Having secured a meeting with the Bishop it seemed important to get support from Enfield Council to give more weight to any proposal using the combined church and council land.
While looking for supportive policy we stumbled across a document “Custom & Self Build in Enfield” which put forward a strategy for delivering custom and self build homes on small-scale council-owned sites. Based on a leasehold model, it reduced upfront costs for purchasers in return for long- term ground rental income for the council.
It seemed perfect – the ideas were very much in tune with parts of what we had been proposing but much more developed in terms of implementation. Pioneered by Peter George, leader of the Regeneration department at Enfield Council, a forward thinking man hoping to find innovative ways to solve the housing crisis the report was intended to encourage other public landowners to follow its lead.
Surely he must be interested in what we were trying to do if only we could reach him. Unfortunately getting to meet or even speak to Mr George was a challenge that even my persistent efforts failed to achieve. I was passed from one department to another until I ended up back to square one at the door of the property disposals manager!