Housing allocated to Oakwood Station car park in Local Plan

A local Conservative councillor has criticised the idea to build 52 homes on the tube station’s rear car park, which follows similar approved plans for Cockfosters and Arnos Grove

Oakwood Station
Oakwood Station

A Conservative councillor has described the allocation of housing at Oakwood Station’s car park as “inappropriate”.

The latest draft version of Enfield Council’s Local Plan, which will go through a final consultation exercise in March and April, allocates up to 52 homes for the car park behind the iconic Art Deco tube station.

While the Local Plan site allocation does not mean there are any existing housing plans for the site, it will encourage potential developers to submit a proposal.

The plan for 351 homes on the car parks of Cockfosters Station, one stop further along the Piccadilly Line, has proven controversial locally. The Transport for London (TfL) scheme won planning permission from Enfield Council two years ago but has yet to begin construction amid a series of bureaucratic hurdles.

Construction of another housing scheme at Arnos Grove Station began last year, with 162 homes being built either side of the Grade 2*-listed building.

Like both Cockfosters and Arnos Grove, Oakwood Station has two car parks, with a large one to the rear and a smaller one in front, where there is also a bus stop and a drop-off area. The latest version of the Local Plan, published on 6th December, allocates housing for the rear car park only.

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However, Oakwood ‘s Conservative councillor Julian Sampson has criticised the potential loss of the car park. He told the Dispatch: “We will be consulting residents on this, but my initial reaction is that the loss of the car park at Oakwood Station, along with similar plans at Cockfosters and Arnos Grove, is at best a perverse idea when we’re trying to get more people to use the tube.

“Given that the proposal is for a 52-home tower block, it is at worst an inappropriate development in the wrong place.”

TfL has been pursuing plans to build homes on a number of outer London tube station car parks in recent years, with mayor Sadiq Khan stating in 2021: “TfL is one of the capital’s largest landowners and it must continue to transform its surplus land into the new homes that London desperately needs while also delivering a vital long-term income stream that can be reinvested into the transport network.

“My job is to make sure these homes are well-designed, built in sustainable locations and, most importantly, meet Londoners’ needs.”

TfL has faced severe financial challenges ever since the Covid-19 pandemic led to a significant reduction in ridership across London and has faced repeated negotiations with the Conservative government to secure a long-term funding deal and maintain services at their current level.

Enfield Council has not responded to a request to comment on the allocation of homes to Oakwood Station.

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