At the west end of Highlands Ward, on ground rising from Boxers Lake towards Enfield Road is a suburban pre-war estate encircled by Lonsdale Drive and Lowther Drive. This is chiefly of red brick semi-detached (interspersed with some detached) two storey houses, though most have been extended or modified.
Down Enfield Road is the fashionable Cotswolds Way enclave. Alongside is a 1980’s private development which forms Foxmead Close. Below this are pre-war suburban ‘semis’ along Bincote Road (some ‘halls adjoining’) and a notable concentration of bungalows around Links Side.
Off Worlds End Lane and towards the lake is the legacy of a former government emergency building programme at the end of the Second World War. This comprises prefabricated concrete, two-storey units designed for occupation (of about ten years) by homeless families bombed out during the blitz of London. Now rare, these have been tastefully upgraded and are still providing sound accommodation well into the new millennium! Other, more recent, yellow brick, Council houses in the same area date from the late 1960’s. Most (if not all) are now in private hands.
Up Slades Hill towards Enfield Town a few nineteenth century rural cottages remain. Then the character changes from pre-war suburban to larger and older Edwardian and Victorian period mansions (some of the grandest in the Ward) interspersed with superior, multi-tenant apartments. This trend continues around the heights of Uplands Park Road (with commanding views over Hertfordshire) and along the first stretch of The Ridgeway. To either side are new-build estates with a mix of single and double storey, semi and detached houses.
South of Slades Hill around the eastern flank of Enfield Golf course there are pleasant avenues with post-war Council terraces and town houses (again now privately owned) and larger well appointed, semi and detached pre-war dwellings.
Off Windmill Hill to the north is a real mix of old and new on inner suburban streets with relatively quiet turnings which includes town houses and flats. At the outer reaches of the Ward around Holtwhites Hill are estates of new-build houses, formerly Council stock.
Schools: All three schools in the ward are concentrated around Worlds End Lane. Merryhills Primary (approximately 630 pupils), Grange Park Primary (approximately 840 pupils) and Highlands Comprehensive (approximately 2000 pupils). Traffic issues are discussed on OUR HIGHWAYS page under Highlands Roadwatch.
Churches: Religious worship takes place at three centres near the Ridgeway: St. Mary Magdalene (Church of England), Our Lady of Walsingham & The English Martyrs (Roman Catholic Church) and The Modern Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon). The first also provides facilities for public meetings and private parties. The last, in contrast with traditional ornamentation, is an example of simplicity and modernity.
Chase Farm Hospital: The public NHS Healthcare centre Chase Farm Hospital is set in sprawling grounds at the north end of Highlands Ward, just east of the A1005 Ridgeway after the junction with Lavender Hill. Once a Victorian care-home for children, it retained many original buildings; including a distinctive clock tower. Highlands Wing was added to compensate for the closure, in 1993, of Highlands Hospital; formerly in the south west of our ward.
However, the campus grew haphazardly over years and looked increasingly shabby. Many treatment clinics were in poorly insulated structures with long interconnecting walkways or in exposed cabins isolated from the hub. Chase Farm suffered setbacks and reversals of fortune, including diversion of funds to the construction of a new hospital in Barnet, closure of its A&E unit and downgrading of facilities. The site was uneconomic to maintain with levels of care falling short of acceptable; given improvements elsewhere in the Borough. The pressures were exacerbated by extra demand from an increasing population. Its future was in grave doubt while several proposals to reform it were discarded. More recently the strategic decision was taken to plan for a complete rebuild, announced in December 2014 by former local MP, Nick De Bois.
Historic Artefacts: somewhere around Highlands there still exists at least one Anderson shelter dug into the grounds of a neglected garden. One large meeting hut used for administration during the Second World War has been retained, since the 1960’s, by the Enfield Nineteenth Scouts Group. It was dismantled and reassembled down the access lane (off Enfield Road) which runs past Trentwood Side allotments. In the same area several anti-aircraft gun emplacements and war buildings have been covered with soil and rubble.
Planning Rule Changes: It is unlikely you will find a single street in the Ward where there is no structural alteration to property, in one form or another. The pressure for change has accelerated in the last year or so with a more positive economic outlook. There have also been prescriptive directions under Planning Laws introduced by Parliament and modified by the Coalition Government. The reason was to make the process of building modification easier and quicker in particular cases and to stimulate the domestic construction market.
A Planning Guarantee was introduced to ensure that all applications for development should not take longer than 52 weeks to process. This effectively means 26 weeks with the Council and 26 weeks with the Planning Inspectorate.
The quality requirements were also relaxed. Of particular note is ‘Householder Permitted’ development (Class A). Depth of extensions can be increased by the following dimensions subject to the notification procedure:
- Detached - 4m to 8m
- Semi-detached or terraced - 3m to 6m
A householder must notify the Local Authority as follows:
- Write to Council with details
- Notify neighbouring occupiers, who have 21 days in which to object
- If no objection is received, extension can potentially be built subject to compliance with other permitted development criteria
- If objection is received, proposal is assessed for impact on amenities of neighbouring properties
- Local Planning Authority must notify developer within 42 days of notification whether prior approval is given or refused.
Planning Applications: Building projects involve public consents from the Borough administration with reference to multiple assessment criteria.
Due process is about ensuring reasonable conformity with safety and a regulated environment.
Not all applications are granted and refusals may be appealed.
Proper scrutiny may also reassure neighbours about continued enjoyment of shared surroundings; whether more or less than before works are completed.
Protests may be lodged and must be regarded with fairness and impartiality.
The following tables summarise applications and planning activity in Highlands over the year 2017.
The first shows most recent developments. The second is a list of records not intended to meet reporting deadlines.
Unless applications are refused and appealed they will not be retained on this list indefinitely.
It will be refreshed at the end of 2017 and thereafter on a quarterly basis.
Details about specific cases of interest can be gleaned by clicking on https://planningandbuildingcontrol.enfield.gov.uk/online-applications/.
Be sure to click on the appropriate category. Then copy your selected planning reference number into the search box.