Monday, 19 August 2019 18:26

Plans for attracting High Street shoppers and visitors

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Work is underway to widen the High Street pavement between the junctions with Union Street and Salisbury Road Work is underway to widen the High Street pavement between the junctions with Union Street and Salisbury Road
Construction work has started on the pavement build outs in Barnet High Street – an improvement which community groups have campaigned for and which could be backed up by other measures proposed in Barnet Council’s draft growth strategy plan for the borough.

Improving the “health and wellbeing” of high streets is regarded by the planners as one the steps that can be taken to strengthen the identity and diversification of town centres.

The draft plan for 2019-2030 is currently out for public consultation and the council says its aim is to deliver “an improved mix of town centre uses” and to do more to promote and celebrate their individual characteristics.

Robin Bishop, Chair of the Barnet Society, welcomed the strategy and the council’s commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of shoppers and visitors.

This had been one of the motives of the Chipping Barnet Town Team in its campaign to persuade the council to widen the pavements in the High Street and encourage tree planting.

As well as building out the pavements, there will be a new drainage system, improved footways at the Union Street and Salisbury Road junctions and upgraded pedestrian traffic signals at the crossings by the Post Office and Spires’ entrance.

Construction work in the High Street is due to last about three months as the pavement widening is being done in stages in order to reduce disruption.

In welcoming the council’s aim to expand the “leisure offer and evening economy” of town centres by enhancing the range and quality of local food and drink, heritage and culture, Mr Bishop said the most obvious priority for Chipping Barnet was to build on the success of the Barnet Medieval Festival and other events and attractions celebrating the 1471 Battle of Barnet.

“The aim should be to grow the visitor economy by encouraging, supporting and promoting the hospitality sector to deliver a great experience for visitors as well as residents.”

...a good proportion of affordable workspace

Another key to the regeneration of the town centre was to encourage creative businesses by ensuring “a good proportion of affordable workspace”.

Protecting and benefiting from Barnet’s green assets – the fields and woods that surround the town on three sides – was also seen as a key objective.

The draft strategy calls for a masterplan for managing Green Belt land within the borough and one proposal was for action to establish the Upper Dollis Brook as a “conservation-minded leisure destination” with improved access to open spaces, perhaps from Hendon Wood Lane.

A priority for the next decade would be to explore Chipping Barnet’s delivery of new housing in ways which built on the “heritage and character” of the town.

The council intended to work with Transport for London to shape developments around High Barnet tube station – an indication that the council seemed committed to high-density housing in the station car park and storage yards.

Read the growth strategy in full at www.engage.barnet.gov.uk/growth-strategy

A public consultation session is to be held at Chipping Barnet Library from 3pm to 7pm on Thursday 5 September.

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6 comments

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 21 August 2019 15:24 posted by Natalie Gettings

    We need to try and slim down the amount of charity shops - does the council have any control over the mix of shops?
    I hope another baker will move in - could Business rate reductions be given to encourage maybe Simmon who are a Hertfordshire Business.
    Rents are eye wateringly high.
    With the wider paving it could outside Cafe seating be encouraged?

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 21 August 2019 19:18 posted by Linda OShea

    Yes I agree trim down the amount of charity shops, and we really need a new bakery in Barnet High Street, there is just no where to buy the same bread as Victoria Bakery. Waitrose is okay bu it would be good for another bakery to move in. The Spires is good lately, lots of people, and children with stuff going on for the kids in the holidays. Nice atmosphere, music, all good.

  • Comment Link Thursday, 22 August 2019 19:56 posted by Tony B

    Do we know what is happening with the new Premier Inn? Will it be built?

  • Comment Link Friday, 23 August 2019 12:06 posted by Nick Saul

    Latest claimed start date is September. It was always clear the project was part of an expansion policy forced on Whitbread by vulture fund investors to increase the Premier Inn portfolio before selling the company and the Marketplace hotel with it. However the investors are now forcing the sale of some Premier Inn assets in the UK to fund expansion in Germany before then selling the company. It may be started next month. It may end up being a Premier Inn or something else. It may never be built. The planning permission may left on the books as yet another grossly inflated approval for development of the site to be leap frogged by one even larger. The restaurant space which was said to be ancillary to the hotel is currently planned to be a Beefeater pub and grill.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 10 September 2019 11:12 posted by Local resident

    Take parking provision out of private hands, make business rates affordable for small enterprises, invest in libraries and other public / community services, spend public money on making the high street more attractive.

    All sensible steps in my mind but, unfortunately, completely at odds with the political ideology of the local council and MP.

  • Comment Link Saturday, 14 September 2019 15:06 posted by JB

    Just had the pleasure of driving along Mayes Lane and the recently finished road improvements.
    I really can't quite understand what all of the work and design has achieved.
    Traffic at 6.30 in the evening was backed up as always due to the width restrictors in front of the shopping parade creating the usual hold up.
    Could anyone explain what the road improvements are meant to achieve.

    Changing topic, for all the wonderful housing plans for the Community, how about that small, sub Police Stations are integrated into the plans.
    Also, all the plans have lots of space for cycling. I look forward to getting on my bike to Waitrose and loading up with my groceries. Some hope....
    Anyone tried bicycling up and down the hills of Barnet in the winter?

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