A residents' campaign to "Save The Spires" is urging Barnet Council to intervene to provide safeguards about the long-term future of High Barnet's shopping centre amid continuing uncertainty about the financial status of its owners.


Barnet Council hold the freehold of The Spires’ site and campaigners handing out leaflets at Barnet Market called on local councillors to take action to preserve a “safe, quiet and much used” shopping centre.

The residents’ group say The Spires’ covered walkways and squares have become an important civic space within the town centre.

They believe the council has a responsibility to ensure that what has become an important focal point in the middle of the High Street should be maintained and remain open to the public.

“Barnet councillors should understand the significance of the pedestrian area within The Spires,” said Diana Rae, one of the campaign organisers.

“The Spires is somewhere we can meet up and chat with our friends, do our shopping or have a cup of tea or coffee.

“It is out of the rain and away from the noise of traffic in the High Street.

“The purpose of our demonstration is to urge the council to preserve the shopping centre and make it even more appealing with seats and more plants.” 

Administrators appointed by the High Court are now in charge of BYM Capital, which became insolvent in November after purchasing The Spires for £28 million in 2021 and which had previously announced plans to redevelop much of the site with blocks of flats.

In a statement to the Barnet Society, Barnet Council says it is in contact with the administrators and will continue to “track developments carefully”.

Although BYM Capital had gone into administration, the council insisted that the day-to-day operation of The Spires was held under “separate ownership” and was not in the hands of the administrators.

However, the administrators have yet to comment on the financial status of the separate operating company Permitted Developments Investments No 18 Ltd Notices about its future have been published by the Registrar of Companies in the London Gazette.

BYM Capital have insisted that it does intend to continue with its plan to demolish much of The Spires to make room for five and six-storey blocks of flats to be built alongside a new thoroughfare from the High Street to Stapylton Road.

The Save the Spires campaign fear that replacing many of the shops with flats on either side of the new thoroughfare will create “a cold dark walkway” which will no longer have the covered and sheltered space that exists, for example, at the entrance to the Waitrose supermarket.

Ian Callander, one of the campaigners, said the numerous stalls and crowds of visitors and shoppers who thronged the walkways of The Spires during Barnet’s annual Christmas fayre showed what could be achieved.

“If there was space allocated inside The Spires for small traders and pop-up stalls that would be an added draw and provide and income stream, especially a time when some of the shop units are empty and multiple retail chains are retreating from many town centres.”