London Borough of Enfield

Project vision

The borough of London, Enfield, is a partner of the BEGIN project because they want to:

  • Develop ways to introduce blue green infrastructure to the urban environment which can utilize local community input effectively and thereby safeguard maintenance.
  • Plan policies which stimulate Sustainable Drainage Strategies and follow a drainage hierarchy for managing surface water.
  • Develop a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy which includes objectives to reduce runoff by (1) retrofitting sustainable drainage to existing developments and (2) identifying and implementing opportunities to implement sustainable drainage systems to regeneration projects, highway, cycleway, footway schemes, car parks, schools and businesses. (3) By utilizing public parks and open spaces for storing flood waters

Partner background

Enfield sits within the Greater London area, it is one of 33 London Boroughs with an area of 8.2km², it represents 0.5% of the total London area. Its population of 330,000 is 4% of the total London population.

Enfield’s situation at the northern outer edge of London gives a mixture of heavily urban, residential, parks and farmlands, all with varying demands 

Due to the geography and topography across the borough Enfield has a great many watercourses, with characteristics varying across catchments. The number of properties at risk of flooding in Enfield is high compared to most other local authorities. This is mainly due to the geography and layout of Enfield – most of the properties at risk of flooding are in the Lee valley area, which was historically an area of marshland.

In recent years the Structures & Watercourses team has developed and delivered a range of sustainable drainage schemes (SuDS) in a variety of environments. Working from project inception to design and build. In particular large scale constructed wetlands which have involved a number of stakeholders and project partners all striving for shared outcomes.

These outcomes are mainly driven by environmental improvements by addressing flood risk issues water quality factors. Wider reaching societal benefits have been derived from these projects due to their prominent nature in the public realm. It is hoped that the on-going maintenance of these assets can be influenced by community led initiatives in a coherent and effective manner.

Up until now community involvement in one particular scheme has been garnered by a newly formed “friends of the park” group and a local charity Thames21, who have worked together to rally local residents to engage with the area and the environment. The environmental schemes at the heart of the area have become a focal point for this activity. It is hoped that this action can be enhanced and replicated to other schemes.

London Borough of Enfield has developed a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy which contains an objective to “Reduce Runoff Rates” throughout the borough. To this end the council works to identify opportunities to implement sustainable drainage solutions at a variety of scales.

Participating in this project with national and international partners will be beneficial in order to enable learning about different engineering methods and ways to enable social innovation to these drainage solutions.

Enfield regard the opportunity to work with and share ideas with partner organisations as a positive one.