Fresh submission of controversial Hendon Hub plans as revisions made

Barnet Council-led scheme for The Burroughs won planning approval last year but has now been revised by the Labour administration, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

The ‘Hendon Hub’ plans

Revised plans to build student flats and university facilities in Hendon have been submitted to Barnet Council.

The proposed ‘Hendon Hub’ scheme is currently undergoing a new round of public consultation following changes to the initial designs, including plans for the public library to remain in its original Grade 2-listed building in The Burroughs.

Councillors approved plans for blocks up to seven storeys high to be built on sites in The Burroughs and Church End in January last year, despite receiving hundreds of objections from residents. The council-led scheme was designed to provide a total of 565 student flats and 33 shared-living units, plus new facilities for the University of Middlesex.

After the Labour group won control of the council the following May it said the development would be changed, and plans to turn Hendon Public Library into a business school for the university were subsequently dropped.

Local campaigners said the amendments did not go far enough and called for the scheme to be scaled back further, but the council said further “substantive changes” were “unlikely”.

Two new applications for sites next to The Burroughs have now been submitted to the council. One is for the demolition of Ravensfield House and Fenella Building and the construction of a seven-storey block and a five-storey “rotunda building”, which would provide 384 student flats and 28 affordable homes.

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It would also provide new community, retail and university space, along with an “arts and creative industries facility” and a marketing suite for the university.

The second application is to demolish a former clinic and extension to the historic library and build a four-storey teaching block that will link up to the library building. The library itself would be refurbished and undergo internal alterations, with space provided for the local police safer neighbourhoods team.

Local residents’ group Save Hendon is urging people to object to the new applications by the 24th August deadline.

Pointing out that the proposals for the Ravensfield House and Fenella Building site are similar to previous plans that were unanimously opposed by Labour councillors, the campaigners describe the scheme as “overblown”, claiming it would lead to “serious transport and parking issues” and add to “noise and disturbance”.

The campaign group warns that the proposed four-storey teaching block is an “overdevelopment” that fails to respect the quality and design of the library building, town hall and fire station. It says the library should be “a standalone heritage building”.

Residents can view and comment on the revised proposals by visiting the council’s planning portal and entering reference number 23/2868/FUL for the Ravensfield and Fenella site and 23/2869/FUL for the library site.

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