Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers joined angry local residents at a public meeting this week to oppose plans by the London Mayor and TfL to build over Cockfosters tube station car park.
Cockfosters and Local Area Residents’ Association held the event at Christ Church in Chalk Lane in Cockfosters. Around 250 people attended to express their dismay over TfL plans for blocks of flats which could be up to 12 storeys high.
“There was resolute opposition to the plans being put forward by the Mayor and TfL, and real anger over the loss of parking spaces and the high-density and high-rise nature of the proposals,” said Theresa.
“I spoke at the meeting to express how strongly I oppose these plans, as did two Conservative councillors, Alessandro Georgiou and Edward Smith. I will be fighting hard to stop this development.”
“I thank Cockfosters and Local Area Residents’ Association for hosting this important event. The Mayor and TfL need to know the depth of anger over these plans for Cockfosters and other suburban stations such as High Barnet and Finchley Central.”
“The fact is suburban station car parks are heavily used, especially in places like Cockfosters which are at the end of the tube line”
“Any plan to replace parking facilities with blocks of flats shows that the Mayor does not care about the character of the suburbs, or the way of life of the people who live here. With suburban underground stations serving a wide area, many residents need their cars to get there, unlike in inner London where more people live within walking distance of the tube.”
At the meeting held at Christ Church in Chalk Lane on Tuesday, Colin Bull, chair of CLARA, appealed for support and help from the people attending.
A number suggested working together with other communities who are facing the same kind of proposals for their local stations to increase the effectiveness of opposition.
TfL has announced early stage proposals for intensive housing development at Cockfosters, High Barnet, Finchley Central and other locations.
It has launched a consultation to gauge local opinion and has been holding public exhibitions on their proposals. Details have not yet been disclosed but there are indications some of the buildings proposed for Cockfosters station could be up to 12 storeys with about 400 new dwellings. It is expected that the plans will not provide any new parking spaces for the people living in the new flats.
This morning, Theresa Villiers raised concerns about these proposals on the floor of the House of Commons, as recorded in the following extract from Hansard:
Question - Theresa Villiers
Can we have a debate on the appalling plans being put forward by the Mayor of London and TfL to build tower blocks over the car parks at Cockfosters and High Barnet tube stations, so that I can express my constituents’ very strong opposition to these plans?
Response - Mel Stride MP, Leader of the House of Commons
My right hon. Friend does a great deal in her constituency, particularly on these issues. These are matters for the Mayor of London, as they relate to planning, but I would be very happy to facilitate a meeting between my right hon. Friend and the appropriate Minister if she would find that useful.