Urgent update on Victoria Quarter!

Theresa Villiers MP is campaigning against plans for 10 storey blocks of flats at Victoria Quarter on the old gasworks site in Albert Road in New Barnet. She is working with local residents and ward councillor, Felix Byers, to try to stop this development. A planning application (reference 20/1719/FUL) for Victoria Quarter has been submitted by One Housing and Fairview New Homes and the formal consultation is underway. Theresa and Felix are urging residents to make their voice heard and send their objections to Barnet Council. The deadline is 17 June! Time is running out to make your voice heard! This article sets out how you can do that.

If you oppose the plans for high rise blocks of flats at Victoria Quarter, please send your views to Barnet Council’s planning committee. There are three ways this can be done:

  1. You can email planning.consultation@barnet.gov.uk. Please include the planning reference 20/1719/FUL in the subject field of your email.
  2. You can post your objection to Hardeep Ryatt (planning ref 20/1719/FUL), Barnet Planning and Building Control, 2 Bristol Avenue, Colindale, London, NW9 4EW. A template letter is set out below if you wish to use it.
  3. Or you can submit an objection via Council’s planning website here. When you get to this page, you enter should the planning reference number 20/1719/FUL in the search box. This takes you to the Victoria Quarter application, which includes a comments tab.

To have the most impact, objections need to provide reasons which are recognised as valid in planning law. As well as setting out your individual views and any concerns you are particularly worried about, I would encourage you to consider including some of the points set out in the template letter at the end of this article.

Key points to make in your objection include:

  1. Height, bulk, massing and density inconsistent with the predominantly open, low-rise, character of New Barnet. Visually intrusive impact over Victoria Recreation Ground, and nearby homes. Damaging to the locally protected view from Hadley Green/King George’s Fields.
  2. Blocks of 8 to 10 storeys conflict with the local planning policy that tall buildings should only be allowed in certain specified locations.
  3. Over 80% of the development would be one and two bed flats, violating local planning rules which give priority to three and four bedroom homes.
  4. Insufficient provision of outdoor space.
  5. Overspill parking in nearby residential streets. Significant increase in population (potentially around 1500) would put pressure on local public services such as schools and GP practices.

You can find further information on here on the Save New Barnet website. Save New Barnet (SNB) are a group of local residents who have been working for many years to try to get the right outcome for the gasworks site. They are campaigning against these latest plans. If this is an issue you care about, you can sign up to receive SNB updates by visiting their website.

Remember, the formal deadline for objecting to this planning application 19th May. There is some scope for responses to be considered after the consultation has closed, but it’s best to get your views into the Council on this as soon as possible. Make sure you don’t lose out. Please submit your objections to Barnet Council TODAY!

The following template letter may be helpful in drafting your objections:

Hardeep Ryatt
Case Officer, Planning & Building Control
London Borough of Barnet
2 Bristol Avenue
London NW9 4EW

Dear Mr Ryatt

20/1719/FUL – Planning application for Victoria Quarter, Albert Road, New Barnet, EN4 9SH

I oppose this planning application. Allowing 652 flats to be built on this site, including blocks of 7 to 10 storeys, would be totally out of place in a suburban neighbourhood where most homes are just one or two storeys. These plans would be a massive over-development.

The height, density, massing and bulk of the buildings would all be inconsistent with the character of the surrounding neighbourhood. This would conflict with local planning policy that new developments should protect and enhance local character and that density should be optimised rather than maximised.

Four of the blocks of flats are over 7 storeys, contravening policies in the Barnet Plan that new tall buildings should be confined to certain designated locations.

The development would overlook the adjoining park and existing housing. These blocks would reduce many residents’ amenity and enjoyment of a landscape populated largely by low-rise semi-detached and terraced family housing. They would also damage the protected local view looking down from Hadley Green through New Barnet to central London.

Over 80% of the units proposed would be one and two bedroom flats. This is inconsistent with local planning policies which give priority to three and four bedroom flats as the type of home which is most needed locally. There is insufficient provision of gardens and outdoor space, as required by local planning principles.

Public transport access (PTAL) has been overstated in the planning application. The developers have used the PTAL score of 3 for their calculations when this applies only to some dwellings at one end of the site. More than half of the proposed units have a PTAL score of just 1a. The nearest tube stations are some distance away and, although closer to reach, national rail services have only limited capacity.

The proposed decrease in car parking provision per dwelling from 107% to 58%, as compared to the 2017 previously consented plans, would leave almost half of households without any on-site parking. This would increase overspill parking in nearby streets which are already crowded with cars.

Lastly, I am worried about the impact of such a big population increase (around 1500 new residents) on local infrastructure and services such as GPs surgeries, dentists, and schools.

The 2017 planning application for 371 new homes on the site was extensively discussed with local groups and represented a carefully balanced compromise which would deliver a significant number of new homes, but without excessive pressure on local services. The planning committee should turn down this new application, leaving One Housing and Fairview to build the 2017 scheme for which they already have permission.

Yours sincerely

Signature

_________________________________________________________

Print name

_________________________________________________________

Address

__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________