A Community Network for Bowes Park and Bounds Green
A News story from the Enfield Independent:
THE future of a Palmers Green landmark is in doubt again after the Government withdrew funds for its restoration.
Nearly £6m had been promised to bring Grade II* listed Broomfield House back to its former glory and a sheltered housing complex.
However, a Government spending review has axed the old scheme, it has emerged, and a fresh bid for funds must now be put forward.
In a letter from Mayor of London Boris Johnson to London assembly member for Enfield and Haringey Joanne McCartney, it was revealed that previously “guaranteed” money was no longer available.
He wrote: “The national programme which funded Broomfield House, Private Sector Renewal, was not renewed as part of the spending review.
“However, I am lobbying for a share of the £100m the government has allocated nationally to bring empty homes back into use, and if we are successful, Broomfield House will certainly be considered for funding from this fund.”
This sad story has continued for many years; the structure built to protect Broomfield House stands as an ugly eyesore in the park - and now looks like it is in need of a bit of restoration itself... Perhaps it is time to consider what is really worth saving - instead of decades long political and financial wrangling about a historic building ... Is it time to remove what's there and commission a young architect to develop a new, purpose built and sustainable structure - to provide community facilities as well as an income generating cafe.?
What do you think?
You are absolutely right, Tom. The old building looks as if it was about as ugly as you could ever wish an old building to be. The current scaffolding etc is only slightly worse.
I recall a few years ago that a pub chain was willing to re-develop the building, but this did not go ahead, partly due to local opposition. Frankly, I think most of this opposition was from people who live near the park and who were worried - probably completely unnecessarily - that the new development would reduce the value of their houses. It was always optimistic to expect a public sector solution to this problem and can anyone really say that this is a high priority when the public finances are in such a mess? In my view a lot of the people who moaned then would be quite happy for the old eyesore to remain there, when some sort of cafe would be welcomed by the vast majority.
Broomfield park is such a fantastic space. In an ideal world, the house would be amazing if it were restored, providing community facilities and a cafe too. However, I see that the plans were to build sheltered housing in that space and that using it for commercial use might not be allowed? Although sheltered housing is commendable, the house is in a park that is a public space paid by the tax payer and those who live around it, and so having a building that would provide both a community space and income running cafe would be much more viable surely? I'm liking Kate's idea for having a competition to design something new and iconic.
That park is screaming out for a lovely cafe and would be so used. Just look at Clissold Park in Hackney. They are restoring the building and cafe there - providing something useful for the park that is appropriate for the space it's in.