Thursday, 18 January 2018 17:27

Final farewell to Barnet FC

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Final farewell to Barnet FC Final farewell to Barnet FC
Almost five years since Barnet Football Club played its last game at Underhill, its stadium off Barnet Lane is finally being demolished to make way for a 1,200-place Ark Academy secondary school.

Demolition contractors moved onto the site in the second week of January. An access road has been opened up to Barnet Lane to allow access for contractors’ lorries.

Many of the club’s outer buildings have already been taken down, but work has yet to begin dismantling the stands and towers with floodlights.

Barnet FC, founded in 1888, played its last game at Underhill in April 2013, and has moved to the Hive Football centre in Camrose Avenue, Edgware.

Supporters against the move formed the Back2Barnet campaign and tried without success to prevent the sale of the stadium and football pitch to the government’s educational funding agency, which provides sites for free schools.

Local residents fought an equally long campaign against the use of the site for an academy school insisting there was no demonstrable demand for a new school of this size in High Barnet.

Initially Barnet Council’s planning committee voted unanimously against approving a 1,700-place school on the site, but when a revised application was submitted for a 1,200-place school, the committee voted 6-5 in favour – with the six Conservative councillors all accepting the revised proposal, despite the protests of Labour councillors who said new academy would cause traffic congestion and was a breach of the green belt.

A last-minute attempt was made to persuade the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to reject the plan, but this failed, and the final go ahead was given late last year.

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10 comments

  • Comment Link Thursday, 18 January 2018 18:47 posted by Mark

    Remember this when you come to cast your vote in May. Barnet FC no longer play in Barnet, whereas they could have been here or ground sharing at Copthall.

  • Comment Link Friday, 19 January 2018 00:59 posted by Christian Costi

    Council should be ashamed of themselves. Barnet couldn’t stay there or go to Copthall because of the congestion and now we have a 1200 place academy and saracens

  • Comment Link Friday, 19 January 2018 01:02 posted by Genevieve Abranson

    R.I.P Underhill.
    How come the school got planning permission when the stadium upgrade was refused?.

  • Comment Link Friday, 19 January 2018 09:57 posted by Louise Rolfe

    Had such lovely Saturdays there in the family stand. All the kids would sit together with us parents up in another row behind them. We could wander down from High Barnet - grab a burger and watch our home town. Miss it

  • Comment Link Friday, 19 January 2018 15:43 posted by Gareth Archer

    I was really sad when Barnet FC were forced to move out of the Borough and seeing these pictures shows there is now no going back, so I am gutted all over again!

  • Comment Link Saturday, 20 January 2018 10:23 posted by David Nickolls

    I don't wish to gloat, but local residents will reap what they sow. I hope those that fought the stadium proposal will now be happy with the daily congestion arising from the school traffic, as opposed to football once a fortnight. The club had been there longer than any resident and it was a travesty that they were driven out.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 30 January 2018 17:15 posted by James Peter Sawyer

    Barnet residents at Underhill and elsewhere are overwhelmingly opposed to the Approval by Conservative Barnet councillors to build the Ark Academy secondary school for over 1200 pupils on the site of the former football stadium at Underhill, because ot its size, and the ensuing unnacceptable increase in the levels of pollution and traffic chaoos leading to griflock, and the existence of the undersubscribed school academy nearby. Barnet Councillors should rethink and pull the plug on the damaging development.

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 14 February 2018 15:12 posted by Barry PRICE

    My Father Sydner Price was Chairman in the 50's and it was his life. As a family of 3 boys we ate, slept and lived Barnet FC. Travelled around the country for away matches, Wembley for the Amateur Cup Final, games against overseas touring teams etc. We loved the club and now Underhill is gone, it will never be the same.

  • Comment Link Thursday, 05 April 2018 19:44 posted by Paul

    Mmmmm, I seem to remember a certain Peter Sawyer being secretary of BRASS who successfully fought against the expansion of Underhill stadium by the club that had played there for a hundred years and forcing them to leave the site in order to survive as a League club.

    Won the battle but lost the resulting war!

    Wonder what the local residents think of BRASS now?

  • Comment Link Saturday, 21 April 2018 23:39 posted by Peter pattoura

    Typical Tory council would not help Barnet FC but went out of their way to help a rugby team .Barnet FC not posh enough for this council.thanks for getting rid of sporting history in the borough.

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