Thursday, 10 August 2017 17:51

Views sought on Whalebones redevelopment

Written by
Robin Bishop, chair of the Barnet Society (left) was briefed by Culainn Shanahan on his plans to undertake a research study into future options for safeguarding as much as possible of the Whalebones green space Robin Bishop, chair of the Barnet Society (left) was briefed by Culainn Shanahan on his plans to undertake a research study into future options for safeguarding as much as possible of the Whalebones green space
A survey is to be undertaken to discover the extent of local interest and reaction to the prospect of housing development on the Whalebones green space, between Barnet Hospital and Wood Street.

Hill, a Waltham Abbey housebuilder, has been commissioned to prepare plans for “sensitive redevelopment” in parts of the 11 acres of woods and farmland that are owned by the trustees of the Whalebones estate.

Although not designated as green belt land, Whalebones is regarded as a significant green space within the Wood Street conservation area and local amenity groups have urged Barnet Council to recognise the importance of what is a significant tract of woodland, farmland and biodiversity.

To test local opinion and gather views on environmental safeguards and possible community involvement, a survey and research study has been launched by Culainn Shanahan, son of Patrick Shanahan and Helena Boland, owners of Whalebones house.

Mr Shanahan intends to speak to householders within a half mile radius of Whalebones; collate information on the status of the Whalebones green space; and discuss options with residents at a workshop at the end of August.

He can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via his website

His parents’ house is at the centre of the Whalebones green space, but is separate from the Whalebones estate. At the Wood Street entrance to the house are the historic whalebones after which the property is named.

We know that the developers are preparing plans for the possible redevelopment of the fields to the west and east of the house...

“We know that the developers are preparing plans for the possible redevelopment of the fields to the west and east of the house, and my parents have asked me to investigate options for local participation,” said Mr Shanahan, who has just completed a master’s degree in design at the Royal College of Art.

“We would like to hear from local wildlife groups, amenity associations and other interested organisations to discover what they think of Whalebones being redeveloped and whether they can think of alternative options.”

At a meeting with Mr Shanahan, Robin Bishop, chair of the Barnet Society, agreed that any attempt to pull together local thinking on the future of the Whalebone estate would be of value.

“There has already been a consultation exercise and representatives of the housebuilders Hill have held workshops with residents, but so far we have heard nothing further.

“We have suggested that the developers put forward options that can be considered by local amenity organisations, so that we can have the kind of input that has been promised.

“Our understanding is that come the autumn, we would expect a response of some kind and some indication of what kind of development is intended,” said Mr Bishop.

In a prospectus for the workshops held on behalf of Hill, the development team said that much of the existing green space would be retained, together with the mature trees; new parkland spaces would be opened up for use by the community; and a home on the site would be retained for the Barnet Guild of Artists and Barnet Beekeepers Association.


  • Comment Link Thursday, 10 August 2017 19:38 posted by ITSABOUTTIMESOMEONE STOODUPFOROURTOWN

    LEAVE BARNET ALONE ! Parasitic greedy developers ! Never in my life have I wanted to leave Barnet more than after the disgusting housing estates, flats and impossibly priced homes being built on our beautiful green spaces !!!!!! It makes me SICK

  • Comment Link Thursday, 10 August 2017 19:42 posted by Ann-Ken Holmes

    No way should this be allowed to happen

  • Comment Link Thursday, 10 August 2017 19:43 posted by Gail Hugman

    Oh dear.

  • Comment Link Thursday, 10 August 2017 19:43 posted by Linda Barnett Goldenstein


  • Comment Link Thursday, 10 August 2017 23:29 posted by Richard Sharp

    Should be left as a green space. There is no need for more building in this area. If you need more housing what about the old Victoria nursing home site?

  • Comment Link Thursday, 10 August 2017 23:49 posted by Jenny Petch

    No, no, no, no, it will not happen !

  • Comment Link Thursday, 10 August 2017 23:49 posted by Marian Hodgson

    No! What about a community farm if they can't (don't want to?) find a tenant for the farm buildings

  • Comment Link Friday, 11 August 2017 07:24 posted by J creek

    Ive said exactly the same. Veg and fruit could be grown and sold to help fund it. Also could get local schools involved

  • Comment Link Friday, 11 August 2017 13:16 posted by Mary Davies

    Barnet seems to attract the most disgusting developments leave this space green and undeveloped unl4ss somebody comes up with a suitable idea so that it can benefit the community

  • Comment Link Friday, 11 August 2017 13:28 posted by rob

    We need houses, there is a housing crisis in London. If a spot a 15 minute walk to the tube, sandwiched between a busy hospital and a main road can't be used then where can?

    It's not a public park, it's an empty field. i think we need to stop being nimbys about everything and support high quality development in our area, if we don't support good development it will eventually be imposed on us by central govt, those people suffering because of the lack of houses have votes too.

    The older generation have their houses and have pulled the ladder up behind them, we need houses, this is a perfect spot to build them.

