The Hyde Estate was the first major example of 'Homes for Heroes' housing development undertaken post WWI by Edmonton UDC. Commissioned in 1920 from architects Niven and Wigglesworth, the housing estate was designed in 'garden suburb' spirit, some of the houses having tile-hung twin gables. The original aim was to provide 2,000 houses but the scheme was financially unviable and had to be abandoned after only 232 houses had been built. There are a series of small greens among the housing, the principal of which is Hazelbury Green, which has four very plain areas of grass within railings, with no planting. In Park Lane there is a central railed strip of green, with some shrubs and trees.
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The Hyde Estate was built for Edmonton Urban District Council, its first municipal housing scheme, undertaken as a result of initiatives instigated by the Government's Ministry of Reconstruction to address post WWI housing needs. A Committee was set up, chaired by Lord Salisbury, and proposed that the state should provide the finance for new housing that the local authorities would build, own and manage, and in 1919 the Housing and Town Planning Act was passed. Edmonton UDC approved an ambitious scheme for 2,000 houses, largely following the advice of its far-sighted Engineer, Cuthbert Brown. 172 acres of land were purchased from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for £60,000; although the District Valuer had valued it at £63,379, the Commissioners offered to accept the lower sum due to the worthy purpose it was being put to. The firm of architects selected to design the estate was Niven and Wrigglesworth, a loan was eventually secured and construction of the first 24 houses commenced in August 1920.
The layout echoed the principles of the 'Garden City' movement, with well-spaced semi-detached houses set in closes and quiet streets, with street trees and privet hedges planted by the Council. There was a variety of types of house, and three sizes, with amenities not generally found in working class housing at the time, such as bathrooms, inside toilets and hot water. The reception rooms were designed to face south, quite a revolutionary idea at the time. Unfortunately, the houses were not cheap to build and the Treasury was also facing considerable difficulties with its Housing scheme, due to numerous causes, among them the high costs of building materials, rising inflation and shortage of skilled workers and as no upper limit had been set the local authorities were not encouraged to cut costs. Consequently, on 12 July 1921 Edmonton UDC was told by the Ministry of Health that only those houses with brickwork commenced could be completed, a total of 232 houses. These were ready for occupation by May 1922. Unfortunately the much-reduced estate was provided with no amenities such as a church, public hall, shops, schools, public houses.
The tenants were provided with green space in the form of a series of small greens among the housing, the principal of which is Hazelbury Green, which today has four very plain areas of grass within railings, with no planting. In Park Lane there is a central railed strip of green, with some shrubs and trees.
Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 4: North (Penguin, 1998); Charles Pam 'Edmonton in the Early Twenties: The Garden City Estate; The Battle of the Flags' (Edmonton Hundred Historical Society, 1999)