Gated housing planned off High Street

Written by  Monday, 16 November 2015 23:45
Barnet Society’s planning and environment chair, Robin Bishop, inspects Wrenbridge’s plans for new houses and offices on the Brake Shear House site. From left to right: Markus Geiger, Barnet Society; Jessica Stewart, Wrenbridge public relations; Robin Bishop; Jeff Wilson, director, Wrenbridge; J-J Lorraine, architect Barnet Society’s planning and environment chair, Robin Bishop, inspects Wrenbridge’s plans for new houses and offices on the Brake Shear House site. From left to right: Markus Geiger, Barnet Society; Jessica Stewart, Wrenbridge public relations; Robin Bishop; Jeff Wilson, director, Wrenbridge; J-J Lorraine, architect
Plans for a five-storey block of flats and a three-storey office block are the main features of an extensive residential and commercial redevelopment that will reshape the townscape behind shops in Barnet High Street.

The Brake Shear House redevelopment, on the other side of the High Street to the Spires Shopping Centre, will be accessed via a new approach road opposite the junction with the St Albans Road.

Cakez Cafe, a recently-refurbished coffee shop, will be demolished to allow wider access to what will become a gated community of 43 homes made up of eight semi-detached houses and a block of 35 one- and two-bedroom flats.

The new block of flats will be on land to the rear of the Misty Moon public house, and the new 7,000 square foot commercial block, offering space for up to 57 employees, will be built at the rear of Ladbrokes and the Tanning Shop.

Clearing the land ready for building will involve demolishing not only Brake Shear House but also several other workshops and light-industrial premises.

Cakez Cafe, a recently refurbished coffee shop, will be demolishedCakez Cafe, a recently refurbished coffee shop, will be demolishedAmong the 16 businesses that will have to move out by the summer of next year if the developers Wrenbridge secure planning approval are two printers, a sheet-metal works, two recording studios, a garage and other small concerns.

According to figures obtained by Wrenbridge, a total of 32 employees will be displaced. This is far less than the figure estimated by the 16 businesses involved, which claimed over 100 people were either directly employed on the site or made occasional use of stores and workshops.

Plans and drawings showing the redevelopment will be on public exhibition on Saturday 21 November at the Barnet College Tudor Hall in Wood Street (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.), where representatives of Wrenbridge will explain the proposals and answer questions.

Jeff Wilson, a director of Wrenbridge, told the Barnet Society that the company’s aim was to provide imaginative and well-designed homes.

High-quality materials would be used, and Wrenbridge was confident it could deliver “an excellent piece of new-build housing”.

An artists impression of the developmentAn artists impression of the developmentWithin the site, which would have an automatic gate at the entrance, would be parking spaces for 36 cars, and also storage for cycles.

Because there would no longer be heavy goods vehicles and other commercial traffic regularly using the three existing approaches to the Brake Shear House site, Wrenbridge believe the redevelopment will reduce traffic in the High Street at peak times.

“We hope to have submitted our detailed plans by the end of the year, and if approval and other clearances are obtained by the spring, we would hope to start work in the late summer or early autumn of 2016,” said Mr Wilson.

J-J Lorraine, architect for the project, said there would be “high-quality” space between the row of semi-detached houses and the block of flats. “We want it to be an active space, not just a car park.

We want it to be an active space, not just a car park

There will be life there, people arriving on bicycles, a place to sit out, and the area will be properly landscaped and planted with trees.”

The demolition of Brake Shear House and the loss of affordable workspace for light industry and smaller firms involved in activities like metalworking and printing, and also new businesses such as recording studios, is one of the issues, that the Barnet Society intends to address.

Wrenbridge says there will be negotiations with Barnet Council over the level of either “affordable housing or affordable workspace”.

In this case, providing space for new start-up companies might be seen by the Society as having priority in view of the difficulties existing businesses are facing as more offices and workshops are converted into flats and houses.

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10 comments

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 17 November 2015 15:09 posted by Tim Webster

    Affordable housing, affordable workspace? Haha yeah right that'll happen.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 17 November 2015 15:11 posted by Janet Willicott

    Sounds about right...... Just what the conservatives need...... Gates..... To lock them away!

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 17 November 2015 16:33 posted by Andrew Cairncross

    Mr property backs on to the car park behind Boots, Sainsbury and the Misty Moon pub. There has been a gate in our fence since the property was built in 1956, and given daily use since that time, and that this has been unchallenged up to 2005, I believe I have a right of way over this site (an easement by prescription) under the 1832 Property Act.
    The previous owner of the site, Keith Lauder, knew this. Whether he has disclosed this to the new owner remains to be seen.
    For the record, the Barnet Society has actual footage of over 200 people walking through our gate during a Beating of the Parish Boundaries sometime circa the early 90s.
    I would be very interested to hear from the Society, the council's planning department and, of course, the new site owner.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 17 November 2015 17:50 posted by Peter Maton

    Another development without sufficient parking.

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 18 November 2015 08:52 posted by Susan J Bradford

    We'll need another coffee shop to cope with the influx of new residents!

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 18 November 2015 08:53 posted by Nick de Naeyer

    We have lost most of the small businesses in Barnet and yet the authorities seem unable to see that some of the extra traffic is due to people having to commute to work, rather than walk or bus it to local workplaces.
    Alston works is going that way and Lancaster Road New Barnet has been totally redeveloped.

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 18 November 2015 08:53 posted by Barry Pearce

    Barnet is just becoming a joke and run by robbing brown envelope ££ council pension grabbers, how about pumping money into the bloody high street

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 18 November 2015 08:54 posted by Carolyn Flett-Jones

    Will this mean the lost of Crystal Autocare garage and Acculith Printers?

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 25 November 2015 12:41 posted by Amy Applebaum

    Alston Works will never be developed but most of the business space is full of residents now, something which Barnet Council seemed to allow without any contest, but they all have deep pockets up at Barnet Council. It's wrong that Brakeshear House will be knocked down, no one needs homes, they need places to work! Wrenbridge are just greedy developers, they care less about the businesses there.

    SHAME ON BARNET COUNCIL!

  • Comment Link Monday, 14 December 2015 10:34 posted by Jacqui Jones

    Why do you have to knock down a lovely building (coffee shop)? Why can you not knock down the ugly building opposite (the tan shop). Also hope there are no eye sores at the front such as the buildings in Mays Lane? Lastly this site does not need to be gated so why is this being considered? The High Street has lost so much of its character over the years I do not want to see it eroded any more. Careful, considerate development is needed. When is this going to consultation?

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