Thursday, 19 April 2018 16:59

A hotel worthy of historic site

Written by Nick Jones
Premier Inns says its new hotel will blend in well with terraced houses in Chipping Close Premier Inns says its new hotel will blend in well with terraced houses in Chipping Close
Nearby residents have been given an assurance that the design of the new Premier Inn planned for the historic site of Barnet Market will respect the local conservation area and will be in keeping with terraced houses across the road in Chipping Close.

After consultations with residents’ groups and Barnet Council’s conservation area officer, plans for a three-storey, 100-bed hotel are now being finalised.

Locate Developments, which will build the hotel for Premier Inns, expects to submit a planning application within the next few weeks.

If approval is granted, construction would start early next year and the hotel, together with its own restaurant, should be open for business by late 2019.

Premier Inns say it could create 50 to 60 jobs and will help generate extra trade in the town centre, especially in the evenings and at weekends.

Alongside the plans for a new Premier Inn, Hunter Estates, who manage the Spires shopping centre, are preparing to move the twice-weekly stalls market to the bandstand area in front of the Stapylton Road entrance to the Spires.

In addition, Hunter Estates is drawing up plans to re-landscape the green space opposite the bandstand so that it could be used as an extension of the market, perhaps with an area for stalls selling refreshments.

This green space – which currently has trees and benches – is owned by Barnet Council but Hunter Estates believe that it would be of greater use to the community if it provided extra space for the market and room for a seating area.

Locate Developments say they have been encouraged by the response from local community groups, including the Barnet Society and the Barnet Residents Association, and are anxious to reflect their views in finalising designs for the hotel.

The aim of the architects will be to ensure the new hotel matches the terraced housing in Chipping Close.

“This won’t be like the kind of a Premier Inn you find at an airport, but an individual design of traditional appearance with windows, buff bricks and red brick-work detailing, so that it complements the terraced housing opposite and is worthy of a conservation area.

This won’t be like the kind of a Premier Inn you find at an airport

“The aim is to be as sensitive as possible, so any Premier Inn sign will be discrete and not the purple pole you might see advertising a Premier Inn alongside motorways.

“The number of online searches for a Premier Inn in Barnet shows that there is demand for a hotel in the town centre and the company accepts this must be in keeping with the conservation area and the nature of such an historic site.”

If Barnet Council agrees the green space opposite the Stapylton Road entrance to The Spires might be re-landscaped to provide more space for a revamped MarketThe hotel will have its own restaurant facing St Albans Road.

This will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner, and most probably be one of Premier Inns’ Thyme-themed restaurants.

There will be no on-street car parking, but places will be available for guests at subsidised rates in the Spires’ car park; deliveries to the hotel will be via the existing service road to the Spires; and there will be hotel access and a drop off point for taxis at the rear of the hotel in Bruce Road.

Locate Developments said the plans for the hotel did not affect the group of buildings on the corner of Bruce Road and St Albans Road, currently occupied by Dory’s café and a former antiques business.

To smooth the transfer of the stalls market, Hunter Estates are prepared install permanent power points and water connections to the bandstand area.

There would be space for up to 20 stalls. Unused land beside Duke Bowls could be converted into a hard-standing area for fish and meat stalls.

Hunter Estates has already had discussions with Barnet Council over re-landscaping the green space opposite the bandstand, but further progress has been stalled until after the local authority elections in May.

Borough Markets is now advising Hunter Estates on the future development of the stalls market.

Three market operators are being invited to submit tenders to operate the market. They have been asked to submit ideas for attracting new stalls and possibly increasing the number of market days.

“Potential operators believe there is a viable future for Barnet’s historic market, but it desperately needs the kind of support it has not been getting in recent years and a pre-condition of any revamp is that it must accommodate and work with the current traders.”

National Car Parks has given the Spires shopping centre an assurance that there will be no repeat of the difficulties motorists have been experiencing when using the multi-storey car park.

Confusing and unreliable parking machines have prompted a barrage of complaints, and NCP says that in view of a breakdown in service standards, recently-imposed parking fines have been cancelled.

NCP has told the Spires that in future there will be regular checks of the machines; clearer signs and instructions for cards and cash; and whenever possible an attendant will be available to give motorists assistance



  • Comment Link Thursday, 19 April 2018 23:54 posted by Michael griffin

    Hi, yes it does seem as good as one could possibly rescue from the current position and I went in the library last night.
    I also agree that design is blending with the architecture of the Barnet area.
    It was mentioned to me the the Barnet Society had also looked at the plans just previous to my visit.
    I am moving from the area myself soon after 60 years many in Fitzjohn Ave right opposite the Red Lion.
    I have in that time a deterioration in all things which I considered to be a part of our community.
    Barnet Market is one. As I say having this near the bandstand area is quite a good rescuing of the situation and the old market certainly needed something but I am trying to work out how the original promise of the market in a it’s old prominent position being retained went out the window as it were. (It’s okay I know about exchange of managements.)
    Similarly we no longer have our football club in the area.
    I really miss the old library in the Church Passage and the Salisbury and the Old Bull as our local arts centre. I also feel strongly that nothing is made of Barnet’s incredible history from 1472”2 to Shakespeare Elizabethan times to Dickensian and jazz and all sorts of artists. I’m suggesting and have told the planners reps to at least call the Premier something which at least is related such as The Oliver Twist Inn. I will leave that with you. Good luck.

