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Major housing deal collapses after borough rejects developer's terms

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A flagship scheme to build 10,000 homes in north London has collapsed after Enfield LBC and Barratt Homes failed to reach agreement on key aspects of the project.

Enfield has invested heavily in acquiring land at the Meridian Water site in Edmonton for the 30-year scheme and selected Baratt Homes as its preferred developer two years ago.

But the council announced yesterday that Barratt Homes had withdrawn from the scheme after missing yesterday’s deadline set by Enfield for the developer to “confirm its commitment to a number of key elements of its original bid”.

Both the council and Barratt Homes declined to provide details on which elements of the scheme had caused the dispute. An Enfield spokesperson said further information could not be provided due to commercial confidentiality and legal reasons.

They added: “Meridian Water remains one of the most exciting development opportunities anywhere in London but we were simply not prepared to sign up to what we considered to be a poor deal for the residents and businesses of Enfield.

“Enfield Council therefore informed Barratt that their proposed terms were unacceptable which has now led to discussions with them ending.”

The scheme was set to deliver homes with a range of tenures included properties for sub-market rent.

LGC understands that Barratt Homes had revised its proposal for the site following a change of senior management in London and concern about the length of the scheme in the context of growing concern over instability in the housing market in London.

The council’s concerns are believed to have largely focused on the quality of materials and design in the new proposals, rather than any significant changes to the mix of tenures.

Joanne Laban, leader of Enfield’s opposition Conservative group, said the collapse of the agreement could have serious implications for the council’s finances as it had already invested hundreds of millions of pounds to buy land and set up an energy company, Energetik, to provide power to the planned homes and business on the site.

She said the collapse of the deal was “extremely disappointing”, adding: “There are people in our borough and across London who are crying out for housing and now the talks have collapsed they will have to wait far longer.

“Clearly we want what is best four our borough, but this will have effects right across the council.”

A Barratt Homes spokesperson said: “Barratt London has a long and successful history developing large regeneration projects in the capital but unfortunately we have been unable to agree terms on this particular scheme, we wish Enfield Council well taking the project forward.”

Writing in LGC in July 2016, Enfield’s assistant director of regeneration Peter George said the council’s approach to the scheme was “unprecedented” as it is committed to acquiring all of the developable land at Meridian Water.

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