  • Comment Link Friday, 11 August 2017 13:38 posted by Caroline Lever

    I agree with the above a community farm is acceptable more new buildings NO!

  • Comment Link Friday, 11 August 2017 14:34 posted by J. Stocks

    The only way I would even consider supporting development on this much cherished site would be if the development there were to be truly affordable housing and/or some kind of social housing - maybe managed by a reputable and environmentally sensitive Housing Association - one must exist surely ? All the developments currently underway throughout High Barnet and the environs are completely out of reach of ordinary people. New properties at Elm Banks and off Mays Lane are just a joke !Rental property is also completely unaffordable, especially for young people. I couldn't support development on this site unless it addressed this issue.. I don't care how tasteful it is cracked up to be.

  • Comment Link Friday, 11 August 2017 14:56 posted by

    It should not be built on! Barnet is becoming over developed and over populated.The local services are already at breaking point. If anything, turn it into an area that can be enjoyed by the community that is already here e.g. A park, communal gardens, a water park etc etc.

  • Comment Link Friday, 11 August 2017 16:39 posted by Sue

    So sad Barnet is a lovely place but cramming more houses on to green spaces is just a big NO
    No No It must not happen !!

  • Comment Link Friday, 11 August 2017 17:08 posted by Carla Herrmann

    Let us be clear about this. This area is already over-developed, none of these alien raw apartment blocks add anything to the area. They exist only to benefit greedy developers and foreign investors and why should we as residents be expected to put up with the continued vandalism of our once attractive Arkley, particularly Whalebones.

  • Comment Link Saturday, 12 August 2017 01:38 posted by Teresa Rollinshaw

    This end of Barnet we need affordable housing, children's play area, small library, doctors surgery, general store, and green space. Our community is going to have to expand whether we like it or not to accommodate our young children and grandchildren in the future. Expensive houses are a must to pay for the affordable or social. So developers, council, government please pull together to make this happen. Eglw

  • Comment Link Saturday, 12 August 2017 08:19 posted by GB

    Community Farm is a lovely idea for the many families and young children in the area!!
    Agree that while housing is in need in London, all that would result from this would be unrealistically priced new properties and probably yet more foreign investors. Have you seen the asking prices for the houses at Elmbank?!?

  • Comment Link Sunday, 13 August 2017 01:28 posted by Cynthia Price

    This is always the problem in these 'developed' areas ;the houses are for the rich and often stand empty for some time. The bleeding hearts who say people from London are in desperate need of houses need to think again . If people are living in London they have money and a place to live. a people's farm would seem a brilliant alternative where people could go and learn and relax, school children too would benefit from a place like this especially as the bee keepers are already there.

  • Comment Link Sunday, 13 August 2017 11:13 posted by Jenny Kobish

    This is one of the last green spaces left in Barnet. We are in danger of overdeveloping our town. We have many ugly new builds quite out of keeping with the area and unaffordable to most. Miss Cowing left Whalebones to be enjoyed by Barnet residents. Surely a way can be found to look after it without resorting to selling the land.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 15 August 2017 09:11 posted by SZ

    This is private land. I don't see how Miss Cowlings left it to be enjoyed by Barnet Residents. I couldn't go on the land tomorrow - its's private property. A community farm would be great- but who would fund it.

    I don't want houses there it would be over developed. Elm Bank (opposite the Arkley)development is too busy as it is.

    I am against a development from a selfish point of view but I don't really see the alternative on private land.

  • Comment Link Monday, 21 August 2017 15:03 posted by Culainn Boland-Shanahan

    Have a say about what development on Whalebones means to you.
    You’re invited to a drop in workshop at the Art’s Guild in Whalebones this Thursday 24th August any time between 6:30pm till 8pm. This in an opportunity to voice you opinion about what you would and would not like to see change in the local area, which development on Whalebones might influence.
    I’ve already spoken with 40 different residents in their homes and on their doorsteps. This workshop brings together that research, and asks why local residents think things like green space, affordable housing and parking restrictions matter to them.
    This workshop will define part of a report I am doing on Whalebones Park for the owners of The Whalebones house, who would be greatly affected by any development on the land surrounding them.
    If you'd like to attend, please do leave a comment.
    I'm also happy to answer any questions you might have.

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 23 August 2017 00:25 posted by Gabi Fordham

    Why do the owners of Whalebones need to develop the land?
    My family and i were attracted to living in this area 15 yrs ago because of the open ness and the greenery, i find it very sad that we don't value it more. The parking/ traffic around this part of Barnet is terrible as the hospital charges extortionat fees to park and forces cars to park along wood st and surrounding areas.
    Along with QE Boys traffic this will only become worse if space for turnings into a new development goes ahead and there are fewer spaces to park on wood st.
    Don't get me wrong we need more places to live but i doubt our children will be able to afford these homes, the new developments in Barnet are also ugly and will look shoddy in a few years time. Use some imagination.......


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