Cross party politicians slam North London Business Park development as planning inquiry opens

Developer Comer Homes is appealing the unanimous decision of Barnet Council’s planning committee to reject its plans for the site reports David Floyd

Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers and a group of local residents outside Hendon Town Hall
Theresa Villiers at Hendon Town Hall with residents protesting at the planning inquiry – (Credit – Office of Theresa Villiers MP)

Barnet politicians from across the political divide have expressed their opposition to plans for a new housing development at a planning inquiry last week.

Conservative Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers and Labour ward councillors for Brunswick Park outlined objections to the Comer Homes scheme on the site of North London Business Park as the inquiry opened at Hendon Town Hall on Tuesday (13th February).

The expanded plans to build more than 2,400 homes on the site – an increase from the 1,350 previously approved – were unanimously rejected by Barnet Council’s planning committee last year but Comer Homes is appealing the decision, with a planning inspector set to take a decision following the inquiry. 

Villiers told a meeting of local residents at the town hall: “Over the years, I have had hundreds of conversations with constituents about the future of North London Business Park.

“More or less 100% of constituents who have expressed a view tell me they are against the plan to build 2419 dwellings on the site.

“The consented scheme for 1350 units is already excessive, and adding a thousand more dwellings would be completely unacceptable. Buildings of up to 13 storeys would be wholly out of keeping with the character of an area largely made up of homes of just one or two storeys.

“The tower blocks will be taller than any other nearby building and visible for miles around. They will be visually overbearing and would clearly contravene policies in the Barnet Local Plan on tall buildings.”

Speaking to inquiry on behalf of all three Labour councillors in Brunswick Park ward, Cllr Paul Lemon said: “The amount of affordable housing being offered is wholly inadequate given the housing needs of the wider community in Barnet.” 

He added: “The development is completely out of character with the area and would, from a visual perspective, be a complete eye sore“ and that the proposal “would place undue strain on local infrastructure especially with respect to roads, healthcare, public transport and schools.”

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