The Federation of Residents Associations in Barnet (FORAB) have sent the following objection to the West Hendon development:
Planning application H/01054/13 Barratt development at West Hendon estate
Members of FORAB discussed this application at their recent meeting and agreed that we must object to the latest proposals and I am writing on their behalf to lodge a formal objection.
We are aware of the history of the scheme and support residents of the West Hendon estate in their battle to obtain investment for the estate so that it can be improved or regenerated to provide accommodation fit for the 21st century. They have not been treated well over the past ten or more years. The area desperately needs regeneration.
However we do not consider the current proposals will be of benefit to them and they will most certainly have a significant negative impact on the wider community. The proposals are a gross overdevelopment of the site with densities, building heights and form more suited to docklands or an inner city regeneration scheme. They are inappropriate for any suburban location and especially so when adjoining a site of Special Scientific Interest. The impact on wildlife has been set out in detail by individual experts and various environmental groups both to the Welsh Harp JCC and to your department so we will not repeat them other than to say we support them and their arguments.
West Hendon is short of open spaces and green parks and the Welsh Harp has a beneficial effect on the immediate community as well as a significant positive impact over a wide area of North London. Anything that harms it has a major deleterious effect in social and environmental terms both locally and over a much wider area.
We are particularly concerned at the height of some of the buildings. There are no other buildings 26 storeys high or even near that height intruding onto the skyline for miles around. If this scheme is approved it will set a dangerous precedent to turn this part of North London into another docklands. The Approved Barnet Local Plan says that tall buildings (over 8 storeys) should not detract from the nature of surrounding places and the quality of life for those living and working around them. We feel that the proposals will damage the environment of the Welsh Harp and this will have a negative effect on the quality of life in both the immediate vicinity and wider area.
This appears to be an opportunistic attempt to use the current financial difficulties to the benefit of the developer and at the expense of the local and wider community
We accept that some redevelopment must take place to enable the West Hendon estate to be improved but strongly urge you to reject this application and send the developer back to the drawing board so that an acceptable scheme can be produced.
Chair of FORAB