Sunday, 30 July 2017 09:33

Blot on landscape lives on

Written by
The Union Street shop The Union Street shop
To the dismay of its owner, Barnet Council has refused planning permission for a semi-derelict shop in Union Street, High Barnet, to be demolished and replaced with either a two-bedroom house or two one-bedroom flats.

Fifty-five letters of support were registered with the council, but in view of what was to be “a handful of objections” the application was rejected by the planning committee (19.7.2017)

Roger Newell, owner of the vacant, lock-up shop beside Coe’s Alley, is dismayed that the council decided his “eyesore” in Union Street should be preserved.

“If this shop is left empty for another decade, its appearance will not improve, and the dereliction will get worse. I find it unbelievable that the local planners rejected my plan to remove this blot from the local landscape.

“I am not going to beat myself up because this scheme represented my best shot at a balanced compromise.

“I don’t intend to make a decision until I have recovered from planning fatigue, coupled with dismay at the Luddites who had no empathy or concern for the views of the overwhelming majority of residents.”

Mr Newell’s application to demolish the vacant shop with a house, or two flats, in keeping with the scale and brickwork of adjoining Victorian terraced houses did command widespread local support.

He said backers of the plan included the Chipping Barnet MP, Theresa Villiers, the Barnet Society, the Union Street Residents Association, and the Barnet Residents Association, which said it was disappointed at the council’s failure to deal with an unsightly commercial building that should not be left in its current state of decay.

The shop has been vacant for the last 12 years, after Mr Newell finally closed what had been a green grocery and florist.


  • Comment Link Sunday, 30 July 2017 10:02 posted by Ken Rowland

    Appalling decision. Totally wrong call by Barnet Council to retain this eyesore. Don't loose heart Roger.

  • Comment Link Sunday, 30 July 2017 17:30 posted by Rory Bennett

    Would be a nice house at 6 foot by 20 foot

  • Comment Link Sunday, 30 July 2017 17:31 posted by Nick de Naeyer

    Yet LBB will approve the destruction of local landmark buildings and permit monstrosities to be built in their place.

    Difficult to think of anything other than money that can get PP pushed through.

  • Comment Link Sunday, 30 July 2017 17:33 posted by Ken Rowland

    Appalling decision

  • Comment Link Sunday, 30 July 2017 17:34 posted by Martin Slane

    I can understand....there are houses about 2 metres behind it and it would effect their light

  • Comment Link Sunday, 30 July 2017 17:35 posted by Halcyon Ransom

    Maybe if Teresa Villiers backed it it wasn't actually that good in the first place. Though puzzling none the less that the council didn't back a plan to build more flats and preferred to conserve a piece of building history

  • Comment Link Sunday, 30 July 2017 17:38 posted by Peter Robert Williams

    No good reason. Maybe he forgot the bribes?

  • Comment Link Monday, 31 July 2017 08:14 posted by Julie Thorp

    Yet they demolished a pub with history and heritage to build the most ugly town houses !!! This council is f****d up!!!!

  • Comment Link Friday, 25 August 2017 10:26 posted by Jeff morris

    Shop on union street! NOT at 'Blot on Landscape'
    Really! I have to say I'm gobsmacked at your support to convert this piece of history into yet more residential!
    We have enough parking problems in barnet without adding to the problem.
    The question must be asked, why doesnt the existing owner try to lease the shop and allow a new tenant to renovate it?
    Why has he kept it empty for 3 years?
    Why has barnet council not served notice for him to carry out external work to the property?
    It begs the question: is this just another property developer biding their time in the hope they can make a tidy profit by making yet another new home.
    And i feel, as im sure many others do, The Barnet Society should not be supporting private developers.

  • Comment Link Monday, 25 September 2017 11:17 posted by Edmund Steggles

    Surely the Barnet Society cannot be suggesting that the Council was wrong to refuse permission for this development. One has only to study the details of the application and read the Area Planning Committee's report to understand that refusal was entirely logical and correct. It would have been helpful if the article had given some details of the reasons for refusal. It is nonsense to suggest that the Committee based their decision on "a handful of objections".


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