Friday, 27 April 2018 19:38

A Premier Inn with a difference?

Written by Nick Jones
Computer generated photo of the new Premier Inn Computer generated photo of the new Premier Inn
A computer-generated image shows the proposed Premier Inn hotel and restaurant to be built on the site of Barnet Market, at the junction of St Albans Road and Chipping Close.

Locate Developments, which purchased the site and is to build the 100-bed hotel, promised an individual design unlike many of the other 750 hotels in the Premier Inn chain.

During consultations with nearby residents the developers gave an assurance that they would respect the local conservation area, and that the new hotel would be in keeping with the terraced houses across the road in Chipping Close.

The plans are now being finalised following consultations with Barnet Council’s conservation officer, the Barnet Society, Barnet Residents Association and the Friends of Barnet Market.

A detailed planning application should be submitted within the next few weeks. Premier Inn say the hotel and restaurant could create 50 to 60 jobs and will help generate extra trade in the town centre, especially in the evenings and at weekends.

If planning approval is granted, construction would start early next year and the hotel, together with the restaurant, should be open for business by late 2019.

High Barnet was once famous for its coaching inns and hotels. The Salisbury Hotel, which once dominated the central section of the High Street, was demolished in the 1980s to make way for an Iceland store.

The nearest hotel to the new Premier Inn is the Savoro Hotel and Restaurant at 206 High Street, not far from the junction with the High Street and St Albans Road.

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41 comments

  • Comment Link Saturday, 28 April 2018 13:59 posted by Giacomo

    A massive improvement on the ghastly soulless car park and adjacent mess.

  • Comment Link Saturday, 28 April 2018 23:09 posted by Valerie Hannah Sealey

    It would be nice to have small shops back, like haberdashery butcher and that kind of thing. Who is going to fill rooms in a hotel in Barnet? That idea will be a financial disaster. Am sure any local will tell you that.

  • Comment Link Sunday, 29 April 2018 08:25 posted by David

    This makes good sense. We often have friends or family visiting from out of town and they tend to end up staying in Borehamwood due to the lack of available accommodation in Barnet. As the article points out this would support trade on the high street, and if the design is as sensitive as suggested it could be an asset to the town.

  • Comment Link Sunday, 29 April 2018 10:18 posted by Derek Epstein

    I love the chimney pots!
    The architects are obviously really trying. No 'pastiche' phobia here, thank goodness.

  • Comment Link Sunday, 29 April 2018 10:21 posted by Derek Epstein

    I wonder, where will they place their big "Premier Inn" sign?

  • Comment Link Sunday, 29 April 2018 13:28 posted by Vivienne Lathbury

    Have to agree with David, as an ex-Barnetarian, I often travel back to visit and usually end up at the Premier Inn at South Mimms, so this would be more convenient, though it would depend on the price.

  • Comment Link Sunday, 29 April 2018 16:03 posted by V M Brown

    Where will hotel residents (and staff) park?

  • Comment Link Sunday, 29 April 2018 22:30 posted by Caroline Lever

    High Barnet was famous for its Coaching Inns and Hotels however the narrow roads side roads weren’t built with today’s cars in mind. Will this add to the traffic congestion & pollution?

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:18 posted by Barry Swain

    One side of the street looking like this might seem charming, but two sides will make it look like a depressing, poor man's Coronation Street! Just pity the existing residents. Parking will become an additional nightmare. PI, we love you, but please also kindly consider the TA or Barnet Police Station site as an alternative, if they are available!

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:19 posted by Richard Gardham

    As a resident of Chipping Close, Barry, I’m baffled as to how the make up of the existing houses will alter once the hotel is built, save for perhaps light getting through to the front windows. Unless you mean the houses on the other side, which will be hotel rooms anyway. As identified, there are issues to work through such as parking, but the existing situation there is hardly ideal (that counts for most people in Chipping Barnet). I’ll let you know if, once the houses are built, we descend into some sort of Victorian squalor and end up withdrawing our kids from school and sending them to clean chimneys instead. Somehow I think we’ll be ok, though.

