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Barnet residents celebrate as “high rise creep” development at North London Business Park is refused

 Barnet’s Planning Committee (22 June) have refused a planning application from Comer Homes Group for a development of 1,350 homes including high rise blocks up to 9 storeys and a new free school on the 17 hectare North London Business Park site (NLBP) in Brunswick Park ward.

The Committee found that the proposal was overdevelopment and completely out of character with the area. The Council’s own planning policies state that tall buildings over 7 storeys or 26 metres are only allowed in specified locations and that “outside of these specific locations, proposals for tall buildings will not be supported”.

The London Plan sets out that 35-75 units per hectare is appropriate for a suburban area such as NLBP but the proposal from Comer was over 90 units per hectare.

Comer, which owns the land, had offered 2 hectares of the land for free to the Greek school St Andrew the Apostle which currently occupies buildings there, subject to the overall development – including the housing – being granted planning permission.

Members of the Committee were not happy that the school appeared to have been used as a lever to try and convince the Committee to agree the development because of the need for additional school places.

The proposed development also only included 10% affordable housing on the basis that any more would make the scheme ‘unviable’ because of the land taken up by the school.

Two hundred and twenty eight residents objected to the proposals, with 470 signatures on two petitions also in opposition to the proposals.

Labour Brunswick Park councillor, Kathy Levine, who had objected to the plans and spoke at the Planning meeting said:

“We don’t want high rise creep going on in suburban areas such as this –  it is completely out of keeping with the local area.

“I don’t agree with Cllr Rutter who argued for Phase 1 of the application to be agreed in her submission, as this includes two blocks of 8 storeys.

“There were only 315 homes with 3 bedrooms in the proposal, and 1,035 homes with 1 and 2 bedrooms. An excellent school on site would increase the demand for family homes, so the development was clearly not meeting Barnet’s need for family homes either.

“The school should put in a separate application for their new free school – something they were encouraged to do. The Government is responsible for funding new free schools, including buying the land – they have done this in a number of other cases.

“We should not be forced to accept an out of character overdevelopment with a derisory number of affordable homes in order to ensure the expansion of an outstanding school with much needed school places. The proposed tower blocks are out of keeping with the area and some would overlook existing local residents’ homes and gardens.

“The proposed footpath and cycle path from the site into Weirdale Avenue and Ashbourne Avenue was also unacceptable it would cause untold parking chaos in those narrow roads which would become a cut through for 1350 households and other neighbours.”

. A copy of the papers for the Planning Committee on 22 June can be found here: http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=703&MId=9163&Ver=4

Britain’s parliament hit by a cyber attack

Britain’s parliament was hit by a cyber attack on Saturday in which hackers tried to access email accounts, politicians and officials said, just over a month after a ransomware attack crippled parts of the country’s health service.

 

Chris Rennard, …

More than 800 homes in tower blocks on a council estate in Camden, north London, have been evacuated because of fire safety concerns.

Camden Council agreed a contract with Rydon Construction – the same firm that oversaw the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower – to refurbish the Chalcots Estate in May 2006 at a cost of £66m.

 

Friday night’s announcement came as theMetropolitan …

St Anthony and St John the Baptist in Holloway Street Festival

The Greek Orthodox Church St Anthony and St John the Baptist are putting together this wonderful street festival tomorow to celebrate and bring together ALL communities.

Hope to see you all there They are trying to raise money for the …

One of our own UK Cypriot helps carve the monument to Thomas Fowell Buxton Baronet and MP for Weymouth who led the anti slavery movement

Peter Loizou designed and with fellow students from the Weymouth College  carved the monument to Thomas Fowell Buxton Baronet and MP for Weymouth who led the anti slavery movement succeeding William Wilberforce in the early nineteenth century.

The stone for …

Gothic and gross discoveries in Enfield’s recycling bins

Skull, deer’s leg and dead hedgehog among weird objects found in recycling
– Enfield’s recycling efforts diverting waste from landfill
– New informative posters to help residents to make recycling easier

Enfield residents appear to have a macabre side, with …

US President Trump circulates bi-monthly Cyprus report

US President Donald Trump circulated last week his bi-monthly report on Cyprus for February and March, detailing efforts to reach a settlement on the island.

The report, dated June 12, 2017, was drafted by the State Department and was addressed …

Merkel and Macron agree with Cyprus’ position on security and guarantees, says Nicosia

The German Chancellor and the French President clearly agree of the position of the Republic of Cyprus on the issue of security and guarantees issues, said Government Spokesperson Nikos Christodoulides.

In response to a question after the first part of …

Cypriot President Anastasiades meets French President Macron and the German Chancellor

President of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiades concluded brief meeting with the French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the Brussels European Council, before the official session.
According to a competent source, the President of the Republic informed

Cyprus Νational Guard to conduct annual military exercise

An army exercise titled “NIKITIS-DIMITRA / 2017” (VICTOR-DIMITRA) is taking place between June 22-25 , the Ministry of Defence has announced.

According to the announcement, this is a planned annual exercise to be carried out on land, at sea and …