The Hadley Green character area is at Chipping Barnet’s most northerly point. This end is characterised by its distinctive green space and Monken Hadley Conservation Area. It is the last stop before leaving Chipping Barnet and entering Monken Hadley, then leaving Barnet into the Greenbelt. The scale of the town centre is smaller here, giving it a village character. At present, there is a diverse mix of offers with clusters of restaurants, a café, a public house, hotel, interspersed amongst some specialist retail, and a variety of other businesses offering various professional services. Despite this mix, the understated nature of this gateway makes this entrance feel quite unassuming, missing a vital opportunity to do more to integrate the town centre with its green asset, Hadley Green.
Key to this is improved signage and wayfinding to communicate walks to and from the town centre out across the green, and to enable the community to utilise this green asset to host local activities and events to help drive footfall to the town centre. Consideration should also be given to its proximity to the Battle of Barnet location, and its historic interest. A significant opportunity to strengthen the gateway is the corner building to Hadley Green Road currently occupied by a CMYA car wash business. The location, distinctive character of the building and expansive forecourt all lend itself to becoming a community-destination; with great potential through improved signage to directly engage with those entering the town centre at the Hadley end, whilst also increasing the leisure activity to the green.
The pavements around the Hadley green area of the town centre are narrow – except for the Hadley Parade area – and do little to encourage visitors to dwell. However, recently completed developments have demonstrated the potential of widening the pavement, with Huddle Café activating the public realm and bringing new energy to the area. There is a need to consider the widening and greening of the public realm more comprehensively to support the prevailing leisure economy to grow here.
Further down the high street, the Bentley garage and Statons estate agents, which are currently vacant, are a unique size for the high street and back onto Nesbitts Alley. The larger scale of these units presents an opportunity to attract new uses to develop the offer and build on the current restaurant and hotel that fronts onto this space.
This area also features a key site for potential future development – the army reserve depot on St Albans Road – identified in the Draft Local Plan for mixed-use development. Development proposals should carefully consider the relationship between this large scale site and the existing adjacent commercial courtyards. Activating them with complementary light-industrial and artist/creative workspaces, whilst ensuring pedestrian routes through onto the high street to help increase day time footfall at this end of the town centre.
Currently under performing as a gateway to the town centre
Unique opportunity with the High Street meeting Hadley Green
Cluster of restaurants & pub offer potential to strengthen the gateway
Opportunities to support new uses with public realm improvements & strategic reuse of vacant units
A strong narrative around the strengths and uniqueness of Chipping Barnet, incorporated in
wayﬁnding & public realm, for example, at the gateway into the town centre.
Potential strategic use of lamppost banners to celebrate the town’s distinctive, local identity.
Strategic clustering of businesses to strengthen the evening economy at the north end of the High Street, including the existing two restaurants and public house, with potential for the car wash garage.
Strategic clustering of businesses taking advantage of the unique character of buildings set in-front of Nesbitts Alley. The Bentley showroom and The Statons unit are currently vacant, in combination with the restaurant behind, could make a cluster of leisure, evening economy and workspace around shared public realm
Public realm and parklets hosting restaurants and pub at the north end of the high street for external dining, planting, bicycle parking and spaces to gather.
Public realm hosting local businesses and organisations, for example, utilising wider sections of pavement such as in front of the shops on Hadley Parade.
Potential of pavement widening and greening of the public realm to support the leisure economy and link the high street to Hadley Green.
Locally distinctive, seasonal festivals celebrating and promoting Chipping Barnet, for example, utilising suitable areas on Hadley Green.
Activate underutilised spaces behind the high street, such as yards and courtyards, to support the employment cluster, host activities and create attractive pedestrian spaces, for example, behind Highstone House Business Centre. Any development to the Army Barracks site should look to integrate with these existing courtyards to help increase permeability onto the high street, support light industrial activities and maker spaces.
Activate underutilised spaces behind the high street, such as yards and courtyards, to host activities and create attractive pedestrian spaces, for example, behind Hadley Parade.
Activate underutilised spaces behind the high street, for example, with the potential future development of the Army Reserve Depot, the adjacent Nursery Row could be enhanced and widened. The rear of this adjacent unit (former smaller car showroom) could be opened up and utilised to host activities and create attractive pedestrian spaces.
Distinctive wayﬁnding highlighting local attractions & healthy walking routes, for example, Christ Church Passage and Lane. Here, there is potential to link to The Open Door Centre and Cafe at Christ Church (a key community hub) to Hadley Green and the north end of the high street.
Distinctive wayﬁnding highlighting local attractions & healthy walking routes, for example, Nursery Row connecting Staplyton Road with the high street.
Distinctive wayﬁnding highlighting local attractions & healthy walking routes, for example, Fire Station Alley to Hadley Green.
Distinctive wayfinding highlighting local attractions & healthy walking routes, for example, walking routes such as the London Loop skirts the town centre and comes close to the north and south of the high street. The visiting walkers and cyclists could be better signposted to the town’s other attractions.
Vision for Old Courthouse Park children-focused/play projects extending beyond the park to surrounding greenspaces, for example, at Hadley Green this could include the use of the duck pond.
Network of ‘rewild’ pocket parks creating green oasis’s softening the public realm and effects of traffic. The ‘rewilding’ approach reflects the area’s rural heritage and surrounding green space’s identity. For example, the gap in the high street in front of Grove Court housing and garden.
Bringing in the ‘wider’ nature of the surrounding green space such as continuing to strengthen the link of trees from the station to Hadley Green.
There are a number of key sites in Chipping Barnet where redevelopment will both enliven the town centre and promote resilience by bringing new inhabitants/visitors and a diversity of uses. For example, redevelopment of the Army Reserve Depot (as included in the Draft Local Plan).
Initiative where local businesses offer public access to their toilet facilities and free refills of tap water, with the future potential for water fountains in the public spaces. For example, a new restaurant at the Hadley Green Gateway could offer access to their toilets and free water refills, which would help support the community’s use the neighbouring green space.