Plans to build houses on the car park next to Cockfosters station at the end of the Piccadilly line have been approved by Enfield Council after the plans were modified to retain some of the car parking space. The previous scheme, a joint venture between Grainger and TfL, had seen the entire car park built upon to provide homes for rent, but there was strong local opposition to removing the car parking spaces and the size of the buildings.

The revised scheme retains 35 of the 336 parking spaces. That’s in addition to the previous agreement to retain the existing 12 parking spaces for accessibility users – so the approved plans will see 47 parking spaces in total. They also added a dedicated drop-off point made up of seven short-stay parking spaces.

The housing development will comprise 351 flats for rent — none for sale — in four towers ranging between 5 and 14 storeys high. The development will reserve 132 flats for affordable rent of which 81 will be offered at 61% below market rents for the area, 41 flats offered at London living rent rates and 10 at London affordable rent rates.

Tenants will also be offered 3-year tenancies, unless the tenant wants a shorter term.

The new homes will be delivered across four buildings and will be a mixture of one, two and three-bedroom properties, and the development has been designed by Hawkins\Brown, Mae Architects and JCLA Landscape Architects.

(c) TfL / Grainger

Although there were concerns that the towers were too tall for the area and would affect views from local parks, the development won points for the quality of the materials to be used, and because it would replace a small area of inaccessible open space with a much larger area of shared amenity space. That the development is sitting next to two old and very large office blocks was also a factor, as it’s harder to argue that the new towers were out of scale for the area when sitting next to the existing office blocks.

The development site – sourced from the planning application

The most contentious aspect of the development was the loss of the car park, which raised a lot of complaints, but the council accepted that the merits of the case had been assessed and that the benefits in reduced air pollution and road noise were beneficial for the area. They also analysed the addresses of the objectors to the loss of the car park and found that a substantial portion lived in areas with existing alternative public transport options.

The officer’s report concluded that “the loss of the existing car park is considered acceptable in this instance”.

A corner of one of the two car parks will also be opened up as a courtyard space next to the tube station, which currently lacks a waiting area outside the tube station as it fronts directly onto the main road. That’ll be alongside a secure cycle rack for 60 bikes for commuters, in addition to the 607 cycle spaces for the residents in the new tower blocks.

Ben Tate, a spokesperson for CLL and Head of Property Development at TfL, said: “This scheme has been designed to provide not only the new and affordable homes that are urgently needed in the borough and across London, but also create new areas of open space and play space that can be enjoyed by the local community and residents alike and re-provide car parking facilities to support the local area. It will contribute around £4.5 million to help improve local infrastructure and services.”

As well as new homes and public space, the development will provide around 130 jobs over the course of construction, helping to support the local vibrant economy and high street, along with the creation of a new commercial space. The households in the new homes delivered as part of the proposed development will also generate approximately £5.3 million per year in additional spending, a proportion of which would be captured by local businesses and services.

Post development site – sourced from the planning application

Construction is due to start in September 2023 and last around 3 years, so people could be moving into their new homes at the same time that the Piccadilly line’s new trains are also coming into service.

The development at Cockfosters is the fourth of Connected Living London (CLL) – the formal partnership between Grainger and TfL — schemes to be given the planning permission. It follows successful applications to deliver 460 new rental homes in Southall, 139 new rental homes in north Lambeth and 479 new rental homes above and around the new Nine Elms Tube station in Lambeth.

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17 comments
  1. Sean says:

    Very good, far better than a car park. Love the line about many of the objectors being within reach of public transport anyway!

  2. Paul says:

    Much as I accept TfL is strapped for cash right now, offering a free bus journey immediately before or after a tube journey would be a helpful proposition to encourage folk around stations like Cockfosters to get to the station by bus instead of driving.
    Those travelling to central London might even have this anyway because they’ll hit the daily cap?

    • ianVisits says:

      For most people, local bus fares would already be included in the journey within the same zone.

  3. Ed says:

    This looks like an excellent development. More of this!

  4. Rob says:

    Enfield Council won’t be happy until they’ve built over every bit of land in the borough. They have already allowed hundreds of houses to be built in Trent Park and there are plans to build all over the green belt.

  5. James says:

    The large car park was useful for the end of the line station being a hub for people from Herts being able to drive and then connect to the tube, taking cars off the roads further in. More stupid decision making. Hope it gets overturned.

  6. Ulla Thiessen says:

    That’s ok providing the Tube line is extended to a huge Park & Ride facility near the M25 to enable all those commuters who live outside London to access the Tube network!

    • notverydeep says:

      The lack of large park and ride sites close to motorway interchanges is not an accident. Such sites encourage large scale transfer of commuting or leisure journeys from longer distance rail services to become mostly road with rail only for the last part (for example driving from Stevenage to Cockfosters and taking the tube, rather than taking the train from Stevanage). This would lead to significant additional congestion, demand for road space and emissions…

  7. Jamie says:

    I hope that the reduction of car parking spaces reduces some of the traffic along that road. I presume that the residential development is limited in the allocated residential parking that it will provide too?

    Perhaps I am being overly optimistic about people’s appetite for active travel in the suburbs of London, but in the Netherlands 60 cycle spots would probably be insufficient for a terminus.

  8. Clive Stean says:

    All the cars that used to use that car park will drive past and park in the surrounding streets.What a mess.

  9. Martin says:

    I have used Cockfosters tube station for around 40 years to go into London. I live in Hatfield. Whilst there is a bus route that runs from Hatfield via Cockfosters, the route is too infrequent and not early or late enough and takes too long. Own goal Mr Khan, that’s assured I won’t visit your precious city or use your TFL when this goes ahead. Wonder how many other will now boycott London and take their business elsewhere.

    • Sean says:

      Very few, I’d imagine.

    • Huw says:

      Perhaps this will instead persuade people, such as yourself, who live in towns with good railway connections to London to instead take the train from near by. Thus getting cars off of the roads of Hertfordshire, and the very congested road into Cockfosters. Sounds like a win-win

    • ianVisits says:

      Is that the same Hatfield that has really fast trains into central London from, umm, Hatfield station?

  10. LMonroe says:

    Absolutely appalling. Khan continues his war on the motorist, propped up by incompetents in Enfield Council.

    To have greater public transport usage, we need more car parking near train and tube stops, not less – especially at terminus stations.

    This is before discussing the ghastly tower blocks that he favours. Does Khan presume that none of the inhabitants will have cars?

  11. James Miller says:

    I met a guy on a train, who was a property developer, who specialised in doing developments on top or close to stations.

    Incidentally, he didn’t drive after a serious illness.

    He told me, that if you can build without car parking, in the end you make a better cash flow on the building. He also said,that no car parking didn’t seem to discourage purchasers.

    But he did say you do car-free developments carefully, as not all places are suitable.

    I actually grew up in a house halfway between Cockfosters and Oakwood stations and can remember the topping out ceremony for the office blocks on the other side of the station.

    I’m not sure that reducing the car-parking at the station is a good idea, as to the North, the houses are well spread out and I don’t think there’s too much parking at other stations nearby.

    But then Khan doesn’t care as he’s a South Londoner.

  12. Barbara Nicholls says:

    I hope they restore and not obliterate the Art Deco elements if the tube station. Some areas like the front porch are crumbling. Do they have to respect the original design? And the 30s furniture too which has clean lines.

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