‘Mixed’ reaction to plans for 350 homes on Burnt Oak car park site

The twelve-storey plans for Watling Avenue Car Park were first proposed last year but concerns include the impact on flood risk, reports Grace Howarth, Local Democracy Reporter

Watling Car Park and (inset) the plans being proposed for the site
Watling Avenue Car Park and (inset) the plans being proposed for the site

Residential feedback on a proposed twelve-storey, 350-home development in Burnt Oak is “mixed” amid some local fears over the impact on flood risk.

Josy Santangelo, a member of Burnt Oak Residents Association, says residents have a number of concerns but that some have also praised the early designs.

The site, at Watling Avenue Car Park, sits next to the Silk Stream, a 2.5 mile-long brook, which has caused flooding in the area before. 

Josy said developer Linkcity had assured residents the risk would be “combatted” and the stream “integrated with the development”.

While a water storage tank to mitigate risk was put forward, she said residents were concerned they only had the “developer’s word to go on” at present and that plans on the site had previously been rejected due to the risk.

Josy said: “The problem is we’re trusting the developers and what they’re saying, that they can combat it and it won’t be a risk.

“We’re just residents, but when you do research behind the scheme it tells a different story – [the Environment Agency] are saying it is a flood plain.”

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However, positive feedback on the scheme includes the hope it would “clean up antisocial behavior” that has been present in the area, and the design and layout of the scheme is thought by some to be “attractive”. 

As well as the 350 homes, plans also include building a new home for nearby Burnt Oak Library. Josy said residents enjoyed the library being housed where it was currently, within a brutalist building, however she acknowledged some residents were happy the area would get a “brand new” facility, and the existing building would be put to a different purpose.

Another concern was how the proposed 350 homes may cause a “strain” on resources such as GPs and other local infrastructure.

In response Phillippa Prongué, managing director of Linkcity, said: “We are actively engaging with local residents to develop the designs, ensuring the scheme is of the highest quality.

“We are keen to hear from as many residents as possible to get their input. We encourage them to find out more and get in touch with the team at”

A Barnet Council spokesperson said the project was a “fantastic opportunity” to deliver new homes and a range of community facilities in Burnt Oak, and the council would continue to hear resident’s views. 

They said: “We have been working in partnership with Linkcity to help redevelop Watling Avenue Car Park. The redevelopment aims to revitalise the town centre and will include new homes, both private and affordable, alongside commercial and community facilities in the heart of Burnt Oak town centre.

“We will continue to work with the community through the Burnt Oak Partnership Board, which was set up in 2022 to enable residents to share their views on Burnt Oak development proposals and wider placemaking aspirations.”

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