Character Area

Station Approach

The Station Approach is a key gateway at the southern end of Chipping Barnet town centre. With High Barnet Underground station (located at the southern edge) it sees frequent footfall from residents, commuters and visitors through it. This area is also a key connection to the south of Chipping Barnet, for those visiting from the Underhill area, and the Dollis Valley Estate. Presently visitors journeying from the Station face a steep incline – inaccessible to those with mobility issues – via a densely wooded area that can feel particularly unsafe at night. Combined with little signage, the approach to the town centre is currently unclear and unwelcoming.

As a critical gateway into the town centre, the planned TfL development of High Barnet tube station must strengthen the relationship between the Station and the town centre. Proposals should prioritise the accessibility of the Station by foot, and enliven the character of the station buildings and the public realm through locally specific signage and wayfinding. They should also preserve and improve the copse woodland area to create a unique and safe entrance, making active travel easy to and from the Station.

The high street at this end of the town centre is secondary to the main run of shops and civic attractions further north and struggles to engage first-time visitors to the town centre, with notable buildings not offering an active presence on the high street. When combined with the inadequate provision of greenery and seating on pavements, wide congested roads and limited places to cross, the station entrance feels sparse and run down.

A key opportunity for this area is to utilise its proximity to public transport and larger underutilised building stock – particularly the police station and Graseby House – to create new anchor employment spaces within the town centre. Establishing a significant daily workforce for this area could help to increase dwell time, which in turn could support existing and new retail and leisure uses to open. Furthermore, complementary measures to improve the public realm are vital to enhancing the character of this area. These should prioritise additional greening, creating places to sit and rest whilst navigating the hilly topography and junction improvements for easier and safer pedestrian movement around the area.

Potential Opportunities