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:19 posted by Billy Potts

    I like it the town needs a local hotel and the market stalls all two of them could easily be located neer the band stand.

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:20 posted by Sandra Buckley

    You could walk to it from your house lol x

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:20 posted by Jacquie Dixon

    What a pity the one on Clacton sea front didn't show any imagination. It really is a lost opportunity.

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:20 posted by Louise Rolfe

    I know Jacquie. Such a shame x

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:21 posted by Richard Wood

    Barnet market is in the charter
    Barnet has been a market town since 1199
    How sad that something that has managed to survive for so long should be replaced with a hotel

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:21 posted by Richard Gardham

    Richard - the market will be moving to the back of the Spires. At least two of the current stall-holders I know are desperate for this move as they see it as something they will save the market and hopefully help it thrive.

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:23 posted by Marlies Thomas

    Marlies Thomas Will there be parking on site?

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:23 posted by Richard Gardham

    Parking will be in the Spires, with loading bays/disabled parking on Bruce Road. Not sure how they’re going to stop customers doing on-street parking during non-CPZ hours, mind...

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:23 posted by Jackie Rice

    Jackie Rice What is happening to the market stalls?

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:23 posted by Louise Rolfe

    Louise Rolfe I think they’re going to the back of The Spires by the bandstand which will probably be better

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:24 posted by Peter Lyons

    Convert the upper floors of The Red Lion instead. Car park already there and close to the train station.

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:24 posted by Jennifer Chapman

    I'd like to keep the market but if its really going then this is a nice addition to Barnet IMO

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:24 posted by Rebecca Hannon

    I think it looks quite nice. Better than two or three market stalls every few days anyway.

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:25 posted by Roberta Cohen

    Ridiculous what about traffic it’s bad enough now.
    Where is the parking for this? There isn’t enough at the moment so hope that you have allowed for that.!!

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:25 posted by Louise Rolfe

    If it looks like that then maybe it’s not so bad after all. I had visions of a much taller uglier building

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:25 posted by Rebecca Hannon

    Barnet is looking so unloved at the minute. This can only be an improvement

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:26 posted by Angela Jane Holding

    I think it looks OK but there isn't enough parking space in the Spires as it is! You can't really call 3 stalls in a car park a market. Really sad that the proper market was sold off and destroyed.

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:26 posted by Bobby Jean

    Believe the blurb and you’ll believe anything ! It won’t look a thing like this and Barnet Council won’t give a damn ! This once was a beautiful old market town and the Tories have been hell bent on ruining it and they have succeeded !

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:26 posted by Siobhan Wilkins

    This is better than I had hoped for...

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:26 posted by Barry Pearce

    Thought they weren't aloud to build on the site due to artifacts buried underneath??

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 14:27 posted by Linda Barnett Goldenstein

    How boring!

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 17:18 posted by Louis

    Not sure how this will work in Barnet but also not complaining, as it will bring hopefully bring a little more life and attraction. However, there are 2 vacant units at The Spires set aside for restaurants yet they can't seem to rent them to an operator, so not sure how any food offer in the hotel will work/make money.

  • Comment Link Monday, 30 April 2018 20:31 posted by Quinton Dighton

    I'd like tho see the details but looks a good design...better than a carpark or half empty market. Moving market to near bandstand seems a great idea, more attractive and central..sure it'll do better.

    Ground floor of spires carpark often full but usually plenty of space at top and basement so don't think parking will be a big problem.

  • Comment Link Friday, 04 May 2018 11:43 posted by Steven

    I agree the CGI mock up looks in keeping with the houses on the other side of Chipping Close, but as a resident of Chipping Close I can tell you this is a massive concrete box, 102 rooms!
    Firstly all streets in the surrounding area are three car widths wide with the addition of front Gardens, Chipping Close is only two car widths and the build will stand a mere 10m away (wall to wall and window to window)... Yes it will look like Coronation Street narrow and dark.
    Chipping Close is already congested with cars going to the Spires and the market now we will have hotel guests as well locating the hotel a dropping off and picking up.
    And with the entrance on Chipping Close, we will have suitcase dragged past our window 24/7...
    Yes I appreciate they have tried to keep it in the same style, but bare in mind they are building in a conservation area and on a historical site. Some landscaping, parking spaces and consideration to proximity would be appreciated!
    Do we really need 102 room?

