Whalebones trustees reassurance

Written by  Tuesday, 01 December 2015 09:58
Peter Mason 79, with his poultry flock, has been farming at Whalebones for the last 50 years Peter Mason 79, with his poultry flock, has been farming at Whalebones for the last 50 years
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”. 

In the two weeks since the Society first reported that an application has been made for outline planning permission to develop this 14-acre stretch of fields and woods, between Barnet Hospital and Wood Street, over 30 comments have been posted on the website and Facebook.

Most of those responding want Barnet Council to refuse planning approval and say that Whalebones – “a lovely, historic green lung for Barnet” – should be preserved to prevent further suburban sprawl.

Several calls have been made for a petition to see if the council can be persuaded to retain the fields and wood and open them up as a public park.

In a letter to the trustees, Robin Bishop, chair of the Society’s planning and environment group, says the local community would regret the loss of “a remarkable green enclave and working farm” close to the heart of Chipping Barnet.

the local community would regret the loss of “a remarkable green enclave and working farm” close to the heart of Chipping Barnet

If Barnet Council does decide to accept the principle of the land being developed, the Society would not be willing to give its support unless any new building and landscape was of “high design quality”, and the development was “an exemplar of environmental sustainability, retaining as much existing natural habitat as possible”.

In their statement the trustees say they agree with the Society’s two criteria, and insist they would retain control over any proposals a developer might make.

The trustees wanted to reassure the Society and Barnet residents that they “do have the right intentions as far as Whalebones is concerned”.

A decision from the council as to whether the land is to be zoned for residential and community use is expected in January.

In their original statement two weeks ago, the trustees said it was their intention to allow public access to any permitted new development, and there would be a new purpose-built community building, and an open space.

A new community building would include a studio for the Barnet Guild of Artists and space for Barnet District Beekeepers, two groups that the late Miss

Cowing wanted to have continued use of buildings on the estate “so long as practicable”.

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9 comments

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 01 December 2015 12:35 posted by Jenny Petch

    Doesn't reassure me ;-(

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 01 December 2015 13:08 posted by Carla Herrmann

    Nor me seeing how Arkley village has already been ruined

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 01 December 2015 13:10 posted by Chris Dexter

    Certainly reassured that there will be no affordable housing for first time buyers available on this development

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 02 December 2015 00:12 posted by Julia Hutchings

    'High quality' meaning as much money as possible in their pockets!

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 02 December 2015 09:57 posted by Steve

    The simple way the developers/trustees will get round this is to say the development would be of "high quality" .

    That is absolutely no consolation if this lovely green space is lost. End result= further spread of the urban sprawl across this area of Barnet.

    Whether the housing is of high quality (ie unaffordable to most people) or social housing-the result is the same. Green space concreted over.

  • Comment Link Thursday, 03 December 2015 17:26 posted by Ronnie Main

    No reassurance for me.Gimme the money!!

  • Comment Link Thursday, 03 December 2015 17:27 posted by Jackie Massey

    Please god they take a step back and realise what they are doing

  • Comment Link Sunday, 06 December 2015 19:01 posted by rob

    I live very close to this - a 5 minute walk and have no problem with high quality housing being built here.

    This area isn't open to the public, it's a farm not a public park and has very little value - it's hardly a 'green lung' or of any value to the community, it's just a bit of farmland between a busy road and the hospital.

    London needs more housing and we can't automatically object to everything - it seems like the majority of commenters on this site reject housing on brownfield land (the proposed development behind the high st), development in an existing urban area such as this and anything to do with the industrial farmland in the green belt.

    Where can the houses go if you object to everything? maybe somewhere else away from where you live I suspect. That attitude is not a credible solution to Londons housing problems.

    We can't be the 'nimby society' and object to all change, after all the very houses you are living in were once fairly uninteresting farmland like this.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 02 February 2016 16:57 posted by Sue

    More history being demolished in Barnet. Soon the next generations will only be looking at concrete and bricks no green spces (Trent Park) is on a building list somewhere ........ What will be nest Oakhill Park. Sad time for Barnet.

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