rye and Maria Alexandrou, criticised the proposed brickwork, claiming it would be too dark.

In response to the concerns, planning officers agreed to add a condition to the planning permission to provide lighter building materials and gave assurances that mature trees would be planted. They also noted a call from councillors for money raised from the developer for local infrastructure schemes to be spent on a nearby open space.

Following the debate, councillors voted unanimously to approve the plans.