  • Comment Link Friday, 20 April 2018 08:30 posted by Richard Gardham

    Went to view the plans yesterday (as a resident of Chipping Close). Personally I was relieved. ‘Sympathetic’ is the word I’d use to describe it. I was impressed by the lengths they’d gone to to a) ensure the building was in character with the area, and b) minimise disruption to Chipping Close residents once the hotel is up and running. Of course, all of these things have to be delivered upon but it’s much better than I’d been fearing

  • Comment Link Friday, 20 April 2018 08:31 posted by Nick de Naeyer

    Sorry, but I wouldn't trust anyone to put a 'sympathetic' building there. The current planning dept would put the third Heathrow runway there for the right money

  • Comment Link Friday, 20 April 2018 08:31 posted by Barry Swain

    Perhaps this could be the eventual site of John Somerville's sculpture, The Phyrric Victory - kindly contributed by Premier Inns? Especially if they can actually find the 1471 Battle of Barnet site! Barnet will really rock!

  • Comment Link Friday, 20 April 2018 08:31 posted by Simon Cohen

    Interesting developments, let’s see what the plans look like

  • Comment Link Friday, 20 April 2018 14:13 posted by Penny Proctor

    How utterly ludicrous to build a Premier Inn with100 beds & not one car parking space!!!
    Subsidised parking in The Spires? Don’t make me laugh. Half the time there’s no spaces in there anyway.
    And when it’s full of hotel visitors where are the few shoppers still left supposed to park? It’s hard enough now to park in Barnet and the shops need all the customers they can attract.
    There’s a new hotel in Whetstone - about 7 minutes drive
    & a brand new one down the road in London Colney - 15 minutes drive
    Wake up Barnet -ban this hotel now before it’s too late

  • Comment Link Friday, 20 April 2018 21:11 posted by Andy

    I am worried again for Barnet. Starbucks closed, Prezzo closing... h and m looking very quiet. A horrible 3 shop wide supermarket. Why does Barnet not support anything good that opens?

  • Comment Link Sunday, 22 April 2018 13:46 posted by Will

    We'll I for one can't wait for Chipping Barnet to look like a Watford industrial estate.
    I'm deeply disappointed to hear a Premier Inn will be built in what is a scenic village-esque area. I fail to see the need for it, and living on Puller Road makes me worry our already strained parking situation will be worsened.
    I wonder which local official lined their pocket from this ridiculous decision?

  • Comment Link Sunday, 22 April 2018 15:02 posted by Emma haw

    They are not interesting developments Simon Cohen. Where do you live? Clearly not in Chipping Barnet. CAMPAIGN AGAINST IT

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 25 April 2018 11:34 posted by Richard Gardham

    "A horrible 3 shop wide supermarket"

    The Village Store is a great addition to the High Street in my opinion. It sells lots of things - from real ale to bakery delicacies - that you can't get anywhere else in Barnet.

    I tend to think that Barnet does support decent independent shops/restaurants. Melange and Spizzico never seem empty and are vastly superior to Prezzo (and Carluccio's) in my opinion. The Present has been going for years. The wonderful Joie de Vie is rammed on weekends and sells superior coffee to Starbucks. The likes of the Coffee Bean, Hopscotch and Ozzy's seem to be doing OK too. Hopefully the hotel will bring in more people to enjoy what Barnet has to offer, and will provide jobs for local youngsters while doing it.

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 25 April 2018 12:14 posted by Steven Struthers

    I not sure when the residents of Chipping Close were assurred about this build. But living on Chipping Close I can tell you we are against such a monstrosity... The proposed built is 10 metres away from my front window so I can easily say hello to my new daily neighbours. The prime entrance is on Chipping Close so that we can look forward to the sound of suitcases being pulled back and forth 24 hours a day. The street is already congested with cars using it for the Spires, the Market and now for a extra 100 cars locating the hotel. Chipping Close is a narrow street compared to other streets in the area and it is in my opinion this massive build is going to be over powering, with no garden or landscaping and no parking.

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 23 May 2018 18:16 posted by Wendy Marler

    There is already a ghastly Premier Inn in Borehamwood which is an eyesore. It doesn’t give me any confidence in this plan. This site is entirely inappropriate due to its location in our historic town. I am also concerned that we will lose another green patch where they plan to extend the market by the bus stops. The parking is difficult as it is and I feel it will get a lot worse.

  • Comment Link Monday, 23 July 2018 15:49 posted by Andy

    Richard gardham... take a look at the 2 out of 5 hygiene rating of the village food centre and tell me what a great shop it is. Don’t think so.

  • Comment Link Thursday, 09 August 2018 09:06 posted by Mr Green


    An alternative party, I'm sure would not allowed this scam, farsical and pointless Premier Inn project to go through.


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