ENFIELD INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER, U.K.: Councillor Pledges to Protect Park

Councillors have pledged to tackle drug-taking and neglect in a historic park following complaints from neighbours.

The council will carry out a review of the management of Grovelands Park and is planning to work with different landowners to come up with a coordinated solution to the problems.

It comes after concerns were raised about antisocial behaviour in and around the park.

Speaking at a meeting of Southgate ward forum on Wednesday (October 3), Councillor Stephanos Ioannou said: “Part of the fence was taken down, and a sofa was put in there. They were actually smoking weed on those sofas in the middle of the park.

“I have organised with officials from the council a date when residents can go and voice their concerns about what is happening in the park.”

Grade-II listed Grovelands Park is home to the Grade I-listed Grovelands mansion, whose grounds were designed by renowned English landscape gardener Humphrey Repton.

The park has been on English Heritage’s heritage at risk register since 2009, with the large number of landowners posing problems for successful land management.

Frank Farmer, of Grovelands Residents’ Association, said: “I want to thank councillor Stephanos for taking up this issue. We have raised it many times with various authorities, and I am afraid we have made no progress.

“You might think this is rather parochial, but this is such a beautiful area and an area that has already been designated historic land.

“To see it in the state it is in – it is a very sad state of affairs.”

Councillors confirmed officers were working with other landowners – including Thames Water and the Priory Hospital – to come up with a coordinated approach to managing the park.

Mr Farmer described the news as “encouraging”.

He said: “It should not be beyond the wit of these groups to get together and realise that this wonderful land could be put to good community use.”

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