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Enfield Council’s New Proposals for Broomfield House and Broomfield Park
9 October 2022

Statement By The Broomfield House Trust and the Friends of Broomfield Park

Enfield Council has now shared a document with the Broomfield House Trust and the Friends of Broomfield Park, which outlines the scope of a bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for funding new proposals for Broomfield House and Park. What follows are extracts from the draft (in italics) and some of our comments on the draft.

This follows the rejection of our proposal to construct a building on the site of Broomfield House replicating the house exterior as it was when it was purchased by Southgate Urban District Council for public use. Funds for this would have come partly from a limited housing scheme in the Stableyard. As well as housing a café, it could at a later stage incorporate a reconstruction of the oak staircase and sections of the Lanscroon murals.

The new bid is intended to: -

‘Kick-start the rejuvenation of Broomfield Park by dismantling the derelict shell of Broomfield House, and reconnecting the park and House through memorialisation, interpretation and landscaping. Heritage engagement activities over 2 years will involve the community and result in a shared vision & memorialisation of their memories of Broomfield House.’

The Council’s intention is to submit a Round 1 Application between May and August 2023.
If confirmed, the project will then go to the Development Phase (August 2023 – March 2025) leading to the submission of a Round 2 application in March 2025. If approved, the Delivery Phase of the project would be between September 2025 and August 2027.

The Development Phase is intended to: -

(i) Develop a shared vision for the park, agreeing plans for memorialisation of Broomfield House, interpretation, and landscaping around the former house with our communities
(ii) Involve the community by collecting their memories of the park and house
(iii) Employ a Heritage Engagement Officer to lead on community engagement and pilot activities
(iv) Consult with statutory consultees and secure planning permission which will require Approval by Secretary of State
(v) Resolve legal issues around a covenant on the building
(vi) Prepare briefs and obtain quotes for dismantling the remains
(vii) Catalogue and assess the condition of the remains of the staircase and timbers salvaged and currently stored in shipping containers, Broomfield House and in situ features e.g. fireplaces, shutters. Assess significance of the remains and Lanscroon murals in the context
of a dismantled House. Find solutions for ownership, permanent storage, and listings.

The process and timetabling of such a bid are complicated and stringent conditions will need to be met if it is to meet the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s requirements. The programme will also have to be integrated with the views of Historic England, given the Grade II* listing of the house and the need for Listed Building Consent (for demolition) from the relevant Secretary of State.

The Next Steps

The Council will be creating a consultation list for stakeholder groups beyond the Broomfield House Trust and Friends of Broomfield Park. They have proposed another meeting of the working group in December to discuss how to frame the project as a Heritage Fund application.

There are many issues which we will want to have clarified as the Council process moves forward. The Trust and Friends of Broomfield Park are of course extremely disappointed that this Grade II* house has been lost through years of neglect and are concerned about exactly how it will be "memorialised" – a word we detest for its negativity and wish to be abandoned. We prefer the sentiment in the title being proposed for the project, ‘Unlocking Broomfield Park for the Community,’ which much more positive.

The draft notes that
‘The significance of the house is the relationship with the Park and Stableyard’

and goes on to say that

‘The Park is the area’s only cultural hub, hosting year-round community events.’

In our view it is therefore critical that the Development Phase must include briefs to ensure creative solutions covering the landscape/archaeological/design/heritage aspects of the proposal to ensure that these links are made clear. We have also asked to be consulted on these briefs. At the moment the plan only refers to briefs for the demolition of the House.

The Council have been advised not to include the Stableyard in this bid, but to take a phased (10 year) approach to maximise the chances of this bid’s success. While we understand this advice, it leaves the listed Stableyard at risk, just as delay and neglect sealed the fate of Broomfield House. We would like to see what ideas there are about the Stableyard both in the short term for maintaining and safeguarding the buildings, and in the longer term for its future use. We believe it should be developed in a way which allows public use and makes a positive contribution to the park and its users.

We understand that the sections of the Lanscroon Murals which we had reconstructed and conserved, will be displayed in the Museum of Enfield in some way. However, we remain concerned about the future of other elements salvaged from the house after the first fire, particularly additional material from the Lanscroon Murals and the oak staircase, which have been in store for so many years. There may be other elements salvaged from the house which should, if possible, be preserved and displayed.

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