Fresh plans for Whalebones Park submitted by housing developer

Previous plans for the site were rejected by Barnet Council but a new smaller-scale scheme has now been submitted, reports Simon Allin, Local Democracy Reporter

The plans by Rolfe Judd Architects and (inset) the entrance to Whalebones Park
The plans by Rolfe Judd Architects and (inset) the entrance to Whalebones Park

Plans to build 114 homes on fields surrounding a Grade 2-listed building in High Barnet have been submitted to the council.

The revised proposals by Developer Hill Residential would see blocks ranging from two to five storeys built at Whalebones Park, home to a 19th Century house named after an arch made from the jawbones of a whale at the park’s entrance in Wood Street.

Previous plans to build 152 homes in blocks up to four storeys high were rejected by the council in 2020. A subsequent appeal against the decision by the developer was turned down by a government planning inspector, who ruled that the harm to the Grade 2-listed Whalebones House and the Wood Lane Conservation Area would not be outweighed by the scheme’s benefits.

The revised plans have been designed to reduce the potential impact of the development on the heritage assets, ensuring that it “no longer encroaches closely to the Whalebones House”.

Under the new proposals, 42 houses and 72 flats would be built on the 4.8-hectare site, with a total of 46 homes – just over 40% of the total – classed as affordable. The flats would be contained in three blocks located in the south-western corner.

A single-storey studio building would provide a new home for the Barnet Guild of Artists and the Barnet Beekeepers Association, as well as being made available for public use.

The scheme would also provide 2.05 hectares of new public open space – 20% more than the refused plans – plus 800 square metres of children’s play areas and new pedestrian and cycle routes linking with Barnet Hospital, nearby bus stops and Wood Street.

There would also be 138 car parking spaces and 268 cycle parking spaces, along with a new access point from Wellhouse Lane.

The planning documents claim that the “less than substantial harm” to heritage caused by the scheme would be outweighed by its public benefits.

Residents can view and comment on the proposals by visiting the council’s planning portal and entering reference 23/4117/FUL.

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