Developers seeking to build 554 homes on the former gas works site in New Barnet have released new images to show how the height and density of the proposed tower blocks has been reduced in a fresh attempt to gain planning approval.
The latest plans for what will be named the Victoria Quarter are now out for consultation with the deadline of Wednesday 30 June for responses and feedback.
Fairview New Homes and One Housing – which will be holding an online webinar on Monday 21 June – say the reduction in the scale of the development is aimed at meeting earlier objections while keeping the scheme “viable and deliverable”.
Barnet Council’s planning committee was unanimous in 2020 in rejecting the previous application after councillors condemned the scheme for being a “horrendous, high-rise monstrosity” totally out of keeping with the village-like atmosphere of the locality.
In responding to the criticism, the developers have reduced the total number of new homes for the site from 652 to 554 and reduced the maximum height of the tower blocks from ten storeys to eight storeys.
There will also be more family homes, including a number of four-bedroom properties, and the 334 parking spaces will ensure that just over 60 per cent of the new properties have access to car parking.
New artist’s impressions are intended to show how the density and massing of the development has been reduced.
The image above shows how blocks along the spine road through the development have been reduced to six to seven storeys and will have more space between them to allow for more landscaping.
To minimise the impact at the closest point to existing residents in New Barnet, design changes have also been made to the two blocks that will face Victoria Road, and the developers say the height and massing is similar to the plans that were approved in 2017.
One of the blocks has been reduced in height with a “five storey shoulder” designed to create an extended view through the site.
Another image shows the view towards the park plaza near the entrance to the Victoria Quarter development.
In their presentation, the developers say their scheme is designed to integrate with the adjoining Victoria Recreation Ground and improved access will be provided by a gateway garden and green pedestrian routes.
As the future landlord of the development, One Housing, a part Greater London Authority funded housing charity, will be responsible for the maintenance and safety of the site.
Other improvements promised by the developers include the removal of the overhead walkway from the Victoria Recreation Ground to the pedestrian tunnel under the main railway line and its replacement with a well-lit new path.
In addition, there will be improvements to road safety in the immediate neighbourhood with a new zebra crossing on the Victoria Road and improved lighting under the railway bridge on East Barnet Road.
Funding will also be provided for a public consultation for the possible introduction of a controlled parking zone for the local community.
Fairview and One Housing plan to submit a revised application to Barnet Council for planning approval in July with hope that a decision is made during the winter of 2021. For further information see victoriaquarter.consultationonline.co.uk The website includes a sign-up link for the webinar.