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Tuesday, 22 October 2019 16:49

Two blocks of flats abandoned and instead trees to be preserved

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Plans for a block of flats facing Meadway and another facing Barnet Hill have been abandoned and replaced with an undertaking to preserve the “mature and high-quality trees” alongside the pathway Plans for a block of flats facing Meadway and another facing Barnet Hill have been abandoned and replaced with an undertaking to preserve the “mature and high-quality trees” alongside the pathway
Transport for London and developers Taylor Wimpey have reduced significantly their original plans to redevelop land in and around High Barnet station with five-storey blocks of flats.

Plans have now been dropped for two of seven blocks of flats.

One of the proposed blocks that has been abandoned would have been built in the woodland facing Queen Elizabeth’s Girls’ School and another squeezed in between the tube station footpath and Barnet Hill.

In a joint statement, explaining why they have dropped their plans to build flats on the land closest to the junction of Meadway and Barnet Hill, TfL and Taylor Wimpey say they will now provide “a new widened and well-lit footpath” to the tube station and will work with ecologists to “improve the health of the mature and high quality trees” at the northern end of the site.

In another concession to widespread objections, the statement explains that the revised proposals will respect local wishes by “substantially reducing the height and scale” of the five other blocks of flats to be built on the tube station car park and storage and container yards, right up to the junction with Underhill.

The latest proposals will be presented at an exhibition in the tube station car park which will be held over three days in early November – see details below.

No reference is made in the statement to the original proposal to dramatically reduce the size of the tube station car park, leaving it with only 25 per cent of its current capacity.

But TfL and Taylor Wimpey repeat their promise to construct a new “community hub” near the station entrance that could provide “workspace, a café, and flexible spaces for hire and cycle facilities”.

The scaling back on the original proposals for seven blocks
to five follows a chorus of complaints

The scaling back on the original proposals for seven blocks of flats to five follows a chorus of complaints since publication of the redevelopment plans at a public consultation last June.

Throughout the summer local residents have co-ordinated their objections with leaflets being handed out and a petition organised by the Hands Off High Barnet campaign (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) which opposed the cutting down of mature trees and the damage to the High Barnet skyline.

In its submission to Transport for London, the Barnet Society said it agreed in principle to homes being built above stations, car parks and tracks.

Although the society opposed high rise development around the tube station, it did not object to high density development as long as it intruded as little as possible on views from nearby open spaces and the Green Belt.

The society was against the construction of any big buildings at the junction of Meadway and Barnet Hill: QE Girls’ should not be overlooked and the viability of any buildings close to the junction was questionable given the engineering costs involved alongside the two embankments.

Trees around the tube station – together with the trees on Barnet Hill and the Meadway open space – formed one of the “green gateways” that gave Barnet town centre its special identity.

Trees and greenery should be extended to the bottom of Barnet Hill as part of any redevelopment of the tube station site.

In their statement, TfL and Taylor Wimpey say they want their proposals to provide “great spaces to walk through and enjoy” and this will be achieved through landscaped areas and a new square outside the tube station.

In addition, plans are being explored for new pedestrian crossings outside the station, along Barnet Hill.

The latest plans will be on view at a public exhibition at High Barnet station, on Thursday 7 November (2pm to 8pm), Friday 8 November (2pm to 6pm) and Saturday 9 November (12pm to 4pm).

For more details see https://mailchi.mp/24e6983a5597/correction-high-barnet-newsletter-what-you-said-and-how-we-are-listening?e=69a8007661

  

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