This derelict brownfield site has been the subject of much contention for over ten years now. The local community (predominantly via the Save New Barnet campaign) has fought hard to shape this development into one which is suitable, useful and appropriate for the area and the community.
A housing development of 305 units was previously approved (subsequently, this was increased to 371). This plan was widely viewed as less than perfect, but acknowledged as a compromise and generally accepted.
The new plan for the New Barnet Gas Works increases the height and density of the development significantly: 652 flats and up to 10 storeys tall. Most of these flats are one or two-bedroomed, unlike the previous plan which allowed for family homes.
This is what our local Councillor for East Barnet*, Jo Cooper has said on the matter:
“Since the original consultation, the proposed Victoria Quarter development has seen an increase in the number of units by 75% and now includes a 10-storey block. There are a limited number of family homes and the height, density and design do not fit in with the area. This application was submitted during a pandemic, limiting the opportunity for local residents to attend another public consultation event and further undermining what little trust the community has in this developer. It is hugely disappointing to say the least, given the responsibility of local residents in trying to shape it into something more acceptable.”
For the New Barnet Gas Works development, there are more than 100 planning application documents available to view. One of our members has kindly given his time to fastidiously go through these and has prepared the following documents intended to assist Labour members and local residents to reach their decisions about how best to respond to this application:
- A summary of the key facts which is intended to assist local residents reach a balanced and informed decision as to whether they support or oppose the development, and the issues they might include in any comment submitted. (VQ evidence base (2))
- What people say – a summary of responses from interested parties and local residents (VQ what people say)
- Objection options – an overview of different objections that could be made and that are most likely to be effective (VQ objection options)
- Objection options – as above, but an easy to print version (VQ Planning Application objection options)
Please make sure you go to the council’s website so your opinion about the New Barnet Gas Works development is heard by the people who make the decisions. [Link to Planning Application Ref 20/1719/FUL].
You may also respond to the consultation by email: email@example.com
And by post: Planning & Building Control, 2 Bristol Ave, Colindale, NW9 4EW
Quoting: Reference 20/1719/FUL
The deadline is the 17th June and we urge you to have your say.
Another of our local members has produced a statement** opposing the New Barnet Gas Works development and setting out an alternative vision, along with an accompanying petition aimed at addressing the root cause of housing & development problems that we are facing locally. Local Residents and Labour members are invited to sign up to both.
Please find these here:
Comments from other Labour Representatives:
Andrew Dismore, the London Assembly Member for Barnet & Camden had this to say about the proposals:
“Whilst we cannot tackle the housing crisis in London without building new homes, we must place a focus on sustainability and high quality design that do not lead to more problems down the line. The latest scheme for this site is far too dense and tall compared to the previous plan, which was drawn up in consultation with local residents and had their support”
Anne Clarke, the Labour Candidate for Barnet & Camden on the GLA & Councillor for Childs Hill said this:
“It is very disappointing that after the community gave up so much of their time to One Housing to work on a scheme they could live with, One Housing then teamed up with Fairview to greatly expand what was agreed. The size of the new plan is far too large for the area. This scheme would dominate the park and is far less visually appealing than what had been agreed. Notably, the initial design had levels stepped back from the park, this new design has a flat front which creates a large brick wall effect.
I note the limited amount of play space and that it falls short of GLA and Barnet guidelines. We have guidelines for a reason and.I can’t support a scheme which sells children short of the space they deserve.
The developers are they are trying to slip this through during lockdown as the follow up public consultation event was cancelled, disenfranchising the local community even further. I urge the Planning Committee to reject this plan.”
* East Barnet Councillor Laurie Williams sits on the Barnet Council Planning Committee, which restricts him from taking a public position for or against the development.
**Due to the Coronavirus, local Labour party meetings have been suspended, along with normal democratic decision making processes. As such, it has not been possible to canvas opinion of all local members, nor to take a vote to agree a collective ‘position’.