The Government’s housing minister has paid a visit to Enfield Council’s flagship regeneration scheme, Meridian Water.

Esther McVey MP was given a tour of the Meridian One site in Edmonton, which will provide hundreds of new homes on former brownfield land, on Thursday (October 10).

Her visit came after the Government agreed to invest £156 million to fund key infrastructure such as road and rail links at the site.

Meridian One – which is being delivered by construction firm Galliford Try – is the first phase of a 25-year project set to create 10,000 homes and 6,000 jobs in Enfield.

Ms McVey told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “This is the Government’s vision of making sure we can build homes in places that need them – and affordable ones, at that.

“Of somewhere that’s connected with the right infrastructure – a brand-new station that was opened earlier this year.

“And of really having a sense of place – of home and community, with infrastructure coming in first so it’s a well-coordinated vision in a place that needs more homes and housing.”

Enfield was the first London borough to win funding from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF).

Ms McVey said Enfield Council had “oversight and vision” and was “partnering well” with the Government.

Half of the homes on the Meridian One site will be classed as affordable – up from a minimum of 35 per cent following talks between the council and Galliford Try.

The overall number of homes on the site could also be increased from 725 to more than 900.

Enfield Independent:

Ms McVey said: “We are ‘tenure-blind’, so we are supporting all kinds of housebuilding, whether that’s social, council, private; whether that’s to rent or own.

“We’ve put £9 billion into the affordable housing – and what we have done with the council and social is to remove the debt that was there and raise the borrowing cap so councils could build going forward.”

She added: “Infrastructure investment is about “levelling up”, to make sure all of the country can reach its potential.

“Lots of people here feel they could, they want to do more, and now this – the infrastructure, safe homes, great train stations and transport – is about getting the best out of everybody.”

Council leader Cllr Nesil Caliskan also toured the site alongside Ms McVey and Galliford Try’s managing director of London developments, Matthew Taylor.

The Meridian Water scheme suffered a series of setbacks after talks between Enfield Council and master developer Barratt Homes, then reserve developer PCPD, fell through.

The council subsequently ditched plans to work with a single master developer and announced it would allow firms to bid for contracts for different phases of the project.

Cllr Caliskan said the award of the HIF money demonstrated a “faith and confidence in the longevity of the Meridian Water project”.

She added: “I think it is a vote of confidence in the council and its ability to drive the project forward and play the role of the master developer.”

Enfield Independent:

The council leader was keen to emphasise the benefits of the scheme for the communities surrounding the Meridian One site.

She said: “All of the engagement has been about creating a place for the communities that absolutely need it.

“We’re on track to deliver the first affordable homes by 2021 – that’s a remarkable journey.

“If there was ever an area and communities that deserved a bit of investment, it is Edmonton.”

Mr Taylor said that “proper collaboration with a London borough” and “maximising the level of affordable homes” was “quite refreshing in terms of how we have worked together with the borough”.