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 08 May 2018 17:16 posted by Steven

    The plans for the proposed 4/3 storey hotel are now available to coment on, please raise your concerns to the council;

    https://publicaccess.barnet.gov.uk/online-applications/
    and enter the reference 18/2591/FUL

  • Comment Link Friday, 11 May 2018 23:46 posted by Nicholas Saul

    This is a huge budget motel without a carpark. It will swamp the surrounding area with guests grabbing all available free overnight parking. The impact on residents and existing visitors will be intolerable.

    I note the positive comments above. I have not seen any yet on the council planning portal which requires address and reason for comment.

    1.1 Suggestions most guests would be using sustainable transport are spurious. Most people using an hotel in this location will have traveled from outside London by car via the nearby A1M and M25.

    1.2 The proposal admits it would result in many more vehicles being parked in the area than the number of parking spaces allowed for the hotel to control the vehicle use it generates. Surely unacceptable.

    2.1 It is disingenuous to suggest that hotel guests will pay to park in the Spires overnight when free overnight parking is available in local streets and council carparks.

    2.2 The proposed hotel would cause a critical increase in the use of the very limited free visitor and residents’ overnight parking available. This would be a great inconvenience to local residents and other existing visitors.

    2.3 If it becomes known that people travelling through the area would be parking locally overnight it would cause an increase in vehicle crime to the detriment of local residents.

    3.1 The proposal would use Bruce Road as its primary vehicle access. This would generate increased vehicle traffic to and from Bruce Road at the challenging junction with St Albans Road. The alternatives of Chipping Close or St Albans Road would also be totally inappropriate.

    3.2 Commercial vehicle access for hotel services must be by via Bruce Road or the Spires' service yard, the latter displacing shopping centres staff's vehicles into the limited public parking.

    3.3 Even if coach bookings are not taken an hotel of this size will generate block bookings that actually arrive by coach. There is no possible safe provision for the inevitable arrivals and departures by coach.

    4.1 The proposed change of use would be a loss of an irreplaceable amenity to High Barnet and an appalling imposition on the site’s immediate neighbours.

    4.2 The proposed four storey rear elevation onto Bruce Road is of an unacceptable architectural and general aesthetic standard for any new building in an historic town

  • Comment Link Monday, 14 May 2018 11:28 posted by Nicholas Saul

    In the absence of further comments from others I feel I must clarify the situation as I see it.

    The are two absolutely critical and seemingly unsolvable problems with the proposal for an hotel on the Barnet Market site. 1) It needs FREE parking (probably with as many spaces as there are rooms) to avoid flooding the available free overnight parking in the area. This may be impossible under London-wide policy restricting the number of parking spaces provided for new builds. 2) All pedestrian and vehicle access needs to be through the site of the current Spires service and staff parking yard to avoid dangerous congestion and obstruction in the junctions of the High road, St Albans Road, Bruce Road and Chipping Close. This may be impossible due to the operating requirements of the Spires.

    Sorry but all the really excellent work by the developers with some really effective input from local people and their representatives (particularly in the sympathetic style and detailing) really only obscure these problems rather than make them go away. So much effort has gone into this if it was possible to resolve these problems they would have been resolved. Sadly the work to tackle the traffic and parking issues has been limited to saying there won’t be that much – visitors will be expected to pay “reduced” fees to park cars in the Spires and coaches will be expected to use the bus stand in Stapylton Road. In reality People won’t pay for what they can have for free and 52 seater coaches won’t fit on the bus stand usually packed with hopper buses.

