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Quality street

Dujardin Mews, Enfield Council’s exemplary affordable housing scheme, offers council tenants sustainable new homes and sets the tone for the area’s wider regeneration, reports Teodora Lyubomirova

to seven years lower than in the borough’s more affluent parts. In addition, Enfield’s lowest-paid residents are plagued by significant


Council Tax Support cuts, while two thirds of private renters rely on Housing Benefit to cope – that’s more than double the London average. What’s more, landlord evictions are at record levels in Enfield, with 30 in every 1,000 households forced to leave their rented homes – the highest rate in the English capital. It’s no wonder then that a key objective for Enfield Council is the

provision of good-quality affordable housing. The local authority’s portfolio of current regeneration projects includes the £6bn Meridian Water mega development in Edmonton, but also a wider estate renewal programme seeking to revive three council estates, including its largest, the Alma Estate in the Ponders End ward, of which Dujardin Mews forms part. There, four 23-storey 1960s concrete towers stand tall near the Ponders

End railway station, but all blocks and the comprising 717 homes are planned to be demolished to make way for a new 993-home neighbourhood. While the estate regeneration is in its initial phases, Enfield Council has begun taking steps to rehouse some of its residents.

A fresh start Dujardin Mews is a mix of 38 affordable brick townhouses, flats and maisonettes arranged in two terraces on the edge of the Alma Estate and opposite Oasis Academy Hadley. The properties are broken down equally into 19 council homes for rent and 19 for shared ownership, and will become replacement homes for some of the Alma Estate residents. The development has been praised for its design and construction, claiming two prestigious awards from the Royal Institute of British Architects, including ‘London Client of the Year’ for Enfield Council, who were commended for “their willingness to invest in quality, their openness to the design team’s expertise and communication with the local community and prospective tenants.” Peter George, assistant director for regeneration at the council,

explained the design aspirations of the scheme: “We were very keen to ensure that Dujardin Mews becomes an example of a future London street. [The architects] came up with a design concept that was stronger than what the council had intended originally. They understood that the strategic objective was to put Ponders End on the map and set a benchmark for other developments and set about achieving that through the use of simple but very well selected materials.” Dujardin Mews holds a special place in the council’s development

he latest economic and welfare data reveals a bleak picture of life in Enfield. The north London borough comprises some of England’s most deprived wards, where life expectancy can be up

The 38-home development borders the Alma Estate © Mark Hadden

history as their first directly delivered social housing scheme in over 30 years. “Since these were our first council houses in over three decades, we made a conscious decision to invest in really high quality architecture, space standards and materials,” said George. However, the scheme wasn’t without its problems as various site

constraints were present, such as a public foothpath which had to be acquired, while at the same time access from a private road had to be arranged. In terms of privacy, overlooking from the nearby school was an aspect architects Maccreanor Lavington and Karakusevic Carson had to urgently address. As a result, the newly-created residential estate has a new north to

south route with the character of a quiet cobbled street that links the homes to nearby neighbourhoods and the railway station. Still, Dujardin Mews is much more than just brick and mortar, with the project boasting highly sustainable features and spacious living spaces.

Sustainability & space The ‘fabric-first’ approach devised by the council aimed to maximise the buildings’ performance and minimise their energy consumption. The east terrace’s ‘notched’ roofs allow extra light onto the street and also give character to the development. A sustainable urban drainage system has also been specified. The new homes’ sustainability credentials were further boosted by the specification of a range of water and energy efficiency measures, such as photovoltaic panels on the roofs. All of this meant the homes matched | HMM July 2017 | 25

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