Completing the majestic row of Norway Maple and London Plane trees that line Barnet Hill – and provide such a magnificent entrance to the town – might become possible following a generous donation to the Barnet Society.
In a first for schools in the London Borough of Barnet, the Pavilion study centre in Meadway, High Barnet, is offering vulnerable and excluded school children the opportunity to get an entry level qualification in horticulture.
The purchase by a property company of Barnet’s former British Legion hall at the corner of Moxon Street and Tapster Street has opened up for residential redevelopment another swathe of land immediately to the east of the High Street.
Number 89, the community-run pop-up shop selling local arts and crafts that was in the High Street until a few months ago, has reopened round the corner at 10 Union Street, and now trades under the name room 89.
One of High Barnet’s worst eyesores, the derelict former nurses’ home opposite the Arkley public house, is to be demolished to make way for a housing scheme that aims to provide approximately 100 new homes.
After raising the staggering sum of half a million pounds, work has started on the first phase of an ambitious project to transform what was once Christ Church School into a drop-in facility for the elderly and a centre for the benefit of the wider community.
Feasibility study begins on future use of abandoned Marie Foster Home: could it become the site of a new GP surgery for High Barnet? Having been High Barnet’s most notorious blot on the landscape for the last decade, a future use for the long-derelict Marie Foster Home and surrounding land is at last being considered by NHS Property Services.
After a lengthy closure the Old Court House recreation ground has a functioning café once again. A new tenant has reopened the business after a major refurbishment and is hoping that High Barnet will embrace the café culture that has proved so popular at Trent Park in Cockfosters and at Oak Hill Park in East Barnet.
In the two years since the Barnet Society began protesting about derelict NHS buildings nothing has changed. The abandoned Marie Foster Home in Wood Street is still an eyesore, and so is the fire-ravaged former nurses’ home at Arkley.
Restoring and putting to good use Barnet’s rich heritage of historic buildings has become an increasingly challenging task which makes the story behind the project to preserve and re-open the former Red Cross building in St Albans’ Road all the more remarkable. Ten years ago the Red Cross indicated that it intended to vacate what had once been Christ Church School and put the 169-year-old flint-faced building on the market.
Barnet’s former town hall, opposite St John’s Church, provides a positive reminder of the imaginative uses which can be found for redundant municipal property. This iconic building has now completed three years as the home of the North London Coroner’s Court and its future seems assured.