Friday 25 December 2009

Proof that New Barnet cannot cope with more flats

If ever there was proof that New Barnet will struggle to cope with more flats it is the total disaster that we have had with no gas and the electricity cables burning through. This shows that the infrastructure in New Barnet is running at full capacity already. The Council's strategy of increasing housing density will simply result in more occasions when the infrastructure can't cope.

Saturday 5 December 2009

New Barnet target for flats and retail development

Having read through the Local Development Framework (LDF)what is most shocking is how someone somewhere in the Council, has targeted New Barnet to be the dumping ground for lots of new flats and superstores. The LDF states on page 29 "The largest town centres Chipping Barnet, Edgware, Finchley Church End, New Barnet, North Finchley will be the focus for commercial development and residential growth as part of mixed use development". In fact New Barnet is the smallest district centre in Barnet as classified by either the number of shops or by the square meterage of the businesses. It also states that New Barnet is "considered suitable because of its accessibility by a choice of transport modes and having a
character more appropriate to higher density mixed use development".

I went to see my local councillor about the LDF this morning. Guess what? Cllr Burton had sent his daughter along instead because he was "away on business". I'm sorry but that isn't good enough. There are three councillors representing New Barnet. Couldn't one of them have made it. This LDF will impact on the area for many years to come and our elected representatives should be listening to what we have to say - a bit difficult if they don't turn up!

Tuesday 10 November 2009

Local Development Framework Latest

Today, Barnet Council has published details of the consultation process on the Local Development Framework (LDF). The bad news is New Barnet is seen as a centre suitable for developing more shops and more flats. Barnet Council simply aren't listening to what local residents are saying. You only have a short time to give your opinions. Click here for the link to the consultation page where you will find all of the details.
Please take the time to read this document as it will affect all planning decisions made in New Barnet for the next 15 years. There is an opportunity to question the Council on the LDF at the next Chipping Barnet Residents forum which will be held at Chipping Barnet Library Staplyton Road (at the back of the Spires) on 24 November at 6.30pm

Friday 6 November 2009

Town Centre Strategy - Kicked into the long grass?

New Barnet has been promised a Town Centre Strategy (or Framework)for years. We know how important it will be in any subsequent planning applications from ASDA or Tesco. Yet Barnet Council seems determined to stop local residents seeing this strategy. The agenda of the next Business Management Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Committee says that the local residents will now be consulted on the Town Centre Strategy, sorry framework, in "early 2010" whatever that means. What is taking so long you may ask? GVA Grimley were commissioned to undertake this study back in April and two separate sources have told me that it is finished. Why won't it be released - perhaps because it doesn't say what Barnet Council wants. This vital document needs to be disclosed now so that we can consider it alongside the Local Development Framework. These documents will set the planning agdenda in New Barnet for the next 15 years and local residents deserve to be consulted.

Friday 30 October 2009

LDF Update

Having read the minutes of the last Cabinet meeting it seems that naming Cat Hill as an area suitable for more flats was a step too far. The Council have now agreed that they will not mention Cat Hill specifically in the LDF but East Barnet Road doesn't escape. Also they have still left in the map which shows Cat Hill as an area suitable for flats so there remains a threat.

Talk to your local councillor and ask them if they think New Barnet should be subjected to new supermarkets and blocks of flats and see what they say.

Saturday 24 October 2009

Local Development Framework

I'm new to this blogging game so please forgive me if I don't always follow blog etiquette. I have been driven to setting up this blog by what Barnet Council intends to allow in New Barnet. In the latest Cabinet papers published on Barnet Council's Website there is the latest version of the Local Development Framework. What is a Local Development Framework or LDF? Basically from what I can understand it is a document which helps to set out planning policy in the Borough for years to come. It replaces what used to be called the Unitary Development Plan. People in New Barnet have been sayng for the last 12 months or more that we don't want more supermarkets but the latest version of the LDF says New Barnet, amongst others, "will be the focus for commercial development and residential
growth as part of mixed use development". It also says that New Barnet has "a character more appropriate to higher density mixed use development". That means developers being given a green light to build blocks of flats. Even worse, the LDF specifically names Cat Hill as a location suitable for higher density residential development. There is a short consulation period coming up which is our only chance to stop this crazy policy.

Monday 19 October 2009

Lack of Sports Facilities in New Barnet

I don't believe Barnet Council takes sport seriously and we have very poor facilities. The Council have been promising to undertake a sports facility strategy for more than year but it still hasn't materialised. Without that strategy it gives them a reason not to invest in new facilities. There seems to be an awful lot of talking about sport but not much doing. There is an organisation called CSPAN (Community Sport and Physical Activity Network) which meets regularly. Their last meeting was in September at which 27 people attended. The problem is they don't seem to have got a lot done. Come on Barnet Council, take sport seriously and provide some decent facilities for New Barnet Residents, especially for our teenagers.