Tag Archives: planning

B&Q Site: Approval on Hold

Our neighbours in NorthWestTWO advise …

Barnet Council have been told not to approve Montreaux’s application yet, to give the Secretary of State time to decide whether or not to get involved.

The letter went to Barnet last Friday. The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities “hereby directs your Council not to grant permission on this application without specific authorisation. This direction is issued to enable him to consider whether he should direct … that the application should be referred to him for determination.”

So as things stand, the Secretary of State (Michael Gove) hasn’t decided yet whether to call it in.

If he does call it in, then an inspector will carry out a public inquiry and make a report with recommendations. The Secretary of State would then grant planning permission or refuse the application. That’s how it usually goes, anyway. We’re not experts but we know it varies – sometimes the Secretary of State will invite further representations after the inspector’s reported, for example.

If he doesn’t call it in, Barnet will be free to go ahead and issue approval – the planning committee voted to approve it last September, and the Mayor of London has told Barnet he’s not getting involved.

More details here.

B&Q Site – Latest

As we previously noted, Barnet provided further opportunity to comment on the revised plans for the B&Q site.

The NorthWestTwo Residents Association among many others have repeatedly voiced their opposition to the plan. You can read their latest objection here.

The online consultation has now ended and the planning outcome is pending. However, comments can still be emailed to planning.consultation@barnet.gov.uk and will be accepted up until the time that the decision is made.

Barnet Local Plan

“The Local Plan sets out a vision for how Barnet will change as a place over the next 15 years and forms a strategy which emphasises the borough’s attractiveness as a place to live, work and visit. The emerging plan will replace the existing 2012 Local Plan and will provide the main basis upon which future planning applications will be determined.”

You can have your say here: https://engage.barnet.gov.uk/local-plan-reg-19.

B&Q Site – Another Chance to Object (Before 16th July)

Ben Tansley from NorthWestTwo writes …

You’ve probably already seen that Montreaux have made a last-minute amendment to their plans, cutting the height of the tallest block to 19 storeys, leaving tower blocks 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and now again 19 storeys high – still more than twice the height of anything else in Cricklewood. This reduced the proposal by just 50 residential units, cutting it to 1050 units. They may have hoped this would make it more acceptable to the planning committee on 13 July 2021, but now there’s a new consultation and it can’t go to committee until September.

NorthWestTwo Residents Association, the Railway Terraces Residents Association and many, many others remain thoroughly opposed to this application. It’s still overwhelming, overbearing and out of keeping, too dense, and too much of a burden on local amenities, while its purported benefits crumble on examination.

Initial consultation was undertaken in October 2018, with letters being sent to 780 addresses. Following revisions to the scheme, an additional consultation was undertaken in June 2019. In total 480 objections were received, although only 81 of these objections were received in relation to the revised scheme.

You may be very tired of this and feel you’ve said so much already! Even so, it could be very worthwhile to go to Barnet’s planning portal again and simply say you still object. The new deadline is 16th July.

You may also have thought of more to say, in which case do add it and go into as much detail as you want! As the website itself says “If your comment is over 2000 characters please submit another online comment, begin the comment with ‘Continued’.” Lots of us have done that. But most of all, do make sure your previous objection isn’t dismissed or discounted – say it still stands!

The developers have not provided a new picture but it will look roughly like this. The top of the 25-storey block has been reduced by just 6 storeys.

B&Q Site Development

Ben Tansley writes …

I have news about the B&Q site. Barnet Council have opened a new consultation on the planning application. They’ve done so without any publicity. They have not put notices on the street, or emailed or written to any of the thousand objectors to the plans. It’s running for just two weeks, 17 May to 31 May 2021. They say this is because they’ve received additional information, an “Urban Design Study” submitted by Montreaux that has new “photorealistic” images of the development and much praise for its elegance and generosity.

We’re concerned that the planning officers’ recommendation might claim that the thousand objections have largely been refuted by this Study. So NorthWestTwo is publicising the consultation on our website Cricklewood B&Q site – May 2021 consultation – NorthWestTWO and elsewhere.

You’ll find images and extracts from the study on that web page, plus links to that and to last month’s revised transport assessment, which is also seriously flawed.

Cricklewood Tower Block?

Our sister organisation, NorthWestTWO, has drawn our attention to a proposal to build a 15-storey tower block in Cricklewood. The deadline for comments is 7 December.

The full details can be found at https://www.northwesttwo.org.uk/1-13/ where you will also find a link to Barnet’s planning site if you would like to comment.

Ben Tansley from NorthWestTWO writes …

The plan is to tear down the rather sad 3-storey block at 1-13 Cricklewood Lane (where the Co-op, Lucky 7 and others are) and the one behind it where the health centre is. They’ll be replaced by two 6-storey blocks and one 15-storey tower block.

Obviously this block would tower over everything around it and be totally out of keeping with the rest of Cricklewood. The developers’ answer is that the B&Q site and a lot more besides will all be redeveloped with about 20 new buildings! All that will hide their tower block and make it look small.

But they don’t own the B&Q site or the rest, nobody’s put in planning applications for it and Barnet council haven’t produced any master-plan for it. This is something the developers have dreamt up to justify their tower block. Of course, if this building’s approved, it will blight the land around it and limit the options for anyone thinking of building on it. Extreme-density, high-rise development will be that much more likely.

There’s a lot more wrong with this application – we haven’t even mentioned the transport issues, the lack of affordable housing, or so much else. You’ll find some of it on our website.

We don’t know yet when the planning committee will meet. They’ll only be able to accept or reject the application; they can’t strike a deal. If they reject it, the developers can appeal and then come back with a better plan. So if you want the Co-op building redeveloped but you don’t want a tower-block, do object to this application.

It’s worth remembering that this isn’t part of Brent Cross Cricklewood. The waste transfer station and the rail freight facility that were approved this year already had outline approval. A lot depended on them. This is different. The committee can reject it without endangering anything else; indeed, it’s the other way round. Local councillors Zinkin and Clarke have sat side-by-side and confirmed it has cross-party opposition. Six local residents associations stand together in opposing it.

To show to the committee how unacceptable this is, more voices are needed.