    The hard fact is the “hotel” will be used as a motel, that is the business Premier Inns are in when they have the choice – building motels near busy highways, just what they would be doing here 3 minutes from the M25 and A1M. High Barnet has always been a road transport hub for people visiting London, it still is with some of the junctions just moved outside town.

    Many dedicated people have put a great deal of constructive work into this and can be rightly pleased with what they have achieved but it hasn’t made the access and parking problems go away, problems that should be a deal breaker in any effective planning process.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 15 May 2018 16:10 posted by Pamela

    I was saddened to hear about the proposal to build a 102 room hotel on the traditional market site in Barnet. I live in Perth Western Australia and travel to Barnet every year to visit my son and his family who live close to the Spires. I have never had a problem finding accommodation in the town. Developers decimated Perth in the 1980s and we lost many of our old buildings. It has always impressed me that the UK have preserved and cherished its heritage. While the proposed building looks sympathetic to the row of conservation homes in Chipping Close, the proximity to these houses would appear to be totally inappropriate - 10 metres apart? Aren’t there regulations governing privacy and loss of light? The parking in the area is currently a nightmare and the addition of a huge hotel will only increase the problem. Surely the site could be used for something more appropriate than a 102 bedroom budget hotel?

  • Comment Link Sunday, 20 May 2018 23:25 posted by Steven

    Barnet Society and Barnet Residents Asscocciation buy way of being consultees of this build have been sedudced by the developers and thier comments seem not to be impartial, infact on a lot of cases they echo those of the developer. Why continue to show the developers CGI pictures that do not show the proximity or scale of the build. Where is the photo of the 4th floor and the fact that Barnets guidlines state that a build should be a minimum of 21m away when windows face each other and this is only 10.3m away.
    The previous plans stipulated all windows on the first floor should be permanently fixed shut and be of frosted glass to protect the privacy of Chipping Close but here we have a hotel with 43 widows facing Chipping Close are our only protection are curtains.
    Previous lighting plans show no light falling on Chipping Close during winter months add to this an entrance on the narrow street of Chipping Close and we have noise, people pulling suitcases past the houses, cars dropping and picking up 24/7 and lets not forget paking, traffic congestion, airconditioning noise and light pollution etc.. A hotel of this size will not benefit Barnet as guests will stay eat their breakfast and move on, meanwhile people that want to come and shop won't be able to park. I feel it is a shame that residents society's who are supposed to help and represent residents a basically propagating developers spiels.

  • Comment Link Monday, 21 May 2018 15:20 posted by Dennis Bird

    Thank Nick Saul for your on the button comments.What on earth is the photo on the latest newsletter supposed to represent, certainly not the market site,or a 100 bed hotel!
    So possibly up to 100 cars plus staff?So won't the Spires be full?
    Sadly the main article on the latest Barnet Society Newsletter seems to me to have lost the plot,wake up!
    Dennis Bird

  • Comment Link Friday, 15 June 2018 00:50 posted by Rachael

    Premire Inn are currently agressively prursuing rapid expansion. Targeting 85,000 new rooms by 2020. In has in it sites over 250 places of interest in the UK, 49 in London, 6 in North London.

    It is pretending to be sympathic to the area of Chipping Barnet while pulling the wool of residents eyes. Premire Inn dosen't care it wants more rooms and it has merely identified a free slab of land that hasn't yet been developed and is having a go. In North London it is targeting Finchley Central, Brent Cross, West Hampstead, Cricklewood and Harrow. So if I wasn't travelling in by car why would I stay in Barnet when I could stay closer to the centre?

    The proposed build of 101 rooms for the size of the market site makes for ridiculously small rooms, a cut price hotel not worthy of the Historical Barnet Market site.

    Their own documents/pdf's speak more than I can.
    https://www.whitbread.co.uk/property-and-suppliers/premier-inn#our-brand-proposition-and-property

    The market was once the beating heart of Barnet and it deserves something on that site that is respectful of the area, promotes the community and is of the neighboorhood. And I don't think some old dusty pamphlets on Barnets History in a hotel lobby is good enough.

    Remember if you accept this build you block they way for anything better that could of been built there.

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