A long strip of land next to High Barnet tube station has been earmarked for conversion into a long strip of blocks of flats.
Located half way up Barnet Hill, the station is an important gateway to Chipping Barnet, Underhill and New Barnet. TfL says that despite their prominent location the station and the area around it have poor accessibility.
The land is currently split between a car park for the station, and a range of light-industrial uses and container storage.
TfL says that the site has potential for over 450 new homes instead. 40% of the new homes will be classed as “affordable”. The initial plan calls for the construction of seven blocks of flats.
A pocket park with a widened, and lit footpath, which meanders through the trees could replace the existing narrow walkway off Barnet Hill, and an upgraded station square outside the station buildings are planned. Proposals for the land at the top entrance to the station include the construction of a cycle hub and coffee shop.
Although the light industrial occupants will have to be removed, the plans include building workspaces to help businesses start up and stay in the area. They anticipate that the proposals could directly provide 40 new full-time jobs and create 50 in the wider area.
One aspect that’s not on the plans is that the station entrance is at the end of a road and a footpath down two slopes, whereas moving the station entrance to the end of the road (where TfL’s Abrams House is), would make the station entrance a lot more visible, and for those coming from the south, a shorter journey.
Essentially flipping the station access around — but that would push the costs up.
The consultation opened last month, and has a lot of feedback already.
Local MP, Theresa Villiers has said though that she will fight the plans to build over the car parks as she says they are essential for the local community. At a public meeting, there was also opposition from local residents.
Around a quarter of the car park would be retained, for blue-badge holders.
The project is being managed by a consortium of Transport for London, Taylor Wimpey and Pinnacle Regen.