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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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