Comer Homes appreciate that there have been concerns raised about these proposals. This page identifies the main issues raised and presents the team’s response.
What will be provided for the school on the site?
There will be a new purpose-built secondary school, who are currently operating out of temporary buildings on-site.
New sports facilities will also be provided on the site, including:
- an all-weather pitch at ground floor; and
- an indoor gymnasium and multi-use games area at roof level
These facilities will also be available for the wider public to hire outside of school hours.
What about nursery provision?
An enlarged nursery in the centre of the scheme which will re-provide the existing nursery use established on the site, but also provide a much larger facility to accommodate for the additional demand for childcare.
What workspace will there be in addition to the homes?
New workspace, including affordable workspace, will be provided throughout the heart of the scheme. This will expand upon the offer currently provided within the Comer Innovation Centre which provides valuable workspace for a range of small and medium sized businesses. Some of this workspace will be provided as affordable which will be capped at reduced market rents to ensure access for all.
A New Community Facilitiy
How will you help to create a new community?
A dedicated community facility will be provided on the site. This is envisaged to be run by faith leaders (albeit not as a dedicated place of worship) to provide a valuable facility for the local community.
Pressure on Local Services
What are you doing about doctors surgeries, dentists and pressure on our local services?
We are meeting Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group (the CCG, which is responsible for providing local health services) to discuss whether a new GP surgery might be provided on the site should they require this. There will be significant financial contributions to local infrastructure in the form of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) payments in the region of £70m.
This is an increase of approx. £40m from the 2020 permission due to increases in the charging schedule very recently adopted by the council, and the increase in floor area.
The CIL money is allocated through 3 area committees in Barnet. We would encourage anyone to discuss the CIL money with their local councillors so that this allocation is put towards meaningful projects locally, rather than elsewhere across Chipping Barnet.
New parkland for everybody
New parkland will feature throughout the site. This will be accessible for the whole community to benefit from, including areas of play space, formal lawn, and informal gardens.
There will be a significant increase in the quantity and quality of trees on site. Approximately 75 lower quality trees will be removed and replaced with the planting of approximately 650 new trees providing a mix of species across the site.
There will be a demonstrable Biodiversity Net Gain across the site. We will deliver a range of urban greening measures through provision of parkland, tree lined road networks and green roofs achieving a score exceeding policy requirements.
Response to Concerns
Tower Blocks/Tall Buildings
The topography and scale of the site allow for taller buildings to be accommodated without creating any harm for the neighbouring residential properties.
The northern part of the site at Weirdale and Ashbourne Avenues is approximately 27 metres higher than the lowest part of the site down by the Brunswick Park entrance in the south-eastern corner of the site.
The unique nature of this level differences enables the scheme to provide additional height in the lower portions of the site, away from sensitive boundaries with neighbours, with building heights stepped down to the sensitive boundaries at the north, east and south with 2/3 storey housing on each of these boundaries, alongside the School.
The application was accompanied by a full suite of technical and environmental documentation to assess the impact of the proposed scheme on the surrounding context and the residential properties.
Those assessments identified that there is no actual harm caused by the proposed scheme on the surrounding environment due to the massing and layout considerations outlined above in respect of loss of light, privacy or any overlooking.
‘Rat-Runs’ and site access via Weirdale / Ashbourne Avenues
The masterplan will not allow for a ‘rat run’ to be created through the site due to the access and exit routes being established and the measures incorporated into the road network within the site to prioritise pedestrians and reduce speeds.
The access point at the northern entrance to the site will not be available for vehicles, and will solely provide pedestrian and cyclist access to the site. This will avoid the potential for that entrance point being used as a rat-run.
To avoid the possibility of a rat-run between Oakleigh Road South and Brunswick Park Road, a series of traffic calming measures are being proposed through the detailed landscaping and highways arrangements including road bumps, pedestrian crossings, narrowing of roads at certain points, and the like all which will contribute towards a pedestrian friendly environment reducing the ability for it to be used as a rat-run.