North London’s new waterside hub

The regeneration of Meridian Water will include a train station, which will open in May, new homes and a live/work project for makers and creators.

A new train station will open in deepest north London in May. Meridian Water station will provide fast links to Stratford and Liverpool Street for a £6 billion, 210-acre regeneration zone that will one day offer 10,000 new homes.

Right now Meridian Water is a name unfamiliar to most Londoners, though many will have driven past it. It sits in Enfield just off the North Circular road, midway between the Lee Valley Regional Park and Tottenham.

Regeneration, led by Enfield council, aims over 20 years to bring “10,000 homes, thousands of jobs, world-class public spaces and community facilities”.

Meridian Water will make its biggest mark to date on Londoners’ consciousness in June when the Field Day festival, headlined by singer-songwriter Jorja Smith, moves from trendier spots — Victoria and Brockwell Parks have both hosted the event in recent years.

About 60,000 people are expected to flock to the 10-acre former gasworks site close to Tottenham Marshes during the two- day event.

While work on the station is well advanced, home buyers will need to be patient to live at Meridian Water, where progress has been slow on a site three times the size of the King’s Cross regeneration zone.

It was originally hoped the first residents would be in situ in 2017 but while the council originally intended to collaborate with Barratt to build out the site, lengthy negotiations broke down that year.

The number of affordable homes to be provided was a key bone of contention and left the whole project in limbo.

The first phase of development

However, this year looks likely to be pivotal. November last year saw big-name developers Galliford Try, L&Q, Peabody and Redrow shortlisted to build the first 725 homes, known as Meridian One. It will also include shops and leisure facilities.

The chosen candidate will be revealed this spring, work is expected to start next year and the first residents will be able to move in a couple of years later.

Plans for the second phase, Meridian Two, are also being drawn up. This will be an innovative project to build 300 affordable homes, earmarked for Londoners otherwise priced off the property ladder.

Meridian Two will be a live/work project aimed at “makers and creators” who will be able to use communal workspace on the ground floor.

Alongside their new homes, the first of which are due to be ready by 2022, there will be an office complex with space for up to 900 new jobs. A spokesman for Enfield council said a planning application for Meridian Two is being worked on, and talks to find a developer are under way.

Today Meridian Water is a wasteland of “big box” shops and warehouses, which earns its name from its location on Meridian Way and its proximity to the River Lea and its tributary, Pymmes Brook. But as well as homes and offices, Enfield wants to create an entire new community.

Edmonton Green’s regeneration

It is hoped that all the investment at Meridian Water will have a knock-on effect on its nearest neighbour, Edmonton Green, a determinedly downmarket sort of place filled with pawnbrokers and pound stores.

“You have got to go out of the area for most things,” said Nick Dean, director of Ellis & Co estate agents.

What the area does have in its favour is affordability and decent period housing stock. There’s a mix of Victorian terraces and the odd grand villa — the legacy of Edmonton’s status as a desirable residential neighbourhood in the late 18th century — and family-size Thirties semis. Flats tend to be in dated, purpose-built, low-rise blocks.

According to Rightmove a typical flat in Edmonton costs about £260,000, with a terrace house just over £350,000 and a semi at £440,000.

Dean describes the market as “really stagnant”. About 70 per cent of his buyers used to be investors, who have disappeared since stamp duty on second homes was increased, while Brexit uncertainties have chased away many owner-occupiers.

Dean fears that despite proximity, the Meridian Water project might not ripple out to Edmonton.

Source: Homes & Property, 2019

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