Emerging Project

Development Growth Opportunity

Idea: Civic and Employment led Mixed-use development to support and enliven the town centre

There are several key sites in Chipping Barnet (as identified within the Local Plan and the Town Centre Strategy 2013) where sensitive mixed-use redevelopment will both enliven the town centre, promote resilience by bringing new inhabitants/ visitors and a diversity of uses, and unlock investment to benefit the wider high street. Proposals should:

  • Be developed in a character that is specific to Chipping Barnet
  • Demonstrate that they meet the aspirations of the local community (as set out in this plan)
  • Include ‘Community Briefs’ so that investment into these sites prioritise community benefit, with complementary civic and employment uses that support the town centre
  • Support the existing town centre functions (businesses, civic institutions and residents) and retain employment uses
  • Promote positive placemaking, including active street frontages and encourage activities on the high street
  • Activate positive spaces behind the high street, such as courtyard and yards
  • Encourage pedestrian and cyclists permeability to the high street
  • Be an appropriate scale and density

The community want any development plans to clearly demonstrate through meaningful engagement how it will add to the social infrastructure of the town centre.

All development proposals will be subject to a full planning application, as relevant.

Why it is useful:

  • Opportunity to provide much needed affordable housing (as specified in the Borough’s Affordable Housing Strategy). Particularly for those who are elderly and/ or vulnerable, and keyworkers, all of who would benefit from close proximity to the town centre
  • Opportunity to provide space for civic and community activities and local employment opportunities
  • Increase visitors and inhabitants to enliven and support the town centre economy
  • Secure additional local benefit in the form of improved access to green and public space, higher environmental sustainability contributions, or providing community resilience through new ways of living (as in the Older Women’s Co-Housing example)
  • Repair gaps in the urban fabric that detract from the town centre

Key Opportunity Sites Identified within the Draft Local Plan &/or Chipping Barnet Town Centre Strategy

1. High Barnet Tube – housing + community facility

Potential to benefit the south end of the High Street with increased footfall, and improved connection and pedestrian access with the station. Any proposals need careful consideration to be complimentary and not detract from the High Street. Residents also suggested the potential for electric bike rental and electric car share at the station. (Draft Local Plan identified site)

2. Army Reserve – housing + community + workspace

Potential for light industrial/creative workspace due to edge-of-town-centre location. Close proximity to the High Street provides potential to increase permeability through activating courtyards to the adjacent buildings on the High Street and Nursery Row. (Draft Local Plan and Chipping Barnet Town Centre Strategy (2013) identified site)

3. The Spires – retail + workspace + civic + leisure + housing

Any future redevelopment of the Spires to be employment led, incorporating retail, workspace, civic and leisure functions alongside any housing. Support diverse retail offer, including local and independent businesses, and growing the market. Opportunity to locate community services to have a High Street frontage, make the market more prominent and strengthen the route to Stapylton Road. (Chipping Barnet Town Centre Strategy (2013) identified site)

Who needs to be involved:

  • Site Owners: Lead proposals for their site
  • Council: Brokering role to support the identification of local groups and workspace operators. Also, the council’s planning authority role.
  • Community: Key consultees

How to get started:

  • Council partner landowners to develop feasibility for sites. Barnet’s Growth Strategy recognises the Council’s role in bringing forward meaningful development, especially within town centres and complex land ownerships
  • Assess the impact of any development on the town centre and site neighbours, including a parking study, especially important when using a current car park, and impact assessment on local services and businesses
  • Assess the impact of any development on the town centre and site neighbours, including impact assessments on parking and transport, as well as local services and businesses
  • Test ideas with key stakeholders – identify local community groups and initiatives to collaborate with early in the process to ensure civic spaces are designed to meet local group(s) specific needs
  • Identify workspace partners to collaborate with early in the process to develop an offer that is specific and meets local demand
  • Early discussions with council prior to pre-application, to support the development of project briefs and identify local organisations and groups and/or workspace operators that could be incorporated into the development

Viability considerations:

  • Funding: Privately funded by site owners
  • Site Ownership: Transport for London (station site), The Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association for Greater London (Army Reserve site), Spires Barnet (The Spires site – 150-year lease from 1989, freehold Barnet Council)
  • Resource: Covered by the developer of the site

Example: Older Women’s Co-Housing, Chipping Barnet

A group of women over fifty who have created a community in a new, purpose-built block of flats in Chipping Barnet adjacent to the high street. As an alternative to living alone, with communal spaces and activities. Models of living such as this support a more sustainable social care system, create a supportive community and provide valuable lessons in delivery for other developments to learn from.

Example: Bernard Works – New mixed-use typology

Haringey Council project to develop a new typology combining live/work units with affordable rented residential units and commercial space. The proposed scheme will offer a mix of employment and residential, uses and tenures, with the ambition to develop a new creative community. The commercial space will be pre-let to a social enterprise operator.