New homes to be built at Royal British Legion site

Royal British Legion Enfield, in Holtwhites Hill credit Google
Royal British Legion Enfield, in Holtwhites Hill (credit Google)

Sixteen homes set for Holtwhites Hill venue, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

A charity has won permission to build ‘affordable’ and family-sized homes as part of a redevelopment of one of its Enfield sites.

Councillors approved plans by The Royal British Legion to build ten flats and six three-bedroom houses at its base in Holtwhites Hill.

Six of the homes – two houses and four flats – will be classed as ‘affordable’, while ten will be three-bedroom, family-sized units.

The scheme was approved at a meeting of the planning committee on Tuesday, where councillors praised the housing mix and called for more schemes like it to be brought forward.

Alex Houghton, commercial team leader at The Royal British Legion, told the meeting the building was surplus to requirements and only used for monthly meetings and as a base for administration.

“As a charity, we are obliged to derive the highest possible value from our assets,” Alex explained. “We have set out to achieve a permission here that meets that requirement and is in line with planning policies.”

The plans reveal a small office building for The Royal British Legion will be retained as part of the development, while a monument will be sited in the communal area.

John Bolton spoke against the existing plans on behalf of 14 residents of nearby Trinity Street, calling for an access road to be moved to Holtwhites Hill.

He warned the proposed access road on Trinity Street would add to traffic and parking problems, which would be detrimental to the safety of children at Chase Side Primary School. He also claimed a survey had not been carried out to gauge the impact of the scheme on air quality.

Council officials defended the scheme in response to John’s comments and concerns raised by councillors. Planning officer James Clark said an air quality assessment was not conducted because of the small size of the scheme, as the impact would be below the level that would require “significant mitigation”.

Another officer said there would be a low level of car parking on the development, which would have less of an impact on Trinity Street than the existing building. Moving the access point to Holtwhites Hill, which is used by schoolchildren, could involve putting it into a “higher-risk area”, she explained.

Planning committee member Maria Alexandrou said: “I welcome the three-bedroom houses – and affordable as well, which is quite respectable. I think this is what developers should be looking at.”

Fellow committee member Daniel Anderson called the scheme a “really encouraging development”.

At the end of the debate, one councillor abstained, while the remaining ten committee members voted to approve the plans.