Having tracked down the Disposals and Acquisitions Manager at Enfield Council, I gave him a call. I am not sure what I was expecting, but to my surprise he was an accessible man, warm, friendly and straight talking.
I explained the Right to Build and our desire to remain in the local area, which he deemed reasonable enough. I mentioned that we had identified a couple of council plots and shared my fears that we could not compete with well-resourced Property Developers. He thought that it should be easier for us than property developers as they needed to make a profit over and above the costs.
I explained that our challenge was that we just wanted to build a family home, whereas a developer might build a lot of flats and outbid us that way! Or just sit on the land waiting for it to increase in value.
I pointed out that this was a growing trend in our area; numerous ‘luxury’ small apartments sold as investments or ‘easy commute from Eurostar and Heathrow’. These commuters would not be building communities or committing to the area long term.
The Disposals Manager got the point and said he would look at the site. He vaguely remembered talking with the church but the site was small, he was understaffed and it was landlocked. He promised to get back to me.