Broomfield House goes back to the 1560s. It was a mansion at the centre of a formal Baroque landscape, which is now a public park. It had a series of fires in 1984, 1993 and 1994 and is now surrounded by scaffolding. Fortunately much of its interior (including the Lanscroon murals) were saved and put in storage.
The stable block and surrounding yard are also in need of repair. Many restoration schemes have been put forward over the years, but none have been carried out. In addition, the buildings will need a new self-financing use. We'll need external funding to pay for both the considerable rebuilding costs and the running costs.
We will soon begin marketing the House and Stables to see if there are any privately funded options for the site. This work is required by Historic England, in accordance with government guidance.
A Partnership Board was set up in October 2014 to explore options for the House and Stables to be restored with lottery funding, to provide public access and a viable future use. The Board has representatives from the council, Historic England, Broomfield House Trust and Friends of Broomfield Park. If the board were unsuccessful, an application to the Secretary of State for the demolition of the remaining structure would have to be considered.
Documents have been prepared to provide information on the importance of Broomfield House, Stables and Park and explore options for its development.
These show that restoring Broomfield House will cost approximately £5 million, with the restoration of the Stable and Bothy buildings at approximately £2 million. Even with beneficial new uses, such as a café/restaurant in the House and offices and residential or arts studio in the Stables, a cross-subsidy, grant or other funding is needed.
The options appraisal includes the following documents:
In 2012 the council, working with the Broomfield House Trust and Friends of Broomfield Park submitted a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to transform the House into a heritage and learning centre.
Under these proposals, the restored house would include a cafe on the ground floor with a patio overlooking the gardens. The house would also become a community hub with a rolling programme of events and learning opportunities including volunteering, training and apprenticeships in activities such as heritage restoration.
The total cost of the restoration of the house and the Lanscroon murals was estimated to be £6.7 million. This included £4 million from the HLF and the remainder coming from the council, a Greater London Authority grant, and fundraising. Further details of the bid can be found in three documents:
The council’s bid to the HLF (for £4,175,000) was not approved by the HLF Board of Trustees, as they were concerned with the amount requested.
Since this time, the council have been continuing to support the Trust and Friends in evolving their proposals, in an attempt to address the HLF’s concerns and pave the way for a more successful proposal.
In 2009 a study by heritage specialists showed that much of the fabric could still be saved and a further report recommended the development of the house, stables and yard as sheltered housing in partnership with a Registered Social Landlord.
While preparing these reports with Historic England, we made a successful bid to the London Development Agency, supported by the Mayor of London, for £5.9m of core funding for the restoration and conversion to homes for older people.
Conservation architects prepared a Feasibility Study that confirmed that we could restore the house, put back the much-missed hall, cafe and meeting room, all while providing up to 20 homes for older residents within the House, converted the stable block and the kitchen garden.
An initial £500,000 was received in April 2010 to start design work and consultants were appointed to take this forward. Unfortunately because of government cuts, the Greater London Authority confirmed in September 2011 that it was unable to grant the £5.5 million necessary to restore the building. Without substantial public funding the project isn’t possible, and there are few alternative options.
A Broomfield House Taskforce was established as a voluntary partnership of council and community organisations to seek a self-sustaining solution for the full restoration of the house and stables area. Solutions required amendment to the covenant but failed to win public support. At this time Broomfield House was also featured as a nominee on the BBC Restoration series, but was unsuccessful in the public vote.
A proposal for the restoration and reuse of the stable block as a day centre by the charity Radiomarathon did not proceed. Radiomarathon found alternative premises.
Bass made an offer for Broomfield House to be used as a family restaurant. This option would have provided separate free community access to first floor rooms from the original grand staircase hallway. The proposal would also have facilitated the mural reinstatement. Bass decided not to proceed with this.
Enfield Council allocated a grant of £10,000 to Broomfield House Community Group (later to become Broomfield House Trust) to engage consultancy and support Prometheus to come forward with a solution.
This scheme proposed the full house restoration, public use of the upstairs rooms on a fee paying basis and customer parking in the stable yard. The council considered this as match funding for an HLF bid for landscape works and restoring the Lanscroon mural. Planning and listed building consent was achieved but Whitbread withdrew for commercial reasons. (1998)
The theatre negotiated for the site but the scale of new build requirements to the rear lawns of Broomfield House for a large theatre were prohibitive and they dropped the proposal.
The school considered terms with the council for moving to Broomfield House with an extension on the rear lawns. RSCM relocated elsewhere.