New homes and office space get go-ahead in High Barnet

Three-storey office block and warehouse will be replaced by seven-storey mixed-use scheme with 92 new homes, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

Designs for the Moxon One development in High Barnet (credit Claridge Architects)

Plans to build flats up to seven storeys high next to Green Belt land in suburban High Barnet have been approved by councillors.

At a planning committee on last week, developer Moxon One won permission to demolish three-storey Intec House in Moxon Street and build 92 new homes in place of the office block and warehouse.

The approved scheme is set to provide 13 flats at London Affordable Rent levels and 13 for intermediate rent. It will also provide 728 square metres of employment space in “flexible workshop units”.

A consultation on the proposals drew 61 objections from members of the public and local interest groups. Those opposed to the scheme included Chipping Barnet’s Conservative MP Theresa Villiers, The Barnet Society and Barnet Residents’ Association.

The potential impact on views from nearby King George’s Fields, which is an area of Green Belt land, a site of importance for nature conservation (Sinc) and a registered historic battlefield, was among the main concerns raised by opponents.

The height, scale and massing of the three-to-seven-storey block, proposed for an area of mostly two to three-storey homes, was a further concern. Opponents said it would not be in keeping with the area and would overlook neighbouring buildings, affecting privacy and light levels.

With 34 car parking spaces planned, further concerns were raised over the scheme’s potential to cause congestion and parking problems. Opponents also claimed it had an “inappropriate” housing mix, with only six units having more than two bedrooms.

Council planning officers recommended the scheme for approval, writing in their report that the scheme was “acceptable having regard to the relevant local, regional and national policies”.

They said a visual assessment showed the proposed development “does not impact the openness, character and tranquillity of the Green Belt”, with a recessed top floor ensuring the block would not dominate the skyline.

Addressing the traffic concerns, officers claimed the scheme would lead to fewer journeys than the “existing industrial building”, while a planning condition was added to prevent future occupiers from obtaining residential parking permits for the controlled parking zone covering the surrounding streets.

Planning officers wrote that the scheme would not result in any “demonstrable loss of privacy” to the neighbouring homes, and that it was “not considered to significantly reduce sunlight or daylight to existing surrounding properties”.

The planning committee subsequently voted to approve the application.

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