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The renovation of the Barnet subdivision rejected by the advisers UK News

A major housing regeneration project was rejected by councilors – despite the support of the majority of existing residents.

Members of the Barnet board’s strategic planning committee criticized plans for the regeneration of the Douglas Bader Park estate in Colindale at a meeting on Tuesday, criticizing the design of the program and the standard of social housing.

Developers Home Group and Hill wanted to demolish 271 existing homes on the estate, which dates back to the 1970s, and build up to 753 new ones in blocks of up to nine stories.

In a ballot of existing residents with a turnout of 90 percent, more than three-quarters voted in favor of a complete redevelopment of the estate.

But the committee rejected the recommendation of council planning officers to approve the project and is expected to deny permission at a meeting later this month.

Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting, an opponent of the plans, who said he was speaking on behalf of the president of the New Colindale Residents’ Association, claimed there had been “minimal consultation” on the project and warned that there were not enough houses.

Cllr Gill Sargeant, a union adviser from Colindale, told the meeting there was a huge demand for social housing in the area and described the development as a “missed opportunity” to provide additional social housing.

But a proponent of the project, who said he was president of the estate’s tenants association, claimed residents – including the elderly and disabled – were suffering from humidity in their homes and that the regeneration would modernize them. buildings.

Tim Sturgess, an agent speaking on behalf of the developer, said the program would “provide high-quality homes that meet customer needs,” saying existing blocks were affected by long-term humidity and low energy efficiency, while “structural problems” had also been identified.

Asked by committee members, Mr Sturgess said a viability assessment determined that 40 percent of affordable housing was the maximum the development could offer.

Labor members of the committee criticized the level of social housing on the program. The plans offered social rental housing for existing residents exercising their right of return, with the remaining affordable units set at higher cost London affordable rent levels.

Cllr Tim Roberts (Labor, Underhill) said: “If we go ahead, every social housing is replaced with exactly the same, and we don’t get social housing in Barnet anymore, we will have big problems the future.”

Conservative advisers criticized the design of the project. Cllr Stephen Sowerby (Curator, Oakleigh) described the proposals as “tasteless”, “irrelevant” and “one of the worst types of design I’ve seen at Colindale in the past ten years”.

After the debate, four committee members voted in favor of approving the development and seven against.

If the plans are denied later this month, they will be referred to the mayor of London, who could overturn the committee’s decision.

In a statement released after the meeting, Joe Cook, Executive Director of Development at Home Group, said: “Last night’s decision was indeed very disappointing. A tremendous amount of consultation, planning, time, energy and not to mention investment has gone into this detailed plan. We have worked closely with our residents and Barnet Council agents throughout the process, and because of this we believe we have presented a great solution for the Douglas Bader Park estate.

“But in addition, we are extremely disappointed for our residents, the vast majority of whom were heavily responsible for the regeneration of the estate. They voted overwhelmingly in favor of the estate’s redevelopment proposals following a poll in 2019, which found more than 75% of residents were in favor of regeneration, with a turnout of 90%. It will be a big blow to them.

“Our priority now is to inform our residents of last night’s decision, and then to take some time to review our options.”

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This notice was published: 2021-06-02 14:44:44

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