Historic England do not support building of a school in Grovelands Park

on Saturday, 20 February 2016. Posted in N21 Community


In 2014 Enfield Council applied to Historic England for pre-application advice on proposals to build a new primary school within the old boudary of Grovelands Park, with access to the site from The Bourne in Southgate. Here is a link to the proposals





The council received a reply on October 29th and The Grovelands Residents Assocation acquired a copy from Gary Barnes, the officer responsible for the project. The key paragraph is on page 5:-


"Historic England strongly discourages your Authority from pursuing the option of developing Grovelands Park for school use. In the event of an application being made on the basis of the existing information currently available, Historic England would object to the proposals".



"Grovelands Park, and the house at its centre, are heritage assets of the highest significance,and represent a rare surviving landscape of two of the most pioneering Artists of the 18th century: Humphry Repton and John Nash. The proposals for a new primary school on an area of significant, but degraded parkland have not in our view been adequately justified as required by National and Regional Planning Policy, and have the potential to cause irreversible harm to the grade II* park and the grade I listed villa at Grovelands. Historic England is not currently persuaded that the public benefits would convincingly outweigh this harm, and is unable to recommend that your Authority pursues this as an option for meeting school place requirements within Enfield"


You can read the letter in full here


The Grovelands Residents Association who have been monitoring the proposals, report that that a high level meeting between the council and Historic England in December 2015, at which  it was agreed that if the council carried out some further tasks, Historic England would reconsider its position. These tasks include demonstrating that there is no alternative site for a school and that the presence of a school would not be a bar to obtaining Heritage Lottery funding to assist with the wider Grovelands estate."


The GRA note that "Historic England also rejects the argument that the Bourneside land was of no significance in the Repton design. The council's argument is that the original drive was further to the east, joining the road somewhere near the bend opposite Bourne Avenue (which may well be true though this is largely based on a few contemporary records rather than physical evidence). Furthermore, the eyes of visitors to the house would have been drawn towards the lake and valley, thus the land on the other side of the drive was comparatively unimportant. Historic England rejects this line of argument, pointing out that Repton aimed to use the wider landscape as part of his design and that the house was sited in such a way as to take advantages of wider views to the north and east".


For more details, please see the Grovelands Residents' Association website.


In February 2016, The Lime Trust, a Multi Academy Trust, based in Essex advertised a public consultation in relation to the building of two new primary schools, on the Chase Farm deelopment site and in the "Grovelands area".  However, the Grovelands project has disappeared from the Trust's website. 





Further information may be available following the consultations, to be held at the Dugdale Cente, on February 22nd, with meetings at 10.30am, 1.30pm and 6.30pm

Historic Engand rule that building a new primary school within the boundary of Grovelands PArk would not be in the public interest,

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.