Council takes control of north London property project
A huge redevelopment project in north London is to be managed in its entirety by Enfield Council, after it decided against appointing another development partner.
The Meridian Water scheme will cover 210 acres of land in the River Lea valley, with the waterside developments including 10,000 new homes, extensive workspace designed to help generate thousands of jobs, plus a new railway station that will open next year.
Barratt London had been lined up to be the council's main partner, but, 18 months after being appointed, withdrew last October.
Having considered the alternatives, the local authority is now bringing the management of the scheme in-house.
Commenting on this move, leader of Enfield Council Nesil Caliskan said: "Meridian Water is back on track and the way we are delivering is genuinely new for a local authority.
"Going forward we will be in control and we will be the custodians of the place Meridian Water will become; investing council money and resources to ensure that local people are the principal beneficiaries of the new homes and jobs that will be created."
Although there is no single major partner, different small projects will involve various other construction firms, architects and contractors.
The first phase will be a plot on Willoughby Lane that includes the old National Grid site. Planning permission has been in place since 2016 and this will include 725 new homes, shops, public open spaces and the new Meridian Water station. The station is due to open next year and will provide services to Stratford and Liverpool Street stations in London and northward links to Stansted and Cambridge.
For investors, this may be a sign that local authorities are increasingly determined to push ahead with major projects even if major construction partners have their qualms about getting involved. That may indicate that future opportunities will not just be cherry-picked schemes in prime locations.