Enfield Independent Article by Matthew Smith

Jason Charalambous.jpg-pwrt3
Cllr Charalambous: “This is a good start, but it is only that”

Campaigners vow to continue campaign after developers back WW2 museum in Trent Park

Campaigners wanting a museum celebrating the history of a country house say they have made a “good start” after developers backed their proposal.

The Save Trent Park campaign want Berkeley Homes to recognise the role Trent Park played in World War Two, with the company set to turn the house into flats.

Now Berkeley have said they support the petition, which has nearly 3,000 signatures, but Jason Charalambous, who has led the campaign, says they need to do more.

Mr Charalambous, a councillor for Cockfosters, said: “It is very welcome, and a result of the public attention the campaign has drawn.

“But they are still of the view that it should be confined to one or two rooms, and we want something more substantial, covering the whole ground floor and basement.

“We will continue our campaign while working constructively with Berkeley, this is a good start, but it is only that.”

Berkeley said the protection the Grade II-listed buildings and grounds have been a priority since they took over the site in September 2015.

If a museum is built in Trent Park, it will be the first time the public has ever had full access to the building.

Glen Jones, land director at Berkeley Homes said: “Berkeley is very much aware of the importance of Trent Country Park to the community and welcomes the petition as it demonstrates how much people care about the future of the house and grounds. 

“Ultimately, our aim is to significantly improve on what is there, and open up some of the key historical structures, gardens and grounds for the general public to enjoy in a way which has never been possible before.

“To date, we have undertaken a wide, in-depth and inclusive consultation which has proven invaluable in shaping our thoughts about how the site could be developed. 

“This has already been the subject of substantial discussions with Enfield Council, as well as community representatives

“The exact form which the museum takes will be subject to further discussions as to how it will be funded, who will manage it and many other logistical considerations.”

Trent Park, which used to belong to the Sassoon family, was used by the War Office as an interrogation centre and prison camp for high-ranking German prisoners of war; it is widely believed that Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess, was held there.

Much of the historical significance of Trent Park has only recently come to light, with the declassification of documents in 2004.

The petition can be found here: https://www.change.org/p/berkeley-homes-enfield-council-save-trent-park-protect-our-nation-s-heritage-by-establishing-a-national-wwii-museum