Preserving two massive jaw bones from a ninety-foot-long blue whale is just one of the challenges facing the new owners of Barnet’s historic Whalebones House, one of the town’s oldest residences surrounded by woods and fields that are now threatened with redevelopment.
Building houses on the fields around Whalebones, between Wood Street and Barnet Hospital, has possibly moved a step closer following an agreement between the landowners and a leading housebuilder, Hill, of Waltham Abbey, Essex.
Local residents will get more opportunities to view the work of members of the Barnet Guild of Artists if arrangements can be made to increase the number of public displays of their paintings and other art forms.
Any planning application to build houses on the 14 acres of woods and farmland at Whalebones – between Wood Street and Barnet Hospital – is “highly unlikely” to be approved, says the Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers.
Responding to fears about the possible zoning for housing of the woods and fields around Whalebones Park, the Chipping Barnet MP Mrs Theresa Villiers says she is ready to “lie down in front of the bulldozers” in any fight to preserve a cherished open space.
Trustees for the Gwyneth Cowing estate have given an assurance to the Barnet Society that any development of Whalebones Park for residential and community use would be of “high quality” and would retain as “much natural habitat as possible”.
Whalebones Park, a 14-acre stretch of fields and woods between Barnet Hospital and Wood Street, is about to be considered by Barnet Council as a possible area to be developed for future housing and community use.
Seventy-five years ago workmen from a local building contractor, W. Foster & Sons, were asked to complete a highly unusual task: they had to restore the unique appearance of one of Chipping Barnet’s oldest residences.