Monday, 11 January 2021 16:06

Comment on the Council’s draft Chipping Barnet Community Plan

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The Plan is out for online public consultation until 19 February. You’re invited to comment on the key principles of the plan, and to choose five project ideas for further development.

In 2019, the Barnet Society – as part of the Chipping Barnet Town Team – asked Barnet Council for a Community Plan to enable us to bid for government, private or charitable funds to help regenerate the town centre. The Council agreed, and a team of design and business consultants led by Architecture 00 was recruited last year to work with local stakeholders to agree a shared vision for the future. It’s a unique chance for us to vote on our priorities for the town centre for the 21st century.

It will also identify five deliverable regeneration projects. By having a range of proposals already professionally analysed, designed and costed in advance, the Council and Town Team will be well-placed to pitch for future funding.

The Community Plan process was launched in January 2020; virtual workshops took place in early spring; and a long list of possible projects was discussed in May with stakeholders, including the Society. A public exhibition was to have to gone online in August, but was delayed by Covid-19.

The delay may not have been a bad thing. It’s forced all of us to radically rethink what kind of town centre would work in future. Perhaps surprisingly, much of the consultants’ original analysis is still relevant. But unsurprisingly, the need for solutions is even more urgent.

By the way, if all this seems purely High Barnet-focused, it isn’t. A more thriving town centre would mean more jobs, retail and cultural choices for residents in New Barnet and Underhill, Arkley and Hadley.

The Plan lists seven key principles, such as ‘We want high street businesses and ventures to thrive’ and ‘More reasons to visit and stay in the town centre throughout the day, evening and week’. It also gives reasons, for example to ‘Adapt to new work patterns’ and ‘Develop an outdoor visitor economy around rambling’.

It divides the town centre into four character areas, with helpful bird’s-eye views onto which possible projects are mapped.

Finally, it offers 31 ‘emerging project ideas’. These aren’t necessarily buildings; in fact few buildings are proposed. But several ideas call for imaginative re-purposing of under-used or vacant properties for e.g. co-working space. There are also other interesting proposals including a community fund, seasonal events celebrating Chipping Barnet, a community energy company, and a network of rewilded pocket parks.

The draft Community Plan is out for public consultation here until 19 February. If you or someone you know is unable to view the website, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Summary versions are also available via Select and Collect at Chipping Barnet Library; call 020 8359 4040 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays or Saturdays.

The Barnet Society Committee is setting up a sub-group to look at the Plan in detail, and we’ll publish our draft thoughts on our website later this month. Your comments will be welcome.

2 comments

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 20 January 2021 12:30 posted by Ben Rabin

    If you withdraw all parking charges and replace it with free parking if shoppers produced a receipt from one of the shops in Barnet
    Limiting the time would deter long term parkers
    Barnet would the become attractive shoppers

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  • Comment Link Tuesday, 02 February 2021 14:28 posted by Nat Dawbarn

    There are so many good ideas to choose from it’s hard to know where to start, though it has to be right to try to throw some weight behind a variety that will benefit a range of groups. Most of these look great - and it’s really encouraging to see such a high quality document - but at first glance I do worry that the immediate interests of the less visible corners of the town are slightly overlooked. Can these excellent ideas be integrated with some proposals to enhance the streetscape and improve links with the parades on Bells Hill and Mays Lane and the open square at the bottom of Chesterfield Road? All have real character and great potential and they’re an integral part of our town.

    Four other random things not in the proposals but compatible with many of them: a revival and expansion of the blue enamel street names still on some the roads behind the Spires to give the town a subtle but special sense of place distinct from the corporate borough branding; reinstating the small pond at the Black Horse end of Ravenscroft Park - good for biodiversity; greening of some overly wide junctions - not just at the top of Barnet Hill, but outside the Arkley pub and the corner of Alston Road and Salisbury Road; and restoring the Hadley Green drinking fountain.

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